Men, women and children in developing countries face many common struggles. But women living in poverty must also contend with their own set of unique challenges, such as sexual violence and educational discrimination. Ahead are five organizations helping women in developing countries.
- The Malala Fund
Founded by the international human rights icon Malala Yousafzai, the Malala Fund is one of the most famous organizations helping girls and women get an education in developing countries. The Malala Fund works directly with girls in local communities to advocate for their education. Donations to the fund are used to invest in schools and supplies, as well as place activists and educators in the girls’ communities. The organization primarily helps girls in Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and countries housing Syrian refugees such as Lebanon and Jordan.
Taboos and traditions surrounding menstruation pose a significant health threat to women and girls in many developing countries. Just last month, a Nepali teenager died while observing her culture’s tradition of separating menstruating women from their families in “menstrual huts.” PERIOD is a nonprofit working to break the taboo around periods through advocacy and education. It also distributes period products to women in need.
- The Orchid Project
Female genital cutting is a devastating practice that many women undergo in developing regions such as West Africa. The Orchid Project is one of many organizations working to end this human rights violation. This organization raises awareness of this damaging tradition and advocates for more resources for its victims. They also partner with grassroots organizations to educate local communities about the misconceptions and dangers surrounding FGC in order to end this dangerous practice.
Prajwala, which means “eternal flame,” is an Indian organization founded by social activist Dr. Sunitha Krishnan. The nonprofit rescues victims of sex trafficking. Prajwala works to keep these women out of prostitution by providing them with education, mental health care and job training.
- Women for Women
Conflict disproportionately occurs in developing regions, and women are often the overlooked victims of this violence. Women for Women is a nonprofit that provides women in conflict zones with an empowerment program. The program equips women with business skills, job skills and networking opportunities. Women for Women also provides women in conflict zones with resources such as microfinancing and access to local healthcare sources.
Women in developing countries have their own special needs beyond challenges such as hunger and health problems. These are just a few of the many organizations helping women in the developing world.
– Bret Serbin