Those of us who live in western countries are often very privileged compared to women in other countries. We have access to jobs, legal protection, social advantages and education. In some countries, women have to struggle to support their families and access basic services that we take for granted. So what can we do to help them? Here are some ways to support women and girls around the world …
One way to support women around the world is to campaign. Decide which issues matter most to you and look for an organisation that campaigns on those issues. Many groups work on issues like healthcare and education, and other issues that will make a real difference to women's lives.
2. Buy Fair Trade
Another way to help women is by purchasing items made by them. There are many initiatives that promote crafts made by women and help them to start a small business. By supporting these projects, you are putting money directly in their pockets, instead of boosting the profits of large companies. You'll also get a handmade item that will truly make a difference.
You could also take part in a fundraiser for a project to help women. There are so many different ways in which a fundraiser could help. It could support widows or children, women in prison, healthcare or education. Whether it's a one-off fundraiser or an ongoing project, make the money count by sending it to a project that will work directly with the women.
4. Practical Items
You could also supply or make practical items to help other women. Coping with menstruation is easy in countries where you can just pop to the shop and buy tampons. But what do women and girls do in countries that don't have easy access to sanitary supplies, or if they don't have funds to buy disposables? Days For Girls (daysforgirls.org) is a project that supplies reusable kits.
One way to help women in other countries is to ask them what you can do to help. Communicate with activists and campaigners. We may assume that we know how to help, yet what we think is helpful isn't what they want. Talk to women about what their needs are, what they hope to change, and what we in other countries can do to help them.
6. Join an Organisation
Many well-known charities work to improve the lives of women, but in order to carry out their work they need funds. By joining an organisation you will be helping to fund their work with your membership fee. Do check how much of the money goes towards the actual work though, as if it's swallowed up in admin costs you'd be better off sending your money to a grassroots organisation.
There are many ways that you can volunteer to help women in other countries even if you can't travel there. You could fundraise for a project, organise a discussion, or offer your services to help with a website.
So start doing what you can to help women in other countries. By supporting women who don't have access to the services that we do, we can help to make the world that bit better and help improve the lives of others. To give you a start, here is a list of organisations that work to help women (nytimes.com). What are you most grateful for as a woman?