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For Community-Driven Global Development

Gender Equity with FSD

Gender Equity

Women across the world have fewer opportunities and suffer from exponentially more rights violations simply because they are female. In some countries, women are the legal property of their husbands, are unable to receive an inheritance, cannot borrow money or own land, and do not have access to basic human rights. It is common for women to not receive an education, be allowed to make decisions on how to care for their children or decide when and how to be touched.

With these restrictions, these women must depend entirely on their husbands for survival. Without a husband, women have little to support them. The resulting statistics of this cycle are staggering:

  • Women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours and produce half of the world’s food, yet earn only 10 percent of the world’s income and own less than one percent of the world’s property (Pillay 2009)
  • Of the world’s illiterate population, 63.3% of them are female—574 million women and girls (calculated using data from UNESCO and UIS 2014)
  • Globally, 35% of women have been victims of physical and/or sexual violence from both intimate partners and non-partners, and “38% of all murders of women are committed by intimate partners.” (WHO 2013)

Fighting gender discrimination is extremely challenging due to embedded cultural traditions that benefit patriarchal systems. However, these exploitive traditions oppress half the world's population, inhibiting women's right to equality, education, and economic opportunity. Without gender equity, communities do not have the resources to overcome poverty.

FSD Gender Equity Partners

By working at the community level with local leadership, FSD is able to integrate gender equity solutions that are culturally sensitive and benefit the entire community. We partner with local organizations that provide opportunities for women in a variety of tested methods. These include vocational skills and microenterprise development training; microfinance opportunities; self-help groups; community workshops on rights, reproductive health, gender sensitivity, leadership, life skills, literacy, empowerment, etc.; legal and psychological counseling for victims of abuse; advocacy campaigns; and much more.

In Nicaragua, we partner with AMNLAE Casa de la Mujer "Sonia Bello" which works to promote and defend the economic, political, and social rights of women with attention to gender equality. The Casa de la Mujer centers are areas where women can come for assistance, training, and education. Even more, the organization works to promote equality throughout Nicaragua. In Uganda, our partner, Women Rights Initiative (WORI) is actively working in rural regions around Jinja to assist illiterate and semi-literate women through training and microcredit. They aim to reduce violence, poverty, and HIV/AIDS amongst women and youth.

At each of our sites, we have many other amazing organizations like WORI and Casa de la Mujer, that work to advance gender equity within their local context. You can join FSD in supporting gender equity efforts throughout the world through an international volunteer program, or through our philanthropy model, www.circles.org.

To learn more about the development sectors FSD supports, check out our Microfinance or Environmental Sustainability articles.