Women across the Globe

Whether it be conflict zones, displacement camps, or impoverished communities, a constant remains: When living conditions worsen for entire communities, women experience higher rates of gender-based violence.

In destitute circumstances, many women are left widowed, making them the sole providers for their children and families. Their hardships are made even more severe given a limited female presence in the labor market coupled with limited education and work experience.

These realities trail back to the notable African proverb: “If you educate a man, you educate one person. If you educate a woman, you educate a nation.” Providing opportunities and resources, whether they be educational, vocational, or basic necessities, oftentimes benefits women, their families, and their communities. The United Nations reports that women invest 90% of their income back into their families, while men typically invest around 35%.

Moreover, UN Women states that empowering women is essential to establishing peace and economic stability and development across regions. Women are the world’s greatest—and oftentimes most untapped—resource.

How IRUSA Works to Empower Women Worldwide

Islamic Relief USA dedicates a tremendous amount of resources towards projects focused on the education, health, safety, and livelihood of women and girls around the world. Here’s a closer look at some of the ways IRUSA works to serve women in need across the globe:

  • In Africa
    • Providing livelihood support to women in Somalia
    • Humanitarian assistance to displaced women in South Sudan
    • Working with faith-based leaders in Liberia to prevent violence against women
    • Strengthening maternal and neonatal health care in Kenya
  • In Asia
    • Home-based education for women in Afghanistan
    • Health care and hygiene awareness sessions for underprivileged widows
    • Providing emergency support to female refugees from Myanmar
  • In the Middle East
    • Providing pregnant women with emergency nutrition services in Yemen
    • Entrepreneurial training for women in Palestine
  • In the United States
    • Combating domestic violence in states like Michigan, New York, and Georgia
    • Providing opportunities and resources to at-risk Muslim women in Texas and New York
    • Offering support to refugee women, some of whom are single mothers, in Georgia and Texas

*Please note that this is just a brief overview of IRUSA’s women-focused projects around the globe, and does not indicate the full, detailed scope of our programs.

Facts and Figures on Global Women’s Issues

  • There are approximately 774 million illiterate adults in the world, two-thirds of whom are women. Of the 123 million illiterate youth worldwide, 76 million are female. (UNESCO, 2019)
  • Globally, more than 60 million girls and young women get married before they turn 18. Some of them are as young as ten years old. These girls and young women are even more at risk for gender-based violence. (Women’s Refugee Commission, 2019)
  • Over 2.7 billion women around the world are legally restricted from having the same jobs as men. (World Bank, 2018)
  • 80% of the time, women and girls are responsible for collecting water when access to water in their communities is limited. Their safety and hygiene management is more at risk, and this practice also restricts the time girls have to go to school. (UN Women, 2018)
  • Every day, around 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. 99% of these deaths occur in developing countries. (World Health Organization, 2018)
  • Globally, 1 in 3 women will experience some form of gender-based violence in their lifetime. (World Health Organization, 2017)
  • More than 130 million girls around the world are not enrolled in secondary school. (UNESCO, 2016)

International Women's Day, March 8

Every year on March 8—International Women’s Day—Islamic Relief USA joins humanitarians around the world to celebrate the achievements of women, and to draw attention to the numerous struggles women still face every single day. While International Women’s Day is one day, we at IRUSA honor and recognize women every day.

Here’s how YOU can be a part of the globe-wide effort:

We can’t wait for you to get involved…and don’t forget to use the hashtag #IWD2019 and tag @IslamicReliefUSA 😉