World Vision believes that ending extreme poverty is possible, but it won’t happen as long as half the population is held back from reaching their full potential. Strong and empowered women and girls create a stronger world.

The evidence is indisputable, when girls and women get equal access and opportunity - progress is accelerated, families are stronger, and communities are more prosperous.

The reality is, women and girls living in poverty face significant barriers in every area of their lives. That’s why we focus on equipping and empowering women and girls in every aspect of our work. In fact, no matter which area of World Vision’s work you invest in, you are helping girls and women. It’s integrated into everything we do.

World Vision’s mission, strength, and holistic long-term community development approach uniquely enable us to propel meaningful and sustainable change - at scale, in the name of Jesus Christ. In everything we do, we seek to build people up, all people.

Why it matters

MChealth_Icon_Solid Pregnancy and childbirth are especially risky for women living in poverty. More than 300 thousand women die every year from pregnancy and birth-related complications – mostly due to the lack of basic health information and access to proper care. To make matters worse, 1/3 of the health clinics in the developing world do not have clean water. The challenges are magnified further as already weakened health systems struggle to continue providing basic health services while addressing COVID-19 with limited resources. (World Health Organization)

Water_Icon_Solid The global water crisis hits girls and women the hardest. From a young age, they are the water carriers. It’s estimated that women and girls spend 200 million hours hauling water every day – lost hours that translate to significantly reduced opportunities for education and income. (UNICEF)

CP_Icon_Solid Cultural practices and harmful traditions hurt girls and women the most. Forced child marriage, female genital mutilation, and early pregnancy are still prevalent. In the least developed countries, 41% of girls under 18 are already married, and the economic impacts of COVID-19 suggest early marriage will increase further. And today, 5 million girls under the age of 15 are still at risk of female genital mutilation. (UNICEF, World Health Organization)

EE_Icon_Solid Female entrepreneurs and farmers are not as well served as their male counterparts by the financial services needed to grow and improve a small farm or business. An estimated 1 billion women do not have access to financial services (World Bank).

ED_Icon_Solid Girls and women are more likely to be illiterate. In fact, two thirds of the world's 750 million adults without literacy skills are women. With schools closed and limited access to remote learning tools, girls may be even more likely to drop out altogether. (UNESCO)


In emergency and refugee situations, more than 70% of women have experienced gender-based violence. Due to COVID-19, incidences of gender-based violence have increased. (World Bank)

Creating environments for rightful relationships between girls and boys and women and men is the path to long-term, sustainable change that will end extreme poverty.

Edgar Sandoval Sr. President, World Vision U.S.

My commitment to Strong Women Strong World and the amazing work being done has deepened through the years as I have witnessed firsthand the impact World Vision is making in the lives of women, girls, and entire communities. But I also know there is more work to be done. The time is now to respond to these needs and move toward sustainable change for women and girls born into poverty.

Kathleen Treat Founder and President, Speranza Foundation and SWSW Chair


Strong Women Strong World confronts injustice and tackles broken systems to equip girls and women to rewrite their stories, becoming powerful change agents that transform their families and communities.

The movement is a response to the needs of women and girls living in poverty in developing countries. We’re focused on sustainable, community-driven, long-term solutions in health, water, protection, education, and economic opportunity — combined with sharing God’s love. This frees women and girls to achieve their potential and build healthier families and communities.

We are a:

  • Catalyst to provide a voice and resources for women and girls who would otherwise pass their struggles on to their children
  • Connection for women and men worldwide who recognize that women’s empowerment and gender equity is the key to lasting social change and want to use their personal resources and networks to support this change
  • Community committed to mobilizing others to come together to empower women and girls to live life in all its fullness, reaching their God-given potential.

Your involvement in Strong Women Strong World sustainably transforms lives for good. To learn more about the Strong Women Strong World movement, please contact us at swsw@worldvision.org

Our Approach

World Vision is a multi-disciplined organization with decades of experience and demonstrated impact. Because of our holistic and integrated approach, we are uniquely equipped to drive positive change in every area of a woman’s life.

In the last four years, we’ve reached more than 8 million women and girls with information, access, and tools to live healthier, safer, and more productive lives. Here’s how:


In our Mother and Child Health Signature Initiative work, we prioritize pregnant women by    proactively sharing vital information and care throughout the first 1,000 days of her baby’s life - from conception up to the child’s second birthday -  because this is when the risks are greatest to both the mom and her baby.

We deliver this life-saving information and care through World Vision Community Health        Workers.  These local women and men are trained and supported to reach the people in their own neighborhoods.  Today, we have more than 220,000 CHWs in 48 countries.

Video: A Solution that is Saving Lives, Video: Water in Healthcare Facilities


World Vision is the leading non-governmental provider of clean water in the developing          world, reaching one new person with clean water every 10 seconds.  Clean water—close to homeis freeing up time for millions of girls and women to reach their full potentialto pursue an education, learn a trade, care for themselves and their families better, or start a business. 

Video: Women's Empowerment


Our Child Protection work gets to the roots of injustice for girl children by helping to shift long-held mindsets, traditions, and cultural norms. Our interactive programs engage parents, community leaders, parents, faith leaders, and the children themselves to challenge the status-quo and work together to make change that benefits everyone.

Cultural practices and harmful traditions hurt girls and women the most. Forced child marriage, female genital mutilation, and early pregnancy are still prevalent. In the least developed countries, 41% of girls under 18 are already married, and the economic impacts of COVID-19 suggest early marriage will increase further. And today, 5 million girls under the age of 15 are still at risk of female genital mutilation. (UNICEF, World Health Organization).  Learn more about World Vision’s Kenya Big Dream project here.

Video: A Donor's Story - Margo Day


We are committed to women in our Economic Empowerment work as well. We work with smallholder farmers to optimize their small plots of land - many of whom are women - and we provide access to financial services like savings, credit, and insurance. VisionFund International, our microfinance arm had 1.2 million clients in 2017, and 72% of them were women. The repayment rate was 98%.

Video: Ireen's Story


Our Education work focuses on equal access to safe and quality schools, improving literacy for all children, and programs that help keep girls in school.


We partner with local faith leaders to address gender inequity and abuse.


We reduce the vulnerability of women and girls to disaster by engaging them as full and equal partners in disaster planning and ensuring equitable access to relief services.

Video: Disaster and Refugee Response featuring Patricia Heaton

Our Impact


women of child-bearing age gained access to maternal and child health and nutrition services (does not include children under 5)


women and girls gained access to clean water close to home, significantly reducing the time they spend walking and hauling water


women gained access to financial services, savings groups, agricultural training, technology, and markets

Beneficiaries reached October 2015 - March 2020

Our Partners

PGGlobal ImpactImago Dei FundJStreet  Golf Fore AfricaUNC_system_logo

speranza-foundationUrbanStrategies-Logoaspen_logoTraveling-Coachescwh-logo cwh-logo

Our team of experts

Kathryn Compton
Chief Development Officer, Strong Women Strong World
Dr. Jacqueline Ogega
Director, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI)
Dr. Greg Allgood
Vice President for Water
Christopher Shore
Chief Development Officer, Economic Empowerment
Shelby Benson
Vice President, PQI
Mona Davies
Senior Program Manager, Food Security and Livelihoods


2019 Photo Book | Strong Women Strong World Event, New York

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