10 women working around the world

Whether it’s on farms, in businesses or in the home, women make remarkable contributions to their community.

From South Sudan to Syria , Ecuador to India— see what ‘work’ looks like for women around the world.

1. India

For 23 year-old mother-of-two Kavita, going to work was only ever a dream — until she enrolled herself in a three-month plastics engineering course. Today, Kavita holds a certificate that guarantees her a job in the niche plastic engineering industry. She’s also the first woman in her family to look for work in Haryana, a state with one of the lowest female workforce participation rates in India.

This project is supported by the Government of India and the Disha project — a partnership between the India Development Foundation, UNDP and Xyntéo, supported by IKEA Foundation.

2. Syria

A brutal civil war hasn’t stopped Fatima from working on her tomato farm. With a drip irrigation, fertilizer, seeds and material to construct a greenhouse — provided by UNDP — Fatima can continue to make a living and run an energy-efficient farm at the same time.

3. South Sudan

Juwa works with an all-female team in South Sudan. Her job? To clear unexploded bombs, shells and landmines left over from decades of civil war. Now that’s girl power.

4. Dominican Republic

How do you get through the aftermath of a severe storm? You make sure women are involved in the recovery.

With support from UNDP and its partners, local women in the Dominican Republic had the chance to develop skills in joinery and upholstery, helping to rebuild the communities and economy of Duarte, Barahona and surrounding areas after tropical storms Noel and Olga hit in 2007.

5. Tajikistan

In Tajikistan, Okhunova and Hodjaeva use a newly-constructed solar water heater — one they built themselves, with skills learnt through a UNDP workshop. With permanent access to warm water, they no longer have to spend hours gathering and burning materials to heat water for the house.

6. Nepal

Every morning, Khagisara wakes before the roosters crow. She loads up her bicycle with 264lbs of vegetables and cycles about four or five miles, delivering fresh produce door-to-door to many urban homes.

Thanks to the support of UNDP and the Nepali Government, Khagisara received entrepreneurship training, along with a bicycle and crates to carry the vegetables — which means she can now carry more vegetables than she did two years ago on foot.

7. Laos

Meet Chantavone — Laos’ first female bomb disposal expert. It’s a tough but important job. She’s responsible for ensuring her team of 40 are properly trained, fit and healthy — and that the equipment used meets all necessary standards.

“I have to make sure every job is done to perfection, and no detail is overlooked,” she says. “As a child, I heard many stories of people who had been injured — losing limbs and sometimes their lives. I wanted to do something to help.”

8. Ecuador

When a powerful earthquake devastated Ecuador in April 2016, women were a crucial part of the recovery effort. Nothing stood in the way of their determination to rebuild their community, and their lives.

UNDP works with governments around the world to ensure that opportunities for women, like employment, are considered in any recovery — because when you create equal opportunities for women, the chances of a full recovery after a disaster are much higher.

9. Haiti

Imagine being responsible for transporting much-needed fruit and vegetables between provinces and across borders. That’s the responsibility of many women in Haiti. UNDP works with local communities and governments to ensure women have the opportunity to participate in — and make a positive impact on — global trade.

10. Kosovo

In Kosovo, discrimination against women working in fields like engineering and computer science is a constant reality.

Blerta wanted to change that — so she started up her own NGO, Girls Coding Kosova. With support from UNDP and other agencies, she’s trained more than 500 Kosovan women in coding and computer programming. Blerta is breaking down traditional gender stereotypes, working hard to ensure girls are not discriminated against once they graduate and try to find work.