WASHINGTON, D.C. – Though roughly half of the world’s population is female, women make up the majority of the world’s poor and more than 60 percent of the world’s hungry. Women feed their families, yet they are often under-nourished themselves. Burdened by the challenges of mere survival, women living in poverty cannot readily change their circumstances.
Women Thrive Worldwide is a non-profit organization that attempts to remedy these injustices by “bring[ing]the voice of women around the world directly to decision-makers in Washington, D.C.” The organization fights to end global poverty by empowering women, who hold the ability to “lift entire countries out of poverty” if given the proper resources. Women Thrive Worldwide addresses poverty by focusing on the following issues faced by women across the world:
1. Economic opportunity
Women face economic barriers such as low wages, poor working conditions, the inability to access credit, and unequal property rights. When provided with the same economic opportunities as men, women use these resources to invest in their families, spending money on healthcare, education, and nutrition.
2. Education and learning
Although more girls are enrolled in school than ever before, violence, poor sanitation, and ingrained gender norms prevent girls from attaining the same level of education as their male peers. Women Thrive Worldwide is working to amend the Millennium Development Goals that the UN will renew in 2015 to strive for girls to attain the same quality and amount of education as their male counterparts.
Roughly one out of every three women experiences violence during her lifetime, however this number may be as high as 70 percent in some countries. By combatting gender-based violence, Women Thrive Worldwide is helping to ensure that women can take advantage of economic and educational opportunities without fearing for their safety.
4. Food security
Women make up a large fraction of the world’s farmers, but they often lack the resources and market access needed to feed their families. Women Thrive Worldwide supports food aid reform that will give female farmers the resources they need to produce greater yields more efficiently.
5. International assistance.
The majority of the 1.4 billion people who live on around $1 a day are women. Women Thrive Worldwide supports increases to the USAID budget along with aid programs that prioritize women’s needs.
The problem of global poverty can often seem insurmountable, but the key to ending it lies in the empowerment of women. Women Thrive Worldwide works with local organizations and the U.S. government alike to ensure that the voices of the world’s women are heard.