Top 10 projects improving the lives of women

By Kelly Jirsa

Top 10 projects improving the lives of women

On this 21st International Women’s Day we look at some of the many not-for-profit programs that are helping advance women.

1. International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

In 2015 the United Nations passed a resolution to introduce the day, to be observed each year on 11 February. The declaration came with a plan to improve access and participation for women and girls in science. The UN identified that engaging women in the industries is set to assist achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development goals.

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

2. The World Bank’s Rural Women’s Development and Empowerment Project.

The credit program, run by the World Bank, has been established to promote economic development of women. It has implemented women’s self-help groups and “strengthened the capacity of support agencies” in rural areas across developing nations to support women financially.

Rural Women’s Development and Empowerment Project

3. HeForShe.

The campaign famously kick-started by young actress Emma Watson, the campaign’s ambassador, aims to engage men and boys in support of promoting gender equality. It is hoped that the pledge of public support will translate to concrete action in organisations and government.


4. International Women’s Health Program (IWHP).

IWHP advocates for women worldwide on issues of increasing support and commitment to improving health outcomes. IWHP has particular authority in the field of maternal and infant health.

International Women’s Health Program

5. Girls Who Code.

This not-for-profit is closing the gender gap in technology and engineering by educating high school aged girls in computer coding languages.

Girls Who Code

6. International Women’s Forum (IWF).

The IWF is an organisation comprising of over 6,000 women leaders in 34 countries across the world. The forum runs programs in global leadership and offers training, conferences and mentorship programs that advance women in positions of influence.

International Women’s Forum

7. Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls.

Founded by prominent entertainers Amy Poehler and Meredith Walker, this organisation is targeted at young women especially and works to help girls “cultivate their authentic selves”.

Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls

8. Dress for Success and Fitted for Work.

Charity organisations like Dress For Success and Fitted For Work are empowering women from low socio-economic backgrounds by giving them job seeker skills and styling them with work wardrobes, so they are able to find meaningful employment.

Dress For Success and Fitted For Work

9. Sahar Speaks.

“The Afghan woman’s story is being told by Afghan men, foreign men and foreign women”, in response to this the organisation Sahar Speaks is providing journalism training for Afghan women. They say they hope to “change the paradigm that has contributed to the marginalisation of women’s voices.”

Sahar Speaks

10. Sister Angelique Namaika.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) women are in more danger than soldiers engaged in fights between the government and rebel groups. Sister Angélique is transforming the lives of women and children who have been displaced and are victims of violence at her Centre for Reintegration and Development in remote DRC village of Dungu. Women are given small business skills, their own plot of land for agricultural use, counselling and or work in the nun’s community bakery.

Sister Angelique Namaika



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