Women and Girls Women and Girls

When one woman overcomes poverty, she brings four others with her

When one woman overcomes poverty, she brings four others with her

Women and girls bear the brunt of poverty. Too often girls miss out on school, women face violence, do not have secure, paid jobs, and die needlessly during pregnancy and childbirth. Your support will go to countries where women don’t have equal opportunities. By 2018 we will help 430,000 women have greater access to economic resources.

gender-equality-icon-400Fast facts

  • 60% of the world’s working poor are women.
  • 90% of countries have at least one measure which restricts women’s economic opportunities.
  • 1 in 5 women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.
  • 1 in 9 girls in developing countries is forced into marriage before her 15th birthday.
  • In every region, women do the bulk of unpaid work such as caregiving and household tasks.

Why empower women and girls?

We cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities. That’s why we put women and girls at the heart of our work. It’s a wise investment, because our experience shows that when women are healthy and educated, their families will be too. And when women earn money, they invest it in the health and education of their children and families. When one woman escapes poverty, she will bring four others with her – that’s a powerful way to create lasting change. CARE empowers women and girls to build a more equal world.

“I think about struggle, injustice, violence and hunger. I also imagine many children whose lives are dependent on the welfare of their mothers. I then think about how someone who is facing so many obstacles can still be so determined in continuing to enjoy life as it is.” – Madiha.
To read more, go to ‘I am a Woman in South Sudan’.

How is CARE empowering women and girls?

  • making sure girls can go to school as well as boys
  • training women so they can earn an income
  • helping women own assets like livestock so they can earn a living
  • helping women to save money for when it’s most needed
  • teaching women about their legal rights and working with employers as well
  • helping women get vital healthcare and keep their babies safe during pregnancy and birth
  • helping men and women discuss their roles in the community
  • working with men and boys to break down stereotypes

Other Resources and Highlights

Earning an income

Our programs also help support women to earn an income through skills development and provision of access to income-earning assets like livestock and microfinance.

  • Women in Timor-Leste are building and maintaining roads through a CARE project and using their income to buy cows and start small businesses.
  • In Myanmar, we’re assisting women to establish livestock banks and savings and loans schemes to increase their household incomes.
  • We’re educating women in Laos about their legal rights and working with employers, lawyers, and other ‘duty bearers’ to ensure women’s rights are understood and respected.

Preventing gender-based violence (GBV)

Gender-based violence is both a cause and a consequence of poverty and gender inequality. CARE is committed to supporting the empowerment of poor women and girls in their challenges to confront gender-based violence, which affects at least one in three women worldwide.

  • Our programs in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo include forums for men and women to discuss issues that contribute to gender-based violence. The approach uses personal stories of change to help men in the community work towards non-violent and more equal relationship with women and girls.
  • In Nepal, our ‘Reflect Centers’ provide useful meeting places for women to learn about their rights, challenge caste discrimination, and gain access to essential information.
  • In Burundi, we’re supporting the building of a movement of male activists across the country. There are now more than 1,000 male activists called ‘abatangamuco’ or ‘those who bring light to where there is darkness’. Having abandoned violence, the men then share their personal stories of positive change with the community.

Challenging Gender-based Violence Worldwide

An evaluation of CARE's efforts to tackle gender-based violence (GBV) worldwide

We’ve been supporting girls' education in Afghanistan for more than 19 years. ©CARE


We’re working to increase women’s access to leadership and training opportunities. Some of our leadership work includes:

  • Delivering literacy, numeracy, and life-skills training in Laos to encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and discussion around the roles of men and women in the community.
  • Establishing and supporting village-based clubs for women in Vietnam to learn and discuss agricultural and farming techniques and broader social issues.
  • Training women in conflict resolution in Timor-Leste, allowing them to play a critical role in the peace process.