Celebrate International Women’s Day with Partners for Development
Women across the world face many challenges to equality, from access to economic, health, and education resources, to violence within communities and households. To commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8th and this year’s theme Make it Happen, PFD will be honoring the achievements of women around the globe.
Investing in women important not only because it ensures equality, but also because investing in women can produce positive externalities, expanding the impact of each dollar invested.
PFD works across the globe in three main sectors:
PFD works with and supports microfinance organizations and institutions around the world, to increase access to credit for underserved populations. In these programs, over 91% of borrowers were women. PFD has found that when these entrepreneurial women generate additional income, a large portion is reinvested into the family, often paying for school fees for their children. In Nigeria, PFD and Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO), a local microfinance organization, further assist women to invest in their families by offering to fund scholarships to daughters of women microfinance clients. According to the World Bank, one additional year of education for girls results in lower infant mortality and higher future incomes. By funding scholarships for girls, PFD and LAPO are also investing in future generations.
On International Women’s Day and always we honor these women.
Health PFD trains community health volunteers to spread health information within their communities. Women who receive this training not only are able to implement changes for themselves, but they also can implement healthier practices for their families. The women are trained to spread the information in the communities and by reaching out to other women, can indirectly reach their families. In Cambodia, for instance, from 2012-2014, PFD trained over 1,500 village health volunteers in malaria health education, a majority of whom were women. In 2013, there were almost 300,000 maternal deaths worldwide related to pregnancy and childbirth. PFD works to prevent deaths by increasing access to skilled health services. In 2013 in Nigeria, with the support of PFD and local partners, 45,501 women attended at least one antenatal care visit and 19,483 women were assisted by skilled delivery attendants during childbirth.
USAID reported in its 2012 “Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy” that ensuring women farmers have the same access to land, technology, and credit, crop yields can be increased “as much as 30 percent and feed an additional 150 million people”. In Benin, PFD is implementing USDA’s Growing Resources for Enhanced Agricultural Enterprises and Nutrition (GREEN). GREEN Project is working with farmers associations to increase farm revenues and productivity by building knowledge through trainings, providing information on markets and price information, and increasing access to credit. In 2013 and 2014, through GREEN, PFD and its partners were able to reach over 48,413 farmers, around half of whom were women, with trainings on farming techniques, markets and value chains, and on business development skills. Additionally, PFD integrated its micro-credit methodology into GREEN, increasing access to credit to farmers so they can implement the newly learned skills. Of the 4,680 loans made to farmers, and over 2,250 of the loans were given to women.
On International Women’s Day and always we praise the hard work and perseverance of these women.
How can you Make it Happen?
Support Girls’ Education: Help educate and empower the next generation of young women by contributing to PFD here and designating the Nigerian Scholarship fund for Girls.
Give your Support: Support PFD to develop new, innovative programs that support women and girls around the globe here.
Use your voice: Post about women’s social, economic & political achievements using the hashtag #makeithappen or #womensday! Don’t forget to also use the PFD handle @Partners4Dev so we can share your message too!
Spread the word: Repost this blog on social media to help support the movement.