One of the foundations of our mission is to support equal opportunities for women. Did you know that 70% of all people living in poverty are women and girls? In the countries where we work, women are often viewed as second-class citizens who are held back by social, cultural, and economic barriers. Many have to decide how to feed and clothe their families on less than $2 per day, and that doesn’t even account for “luxuries” like schooling for children (it’s not free), medicine if someone gets sick, housing, and transportation. If a woman is lucky enough to find employment, they are only eligible to work the lowest paid jobs which come with dangerous working conditions and unthinkable long work hours—then expected to upkeep all household duties when the paid workday is over.
This is our focus and why we aim to create safe, dignified job for women. But what is the real impact that we’re making? Let’s set aside the obvious benefits of being able to afford healthy food and keeping vulnerable women out of trafficking, let’s look at how it impacts her children—the next generation.
When a woman is paid a fair wage and is able to earn a consistent, steady income, one of the first investments she usually makes is in an education for her children and young girls receiving an education is literally the first step to achieving gender equality. These educated girls are more likely to earn a higher income for her entire lifetime, for every year of secondary school completed her income can increase by 25%. In fact, if all girls received even just a secondary education, 12.2 million children could avoid malnutrition and stunted growth and could even prevent the death of 3 million children.
When a woman is lifted out of poverty, she takes an average of 3 people with her. This is the impact you and I are making every day and it brings us an overwhelming amount of joy when you think of families being saved from unthinkable situations.
The power of supporting women is largely untapped, but if you’re reading this you are part of the solution. We want to make this the best year yet and are so excited to be on this journey with you.