Nonprofits That Empower WomenToday, the fight for women’s rights continues to pick up steam. However, many women’s voices around the globe are still not being heard. Fortunately, more organizations are taking up the mantle to ensure that gender equality remains a top priority when it comes to global development. Here are five global nonprofits that empower women.

5 Global Nonprofits That Empower Women

  1. Women for Women International
    Women for Women International, or WfWI, is a nonprofit founded in 1993 working with women from impoverished and war-torn countries. It assisted more than 500,000 women since and is currently situated in Afghanistan, Northern Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, South Sudan, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This nonprofit works to give women an opportunity to build a support network for each other and share their experiences while also teaching them new skills and resources to safeguard their futures. WfWI believes in empowering women in four different ways—economic empowerment, social empowerment, sustaining peace and responding to conflict. Outside of programs that relate directly to helping women, WfWI also focuses on “complementary programs” that center around men’s engagement in women’s rights issues, graduate support and community advocacy.
  2. The Malala Fund
    Malala and her father Ziauddin Yousafzai founded the Malala Fund in 2013 to give girls around the world an opportunity to receive a safe and quality education. The fund mainly focused its attention on countries where girls are least likely to have access to this kind of education, specifically in Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey. This fund targets three specific areas when it comes to ensuring that girls have an opportunity to receive a quality education. These are (i) advocacy, specifically in holding leaders accountable, (ii) investing in educators and those who are also fighting for girls’ education and (iii) giving girls the opportunity to speak for themselves and allowing their voices to be heard.
  3. Global Fund for Women
    Founded in 1987, the Global Fund for Women strives for gender equality and advocates for the rights of women and girls across the globe. It mainly fights for reproductive rights for women, violence prevention and economic fairness. For the Global Fund, women and girls around the world should always feel “strong, safe, powerful and heard.” This group specifically partners with “women-led groups who are courageously fighting for justice in their own communities” which allows these organizations to tackle issues head on. Since its founding, it has worked in 175 countries and contributed to at least 5,000 organizations that have similar values as the Global Fund for Women.
  4. Pathfinder International
    Founded in 1957, Pathfinder International works to improve the sexual and reproductive health of people around the world. While it participates in all aspects of sexual and reproductive health, its main focus is pregnancies and making sure women are aware of all options available to them. Pathfinder International’s mission is to try to lower the rate of women dying from preventable complications with pregnancies, help those infected with HIV and promote proper sexual and reproductive health. It operates under the values of respect, courage, collaboration, innovation and integrity. Pathfinder International is located in 20 countries including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt and Mozambique.
  5. Madre
    Madre is a women’s rights organization that specifically works with smaller organizations fighting for women’s rights in war-torn nations. It focuses on three specific issues. These are gender violence, climate justice and “Just Peace,” which is meant to provide women with an opportunity to recover from the experiences they had and work toward a more peaceful world. In order to work with these three specific causes, Madre uses three strategies—grantmaking, capacity building and legal advocacy. These three strategies bring women into the conversation and allow them the opportunity to enact change, support one another and give them an opportunity to take part in policymaking. Some of the countries Madre reaches include Guatemala, Colombia, Haiti, Nicaragua, Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Kenya.

– Sydney Toy
Photo: Flickr

When it comes to encouraging global change, advocacy groups are an essential piece of the puzzle. Advocacy groups and non-governmental organizations (NGO) are organizations that support a cause politically, legally, or through other means of facilitation. In the fight against global poverty, and many other worldwide maladies, here are four NGO advocacy groups.

Advocates for International Development

Advocates for International Development, otherwise known as Lawyers Eradicating Poverty, is an advocacy group and charity that supports global change through a legal lens. This organization recognizes that developing nations may not have proper access to legal expertise and that in order to secure sustainable development, legal services need to be available everywhere.

Advocates for International Development provides pro bono legal advice, access to lawyers and law firms, law and development training programs and many more legal services. This organization’s reach has spread to over 100 legal jurisdictions worldwide, with a network of over 53,000 lawyers at the NGO’s disposal.

With its goals based on recent U.N. initiatives, Advocates for International Development aims to see the world ridden of extreme poverty by 2030.


MADRE advocates for female involvement in policy-making and legislative decisions worldwide. MADRE also provides grants and donations to smaller women’s advocacy groups, having donated over $52 million to those groups since MADRE’s founding in 1983. This organization recognizes unequal representation in legal processes across the globe and fights to ensure that society hears all voices.

MADRE also works alongside the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law to provide quality legal services to women in need. Together, these entities use law-based advocacy to ensure the international security of human rights and to correct any human rights violations.

As of 2019, MADRE and CUNY School of Law have drafted a successful treaty, demanding the redefinition of gender in the eyes of the United Nations General Assembly’s Sixth Committee. This redefinition will pose to protect the rights of all genders in future international human rights disputes.

The Global Health Council

The Global Health Council advocates for global health awareness and legislation to pass through the U.S. Congress. On top of securing strong global health policies, this organization focuses on preventing premature death in children and adolescents worldwide. The Global Health Council also facilitates smaller organizations, working with them to achieve goals beyond the scope of U.S. Congress.

The Global Health Council is one of the world’s largest membership-based global health advocacy groups. This organization has over 100,000 members, with branches in over 150 countries. With the help of the Global Health Council and all its members, infant mortality has reduced by 50 percent worldwide and maternal mortality has reduced by 43 percent.

Amnesty International

Amnesty International is an NGO that advocates for the international security of basic human rights. Amnesty International gathers its information through direct research, sending crisis response teams across regions worldwide to record and report human rights violations. From this organization’s research, activists gain the necessary fuel to push for the protection of human rights everywhere.

One of the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization, Amnesty International has more than seven million members and offices in more than seventy nations. For upwards of fifty years, this organization has been an essential consultant to the United Nations for international human rights policies.

Amnesty International has made major humanitarian strides, such as helping free 153 falsely imprisoned people worldwide in 2018 alone, and influence international laws surrounding refugees, the death penalty and many other human rights issues.

There are countless more organizations worldwide fighting to make the world a better place. These four NGO advocacy groups are just a few examples of what public support and mobilization can achieve.

– Suzette Shultz
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Global Women's Rights OrganizationsIn the fight for global poverty, we must also examine the fight for global women’s rights. In fact, giving women equality and empowering them to use it is a key to a world where global poverty is abolished. This is the case because as the amount of women in the workforce increases, so does overall productivity. It is also proven that when women have more say over the household spending, it can enhance a country’s growth prospects because women tend to spend money in a way that benefits children in their education. Lastly, empowering women to be leaders allows for more diversity among people who are creating social policy, which will allow different topics to be addressed, such as greater provision of public goods.

So while organizations that directly target ending global poverty are important, it is equally as important to recognize global women’s rights organizations for the world-altering work that they do. Here are five organizations that are taking part in the fight for global women’s rights and in turn helping to reduce global poverty.

Global Fund for Women
The Global Fund for Women is an organization founded in 1987 by Anne Firth Murray, Frances Kissling, Laura Lederer and Nita Barrow. They believed that women’s rights are the key to social, economic and political change. The Global Fund for Women finds and gives funding to women who are building social movements and challenging societal norms.

MADRE is an organization that is “demanding rights, resources and results for women worldwide.” They partner with community-based women’s groups that are facing disaster and advocate for human rights. Some of their missions include ending violence against women, ending rape as a weapon of war, economic justice, women’s health and emergency relief.

Campaign for Female Education (Camfed)
Camfed is a non-profit that supports and empowers young girls in rural areas to go to school and even become leaders. Their efforts specifically focus on sub-Saharan Africa, and since 1993 the organization has helped 1,876,214 students to go to school.

The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
AWID is a global feminist organization. The objective of AWID is to strengthen the collective voice of women to create global change. Their priority areas are women’s rights, challenging religious fundamentalists, promoting young feminist activism and economic justice.

International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC)
The IWHC views women’s rights as a key component of social, environmental and economic reform. Their goal is to ensure that all women have equal access to resources to protect their health, make informed family planning decisions, and participate in society through leadership roles.

All of these organizations are doing important work to address specific goals on the path to global women’s rights. By improving the lives of women all over the world, they also play a major role in alleviating poverty as a whole.

Téa Franco
Photo: Flickr

MADRE: An Organization for Women Across the World
MADRE is an organization fighting for the rights and empowerment of women worldwide that has been around for more than 30 years. It began when a group of U.S. women from a variety of backgrounds returned from Nicaragua in the ’80s in the midst of the Contra War.

Upon arrival back in the U.S., their mission was to spread awareness about issues facing Nicaraguan women and to improve domestic policies regarding women’s rights.

There are two different strategies that MADRE uses: partnering with local organizations that stand for human rights and advocating for the international law to be held accountable.

The New York-based organization has projects and partners around the globe, in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Haiti, Colombia, Kenya, Palestine, Syria and Iraq. The work MADRE is doing in each country differs, but it all comes down to the same goals of raising women up and helping them find lasting solutions to whatever issues they may face.

MADRE was recently featured in an article on the United Nations Women website for one of its projects in Nicaragua in which women use talk radio to discuss gender violence. MADRE received a grant from the United Nations for the project. The radio station has the sole focus of women’s rights and is the first of its kind in the region.

MADRE stands strong as an organization that is advocating on the behalf of women to end violence and rape, maintain gender and sexual minority rights and increase access to emergency aid.

According to the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRDIC ), “MADRE works towards a world in which all people enjoy the fullest range of individual and collective human rights; in which resources are shared equitably and sustainably; in which women participate effectively in all aspects of society; and in which people have a meaningful say in decisions that affect their lives.”

Shannon Elder

Photo: Flickr