Two out of three. Two-thirds of the people who live in poverty around the world are women. And this should concern us all.
Empowering women strengthens us all. Here are just some of the facts –
- When there is an increase in the proportion of women in the labor force, countries see accelerated economic growth, and more money is spent on children’s needs.
- Giving women farmers more resources has the potential to reduce the number of hungry people in the world by between 100 and 150 million.
- For every one additional year of school a girl receives, the chance that her future child will die before the age of five decreases by 9.5 percent; if all girls had secondary education, the rate of child marriage could fall by 64 percent globally.
- When women are included in peace processes and negotiations, there is a 20 percent greater chance the agreement will last two years and a 35 percent greater chance that an agreement will last 15 years.
Because it is clear that helping women helps us all, the United States has a long history of using this knowledge and funding programs that involve empowering women, including Feed the Future, Let Girls Learn, Saving Mothers, Giving Life, and the PEPFAR DREAMS program to counter factors that increase girls’ HIV risk, including poverty, sexual violence, and lack of education. This is just a very tiny fraction of what is done with less than 1% of the U.S. federal budget.
These programs do good. They are essential for building sustainable communities, strong partners for the U.S., and saving lives. United States foreign assistance is implemented through trusted partners, including World Vision – and it is expected that in the upcoming proposed budget, these programs will be cut by as much as 40%.
International Women’s Day is more than a day. It is a time to universally recognize both achievements of, and injustices towards, women and girls. It is also a day to take action and #BeBoldForChange. Contact your members of Congress, because the world cannot afford these cuts that will keep us from moving forward, together.
Ask Congress to reject any proposed cuts to foreign assistance programs. Personalize the email about why this issue is important to you. Feel free to make edits and additions to highlight what you think is most important.
Photo: Rosemary, an 8-year-old girl dreams of being a chef because she loves to serve people. She also loves science and math. © 2016 World Vision/ photo by Jon Warren