Women for Women International

May 10, 2010 at 8:47 pm Leave a comment

I volunteer for Women for Women International, a group that offers programs for women in conflict zones – such as Iraq, Sudan, and Afghanistan – aimed at helping them evolve from victims to survivors to active citizens. According to WfWI’s “About Us” page:

Why Women?

Around the world, women face some of the greatest obstacles yet also represent tremendous opportunity for lasting social and economic development. Globally, women face the following challenges:

-They bear a disproportionate burden of the world’s poverty (they represent 70 percent of the world’s poor)

-Their ability to have a decent life is limited (they perform 66 percent of the world’s work and produce 50 percent of the food but they only earn 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property)

-Investment in women is inadequate (recent data shows that only 3.6% of overseas development assistance was earmarked for gender equality (UNIFEM). And for every dollar of development assistance, two cents goes to girls (Girl Effect).

-During and after conflict, women are particularly vulnerable to violence and exploitation (About 70% of casualties in recent conflicts are women and children (UNIFEM) and the forms of violence they experience include torture, rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution and mutilation (UN)

An average Women for Women International participant faces the following challenges:

-She has limited access to electricity and water (99% of participants in Sudan)

-She is not educated (96% of participants in Afghanistan)

-She is not engaged in productive work (90% of participants in Iraq)

-She is not able to pay for medical care (66% of participants in Afghanistan)

-She is not able to change customs and traditions that are not fair to her (94% of participants in the DRC)

For more information: http://www.womenforwomen.org

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