March 8 is International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate the gains women are making in their struggle for equality, peace and development. It’s also a day to inspire us to continually work for a future filled with hope and opportunity for women and girls.
Around the world many women and girls live in poverty. They live in places where they do not have access to education or fair credit. They live in places where they do not have control over the decisions made about their health and well-being. They face persistent food insecurity, inequality and discrimination.
Too often these limitations prevent women from making a positive difference in their lives and in the lives of those around them.
Pledge For Parity!
Last year, the World Economic Forum predicted that it would take until 2133 to completely close the gender gap.
Together, we can help accelerate global gender parity. #PledgeForParity is the 2016 theme for International Women’s Day.
The pledge encourages taking purposeful action that will help achieve gender equality more quickly. It calls on each of us to be a leader—to challenge the status quo and inspire positive change.
Together we can inspire action here in Canada and help make change happen for women around the world.
Through Presbyterian World Service & Development, our church is actively supporting programs that benefit women. With this help, women are realizing their potential, achieving economic independence and advocating for their rights.
Below are a few examples of how PWS&D is inspiring change:
In Malawi and Guatemala vulnerable and marginalized women are being empowered to transform small loans and savings into promising futures. Women are supported as they form self-help groups and receive literacy, business and vocational training to build sustainable livelihoods.
- In Afghanistan, girls are realizing their dreams. In a region where girls have been ignored for far too long, PWS&D is working with local partners to train teachers and raise awareness and support for girls’ education. Since 2009, enrolment has increased by over 5,400 girls.
- In Ghana, women accused of witchcraft are being reunited with their families after years of exclusion. PWS&D is working with communities to build awareness of human rights, mental illness and other health issues that are mistakenly attributed to witchcraft, in order to protect women against allegations and pave the way for others to return home.
- In Malawi and Afghanistan, child and maternal health programs and health services for women have been strengthened and women are making informed decisions that will improve their health, well-being and quality of life.
- In Haiti, women who have experienced gender-based violence are accessing necessary medical, social, legal and economic services to combat this injustice.
Help accelerate gender parity this International Women’s Day by remembering the struggle of women and ensuring women continue to inspire change around the world!