7 Ways You Can Take Action Right Now to Help Girls and Women
What #SheIsEqual is about and why it matters.
In Tanzania, two out of five girls are married before they’re 18. Everyday, 800 women die from pregnancy complications. 131 million girls are currently out of school and not receiving even a basic education.
These stats and many more like them are why Global Citizen has launched a new campaign called #SheIsEqual, with the goal of empowering women and girls around the world across a range of issues — education, legal protections, access to healthcare, and more. For the next six months, Global Citizens around the world can take meaningful action to help girls and women everywhere.
Here are the seven ways #SheIsEqual intends to make significant impact for girls and women, and how you can help.
1/ Promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights in conjunction with SheDecides.
Why it matters: 214 million women do not have access to contraceptives, and every day, over 800 women and girls die from pregnancy complications. Many of these deaths are because women cannot get access to services they need, including safe abortion. SheDecides is a global movement to increase political and financial support for sexual and reproductive health, so that every girl and woman can decide what to do with her body, with her life, and with her future. This right affects her personal development, her participation in society, her livelihood and whether her family and community thrives.
2/ Addressing neglected tropical diseases and their impact on women and girls.
Why it matters: Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of diseases that affect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, disproportionately targeting those living in the most remote, rural communities. In women, NTDs can complicate pregnancies and increase the risk of maternal deaths, affect the development and growth of children, and for NTDs that physically disfigure women, can cause loss of jobs and wages, and abandonment from families.
3/ Championing women’s economic empowerment.
Why it matters: When women do not have access to the money and assets necessary to move up the economic ladder, they become trapped in a cycle of poverty. Entrepreneurship is an effective vehicle to directly empower women, enabling women to build more assets, increase their income and economic independence, and escape gender-based violence.
4/ Tackling gender discrimination in the law and harmful practices against girls and women.
Why it matters: 90% of countries worldwide hold sexist laws on the books that discriminate against girls and women. From laws that stifle a woman’s ability to thrive economically and socially, to harmful norms and practices that see women and girls killed for “honor” and girls pulled out of school and forced into child marriage, tackling the root causes of gender inequality under the law is a global challenge that requires a global response.
5/ Prioritizing girls’ education including for refugees.
Why it matters: 131 million girls are currently out of school and not learning the basics. Women and girls are also disproportionately impacted by displacement and, in humanitarian crises or conflict situations, are particularly vulnerable. Yet women are often underserviced by refugee responses, despite their higher risks of exploitation, trafficking and safety concerns and, of the humanitarian responses, education receives less than 2% of all humanitarian aid.
6/ Support for water, sanitation and hygiene for women, particularly through menstrual hygiene.
Why it matters: Over half of the world’s entire population - or 4.5 billion people - lack access to clean water and sanitation. Yet girls and women are drastically and disproportionately impacted by this issue because without clean water and sanitation, they face physical and sexual violence, spend 200 million hours a day collecting water, miss out or dropout of school because they lack the resources and information necessary to manage their periods, and bear the brunt of caring for their family members who have fallen ill from drinking dirty water.
7/ Ending hunger and improving nutrition for women and girl
Why it matters: Women make up 60% of the world’s hungry. Women and girls are more vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition compared to men due to the proportion of women and girls living in poverty, their reproductive biology and the discrimination and exclusion they face in many parts of society.
Through the campaign, Global Citizen has a goal of securing over 20 new commitments by world leaders valued at $500 million to impact the lives of 20 million women and girls living in poverty.
But we can’t do this without you. Take action now to support girls and women everywhere and ensure that #SheIsEqual.