Seven ways to empower women and girls

International Women’s Day was March 8. Below are a few ways you can make a difference in the lives of women and girls around the world and here in the United States.

Photo by Ratana Lay.
Published March 7, 2012 at 12:00am PST

As we observe International Women’s Day on March 8, here are seven easy ways to make a big difference in the lives of daughters, sisters, and mothers around the world — and right in our own neighborhoods.

Save a woman’s life in childbirth

Did you know that in countries like Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, and Bolivia, having a baby is one of the most dangerous things a woman can do? By helping to train local midwives in remote communities, you could save a life. Learn more here.

Use your voice to fight human trafficking

Human trafficking and sexual exploitation affects girls and women in horrific ways all around the world, but the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in the U.S. Senate can help end the practice. Contact your senators and ask them to renew this bill, which helps protect vulnerable women and girls, here in the United States and around the world. 

Invest in a small business owner 

Through World Vision Micro, you can connect with hardworking women entrepreneurs who are waiting to realize their dream of building or expanding a successful business. A small loan is all they need. Even better, when the loan is paid off, your donated funds are recycled again and again to help more people and make a bigger impact.

Mentor a girl close to home

A growing poverty rate, poor-performing schools, and teen violence make it tough to be a girl growing up in the United States. Reach out and influence the life of a young girl in your own community by volunteering as a tutor or mentor. One way to establish a mentorship is through Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

Provide the ticket to education: clean water

Girls in poor communities often miss school because of a lack of clean water in their village. Instead of attending class, millions of girls and women are forced spend several hours each day fetching water that is often dirty and dangerous to their health. Help provide the gift of clean water, and open the door to education for a young girl.

Band together with like-minded women

Whatever your passion for helping other women, you’ll do it better — and have more fun doing it — with other women excited about the same cause. National movements like Women of Vision can connect you to a network of resources while allowing you to grow your own local group of women who want to make the world better for girls and their mothers.

Tell the women in your life that you care

Empowering women starts right in our families, workplaces, and neighborhoods. Celebrate this International Women’s Day by writing a note of thanks to that teacher who encouraged you years ago, picking up coffee for that new mom in your office who’s struggling to balance it all, or telling your own sister, daughter, or mother how much you appreciate them.