In some countries, a cultural preference for sons means that daughters are less likely to survive until birth and may be neglected, abandoned, or even killed if they do. Viewed as less valuable than boys, girls who do survive infancy are more likely to be kept home from school and may be the last to receive food or medical care when resources are scarce. As they become women, many girls have limited opportunities and are often treated as property, receiving the message that they cannot have equitable partnerships with — and have less worth than — men and boys.
Women and girls in developing countries are often subjected to poverty and oppression as a result of traditional practices and worldviews that are harmful to their gender. Many are not entitled to own property or inherit land. Social exclusion, honor-based violence, female genital mutilation, trafficking, restricted mobility, and early marriage deny women and girls the right to health and increase the incidence of illness and death.
When women and girls are given opportunities to thrive and resources to care for their families, their children get the chance for a healthier childhood and a brighter future — a change that bears fruit through generations. We must act now to secure a better future for the world’s girls and women.
By empowering girls and women to change their stories, we can help change the future — creating an environment in which they are respected, valued, and equipped to transform the world by helping to solve the challenges in their own communities.
Through the involvement of STRONG WOMEN STRONG WORLD partners, World Vision seeks to empower millions of women and girls in the following ways:
WATER: Provide access to clean water, improved sanitation, and hygiene training to improve health and reduce the distance traveled to collect water.
ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT: Equip women with vocational training and small business loans to generate income.
MOTHER AND CHILD HEALTH: Reduce maternal and infant deaths and illness by increasing access to healthcare and offering nutrition education.
EDUCATION: Support learning for girls by providing access to equitable and quality education, and improving literacy and life skills.
CHILD PROTECTION: Raise awareness about girls’ inherent value and fundamental human rights, and advocate for stronger laws to reduce the incidence of child marriage, human trafficking, and gender-based violence.
CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP: Partner with local faith leaders to address gender inequity and abuse.
EMERGENCY RELIEF: 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.
I have seen firsthand the impact that my investment has made in the lives of women, their children, and entire communities. My commitment to Strong Women Strong World and the amazing work being done has deepened through the years as I have witnessed the success that has been experienced thus far.
Kathleen Treat Founder and President, Speranza Foundation and chair of Strong Women Strong World
When girls are educated and healthy and can avoid early marriage, unwanted pregnancy, and HIV, they can contribute fully to society.
Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin Executive Director, UN Population Fund