Women’s Empowerment Programs focus on enhancing the social, economic and political participation of women and girls. This is essential for promoting development and peace in all societies, and for the success of all nations, economies and companies.
Many organizations and individuals are pursuing this goal of improving the status of women in the world through various projects, campaigns, programs and initiatives. These include advocacies for gender equality and mental health, feminism and body positivity in the work environment, and support for women in STEM fields and education. Some are focused on addressing the issues of violence against women and girls, and others are taking on the difficult task of providing healthcare and aid to refugees and other vulnerable populations around the globe.
One of the most successful programs is the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEE) at SAP, which enables female employees to start their own businesses by offering them with seed capital and access to training. The program is currently running in more than a dozen countries and has helped more than 2,000 women become entrepreneurs. Another initiative is the Global Leadership Network, which offers a virtual platform that brings together women from different countries and backgrounds to collaborate on solving challenges in their communities.
The Summit Foundation believes that empowering women and girls is not just a moral imperative, but it is also good for business and society. When women have the ability to make choices in their lives, it results in better health outcomes, lower poverty rates, greater economic growth and more sustainable development. By transforming harmful, gender-based norms, the foundation hopes to empower women and girls so that they can be fully valued by their families and communities.
In addition to providing scholarships for girls in need, Mama Cash supports courageous groups and organizations that challenge injustices and demand change at the community, national and global levels. It does so through channeling funds, networking, capacity building and training. It is a great resource for anyone looking to get involved in this type of social activism.
Another organization that promotes women’s empowerment is the Girl Effect, which believes that empowering teen girls can stop poverty before it starts and improve the lives of their families and communities. Its philosophy is based on the idea that a girl’s greatest opportunity for growth and success is her education. The foundation aims to make a long-term difference by investing in the education of girls from the most vulnerable households and communities.
Feminist theory and practice has a depoliticizing tendency, because it does not directly confront the systems of oppression that women face in their everyday lives. This tends to happen when the feminist movement focuses on building relationships and encouraging women to share their stories, rather than planning strategies to approach oppressive structures. Some scholars have noted this depoliticizing aspect, and argue that feminist organizations should plan more strategically to address the structural inequality in their communities. This can be done by establishing mutually empowering alliances with partner organizations that have a common vision of confronting global systems of inequality.