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Facing the threats and finding solutions
Women and girls across the globe face threats — trafficking, prostitution, violence, discrimination — every day of their lives. But hope endures. Brave men and women have developed innovative ways of helping those living in some of the most challenging conditions.
A girl in India is on the brink of being sold into the commercial sex trade. A young mother in Somaliland may die giving birth. In Sierra Leone, a girl has been raped and must confront the norms of her community. A women whose husband abused her now helps those suffering at the hands of their spouses.
These are the stories of individuals who represent hundreds of millions of women and girls around the world who are victimized and abused, denied access to education, medicine or property, prevented from reaching their full potential and contributing in more meaningful ways to their communities. These are stories of dehumanizing violence and discrimination. But these are also stories of struggle and victories, large and small, in the face of the longest odds.
A women whose husband abused her now helps those suffering at the hands of their spouses. With a book, a teenage girl in Vietnam takes the first steps towards breaking the cycle of grinding poverty that plagues her family. Dozens of former impoverished individuals, seeking economic independence, band together to establish what will become Kenya's fastest-growing microfinance organization.
Each of these stories puts a human face to an otherwise abstract idea or string of statistics that could never convey the true human cost of the discrimination and abuse suffered by hundreds of millions. These stories also illuminate the spirit of perseverance that is embodied by the women and girls who face these violations each day, and those who have made it their life's mission to help them.
They represent every spectrum of society from North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa; a former prostitute, a child sex slave, a Microsoft executive, doctors, wives and mothers. Read the stories of these change agents who are working to improve the lives of women and girls in their own countries and across the world.Read more >>
Oppressive attitudes towards women are reflected in high maternal mortality rates in the developing world; medical experts say most pregnancy-related deaths are preventable but treatment for impoverished women is extremely limited.Read more >>
Forced prostitution preys on the voiceless and marginalized, constituting a global crime that goes largely unnoticed. At any given moment, an estimated 2.4 million people are victims of human trafficking. Nearly half are being used for commercial sex.Read more >>
The victimization of women and girls is one of the most common, yet least visible forms of oppression. Its effects go beyond the bruises and the fear to tear at the very fabric that holds families and communities together.Read more >>
Families in Kolkata’s Kalighat red light district struggle to break a tradition of prostitution passed down from mothers to daughters.Read more >>
Women have historically borne the burden of poverty worldwide, falling far behind men in access to land, credit and employment.Read more >>
Educating the world’s girls and women is one of the best social development investments to be made. But despite gains in access to education, keeping girls in school remains a struggle in the developing world.Read more >>
Violence and discrimination against women and girls will never entirely disappear, but any success, no matter how small, is another step towards equality.Read more >>