Equal Rights for Women
Throughout history, women have not always had access to the same rights as men. More recently, women are increasingly demanding and fighting for equal rights, especially by women who witness the oppression or have lived subject to the inequalities. Here are five women who are taking leadership in advancing equal rights for women.

5 Women Advancing Equal Rights for Women

  1. Malala Yousafzai, alongside her father, established the Malala Fund. In 2012, the Taliban targeted Malala, a vocal advocate for a girl’s right to education, and shot her on the left side of her head on her way home from school. When Malala recovered, she decided that she wanted to continue fighting for education for girls around the world. With the allyship of her father, she established the Malala Fund. It supports educators in eight different countries with $22 million invested in Malala Fund campaigns. Malala Yousafzai is a woman advancing equal rights for women by advocating for every girl’s right to an education as well as financially supporting schools for women in various countries.
  2. Gabby Edlin is the founder of The Bloody Good Period Campaign. While volunteering at a refugee center, she noticed that women did not receive menstrual products with their kit of essentials. Gabby started a small campaign on Facebook, and the interest in helping women grew. This led to her creating The Bloody Good Period Campaign, overcoming resistance from men who did not believe that the resource was a necessity. Bloody Good Period focuses its efforts on asylum-seeking women who are unable to purchase food or other necessities because of their need to purchase menstrual products; it seeks to educate women and destigmatize menstruation. Gabby Edlin is a woman advancing equal rights for women by educating and garnering the support of the public. She also uses the funds to provide menstrual product needs to refugees.
  3. Forgotten Women is an organization that women run for women. They founded the organization after witnessing the abuse of vulnerable women around the world. Forgotten Women developed the LIFT Model which stands for “Leveraging Investment for Transformation.” Through this model, it provides the means for women to be permanently self-sufficient and provides emergency aid to women in vulnerable positions. Forgotten Women has a sexual trauma clinic that currently reaches an average of 105,000 women per year; it continues to advocate for equality, defending women who stand for this value. Forgotten Women is a group of women advancing equal rights for women by imparting unconditional aid to vulnerable women and supplying them with the means to be self-sustained providers.
  4. Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin founded Pearls Africa. Abisoye lost her mom when she was 4 years old, and at a young age, she learned about computers through a family friend’s support. Her tech skillset enabled her to intern with EDP Audit & Security Associates, an IT auditing firm in Lagos, Nigeria. She noticed the underrepresentation of women within the industry of tech and determined to change this disparity. In an interview with Unearth Women, she said, “In Nigeria, there are very few girls in STEM fields, as they have been made to believe that tech is not something that they can pursue due to their sex or gender. This is a lie, and it’s something we’re trying to change systematically through the GirlsCoding initiative.” One of the successes of GirlsCoding took place in the impoverished Makoko slum in Lagos. After the young women left GirlsCoding, they became leaders in their communities. Then, they started Makoko Fresh, an e-commerce platform that supports and improves the livelihoods of local fishermen. GirlsCoding is just a part of the work that occurs through the organization Pearls Africa. Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin is a woman whose intellectual leadership advances equal rights for women by expelling doubts and stigmas about female capabilities and equipping girls with the resources to pursue a meaningful career.
  5. Sonita Alizadeh is a champion and advocates on the behalf of Girls Not Brides. At the age of 16, Sonita found out that her parents were going to sell her into marriage. Despite her family’s disapproval, she recorded music about her experiences as a woman and a refugee. Sonita released her song­, “Daughters for Sale” on YouTube. The video went viral, and her parents decided not to sell her into marriage. Sonita Alizadeh now lives in the United States and continues to fight on behalf of child brides. She works as an advocate with Girls Not Brides and speaks with global authorities on the issue. The organization urges countries to develop laws, policies and programs that end child marriage; Sonita Alizadeh is a woman whose creative leadership advances equal rights for women, specifically young girls, who would otherwise be sold into marriage before maturity.

The leadership of these women advances equal rights for women across the world. Their personal experiences and courage, often in the face of insurmountable odds, led them to activism on behalf of vulnerable or oppressed women. The example that they set serves as an inspiration to all people that each person’s voice has value, meaning and power. The impact of each organization demonstrates the importance of advocacy and activism.

Hannah Brock
Photo: Flickr

Nonprofits that Empower Women
All over the world and throughout history women have not been given the same opportunities as men, whether in business, education or healthcare. 
These strict gender norms can be difficult to overcome anywhere, but it’s especially difficult to overcome in an impoverished country. There are nonprofits all over the world helping to empower women to be successful in their communities — here are five nonprofits that empower women. 

Share and Care Foundation

The Share and Care foundation is concentrated in rural India. The goal of the foundation is to create equality, specifically gender equality, healthcare and education. The organization helps to empower women in rural India through teaching different life skills and helping these women overcome gender norms present in their country.

Some of the opportunities available for women through this foundation are:

  • Vocational training
  • Financial management skills
  • Self-defense lessons
  • Confidence training
  • Safe space for women that have escaped red light districts.

The foundation also has a class on gender equality open to both young boys and girls to help re-educate the youth on a woman’s role in society.

This foundation has been very successful in helping to empower women throughout rural India. The Share and Care Foundation has taught women business skills in subjects like fashion design or computer training, shown women they can be self-employed and contribute to India’s economy and helped many women regain the confidence they need to succeed.

School Girls Unite

This goal of School Girls Unite is to overcome prejudice throughout the world and provide girls with an education and leadership skills. The organization believes no one should be denied the freedom of an education, especially based on their gender. This foundation works specifically in the country of Mali, where only 50 percent of girls completed elementary school.

School Girls Unite has provided many young girls an education in Mali that they otherwise would not have received. The group provides full scholarships to ten girls a year; the cost of attending school for one year is only $75. This cost is broken down into $35 for tuition, $20 for books and supplies and $20 for tutoring and mentoring.

The efforts of School Girls Unite have helped ten girls complete ninth grade, which is very rare in rural Mali; in addition, three students are continuing in their education without scholarships and two girls have received an associate’s degree. This nonprofit has been helping to empower women and changing lives for almost 15 years.    

Women for Women International

Women for Women International was started in 1993 and has provided aid to over 478,000 women since. These women harken from eight different countries that have been impacted by war or conflict. This foundation is helping to empower women by supplying them with support, tools and life skills to help them become economically self-sufficient.

In addition to such benefits, women also learn life, vocational, health and nutritional skills in this program. Once they are enrolled, this population is also provided with a monthly stipend to help be able to pay for things while they learn valuable life skills.

Women for Women International has changed and improved the lives of women in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovnia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Sudan.

Women’s Global Empowerment Fund

Women’s Global Empowerment was founded in 2007 and has since changed the lives of many women in Uganda. This fund has given numerous women access to microcredit loans, literacy, education in business, leadership development and health initiatives.

As of 2017, this organization provided over 10,000 microcredit loans, business training classes and other developmental programs. This program has improved the lives of many women in Uganda by empowering them through business education and skills that help women work in agriculture and markets, among other vocational sectors in Uganda.


Madre aims to help the world become a place where all individuals can enjoy human rights. They partner with local women’s groups stricken with war or disaster throughout the world.

One of the organization’s goals is to advance women’s rights by meeting the urgent needs of these communities and providing solutions. Madre combines meeting urgent needs and teaching women life and leadership skills to create long lasting change throughout the world.

Madre works with communities in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Haiti, Columbia, Kenya, Palestine, Syria and Iraq. For 35 years, this organization has improved the lives of many women by fighting to combat violence against women, building peace throughout the world, fighting to end rape as a weapon of war, battling for rights of the LGBTIQ community, and providing emergency relief to communities in need.

These nonprofits that empower women do so by providing resources and education needed to build sustainable communities. Hopefully, others will continue to follow in such inspirational footsteps. 

– Ronni Winter
Photo: Flickr