As we express our gratitude for the people and places we are thankful for this November, we want to shine a spotlight on three international women’s organizations which are changing the lives of women around the globe, in positive and meaningful ways.
The Women in Africa Initiative
Women in Africa (WIA) is a new organization which promotes research, community and entrepreneurism among women across the African continent. Consisting of three sister-divisions encompassing the WIA Institute, WIA Club and WIA Philanthropy Group, Women in Africa brings together women around a common mission: “to lay the groundwork for new business models by helping African and international companies identify influential African women of today and tomorrow, and by supporting African entrepreneurship for women”.
Women in Africa Philanthropy is an endowment fund set to promote education in the field of economic development, specifically in the training of entrepreneurs. In collaboration with Roland Berger. This division of WIA has created an endowment fund to promote and educate women in economic development, specifically, training future women entrepreneurs.
The WIA Annual Summit also hosts an “African Man of the Year” award, given to a champion whose action to drive greater involvement of women in the governance of African societies has been “remarkable”. Here were the finalists this year.
Womankind works around the world in support of human rights protections for women. Founded in 1986, this well-respected UK leader has a mission centered around 3 objectives:
- End all forms of violence against women and girls
- Promote women’s economic rights and control over resources
- Ensure women’s equality and influence in decision making and ability to exercise their political power
Several countries we visit in 2018 are destinations where Womankind operates programs including Tanzania and Nepal and, in the past, the organization has supported women victimized during Peru’s civil unrest between 1980 and 2000.
In Tanzania, Womankind works with the Women’s Legal Aid Centre (WLAC) in the Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, where there are currently over 100,000 refugees (70% women and children) who have fled conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. Womankind helps rebuild the lives of survivors of violence providing legal aid and counselling, encourages community leaders to end traditional practices which harm women such as forced marriage and helps train others in the legal case management for women who have experienced violence.
In Nepal, Womankind partners with 5 women’s organizations to raise the voice of women politically and advocate for women’s rights. Inequality based on caste and gender is widespread in Nepal. Many women have experienced discrimination and violence. Women from low castes such as the Dalit caste are especially vulnerable because they don’t have access to their own money, housing or land. Discrimination against widows is also common. If a woman’s husband dies, she is considered a bad omen by society and faces exclusion and, often, violence. Womenkind and its partners have been able to create a network of 83,000 widows to help protect widow’s rights, laws are slowly changing around inherited wealth giving more control to widows vs to the deceased husband’s family and slowly, more women are moving into more powerful positions politically at the local level.
Women for Women International
WWI or Women for Women International is another leader helping to raise awareness about the needs of women worldwide. Active since 1993, Women for Women International has helped more than 462,000 marginalized women in eight countries affected by war and conflict. Currently, WWI supports women in Afghanistan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Sudan.
WWI provides nutritional, educational, health and economic support, tools, and access to life-changing skills to help women in war torn communities move from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency. Focusing on the many facets of a woman’s life, Women to Women International Women gives women a safe and productive environment so that they can increase their ability to earn an income through learning new skills that are in-demand. They then learn about their legal rights, and they become more knowledgeable about health and nutrition so that they can support their economic gains with better lifestyles. They believe that this results in stronger women, stronger families, and stronger communities in a ripple effect which resonates worldwide.
AdventureWomen is proud to be part of this wider community of women who are dedicated to helping all women achieve their dreams, regardless of the circumstances they were born into.