10 initiatives fighting for gender equality you should know, share and replicate

UN SDG Action Campaign
Mar 7 · 7 min read

March 8th is the International Women’s Day. To mark this day, we want to celebrate those who are fighting for gender equality around the world, which is one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These determined women and men are playing a key role locally and globally to empower women, give them access to public services — like health and education — , end violence discrimination based on gender, and eliminate the structural inequalities that women and girls have to deal with throughout their lives.

Some of these figures might help understand why this goal is so important to achieve: One in five women and girls around the world have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner with the last 12 months; 750 million women and girls were married before the age of 18; at least 200 million women and girls in 30 countries have undergone FGM (female genital mutilation); women are just 13 per cent of agricultural land holders; only 52 per cent of women married or in a union freely make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use and health care/

2019’s International Women’s Day theme is “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change” and we want to celebrate those in the SDG community who are making great strides towards achieving Goal 5, which aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Take a look at these initiatives, share their stories and successes and join in the action to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality.

CASA DE LA MUJER INDÍGENA “MAK UJHANI” — Mexico

She is an activist, and artisan, an Otomí cultural manager, an official Otomí-Spanish translator, the administrator of the “Casa de la Mujer Indígena” and a mother of four. Angélica Ruiz Félix, an otomí indigenous woman from Queretaro, Mexico, is the administrator of the House of Indigenous Woman “Casa de la Mujer Indígena ´Mak Ujhani´” (CAMI) and was one of the finalists of the 2018 UN SDG Action Awards for her work on integrating technology education into their programs.

I want to inspire other women to know there are no limits. No one can ever tell you: “how can you abandon your children to study”. Achieving all my goals is a dream come true. If I can do it, other women also can”.

CAMI is a center run by women trained as promoters, facilitators and traditional doctors, who center their work on the prevention and eradication of violence against women. Apart of the help they provide to women in the form of prevention, follow ups on cases, they have reflection workshops with men, and raise awareness among public service providers on women’s rights.

Find out more about the initiative here.

YOUTH POWER ACCOUNTABILITY ADVOCATES — Ghana

Richard Dzikunu was one of the 2018 UN SDG Action Award’s winners for his work on sexual education in Ghana.

Taking action for gender equality is not important only for women, but for society as a whole. Men joining in on this issue is important and Richard Dzikuno knows it.

His initiative, Youth Power Accountability Advocates, provided Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) to over 1,000 teenagers and educated 40 rural mothers on maternal health in Ghana. Since winning the award, he became a Global Health Corp Fellow in Washington D. C., where he is an advocacy associate in a primary care initiative, where he is still focusing on young people’s sexuality.

“As a young man, I have come to learn that the basis for our development, social, political or economical development, lays on promoting women’s rights, but also supporting the sexual and reproductive rights of girls. When you invest in these rights, girls are able to stay in school, obtain an education, be employed and earn an income and end the cycle of poverty. Investing in a girl’s right is ensuring that you’re investing in the well being of your country”.

Find out more about the initiative here.

PROJECT VAYATI — India

Project Vayati is an initiative that supports transgender people finding jobs in the formal sector. It is an effort of inclusion and equality aimed at a community that has been historically marginalized for their gender identity and excluded out of the mainstream workforce and into informal work, many times into begging, sex work and other high risk situations.

In 2017, the company Egomonk collaborated with Solidarity Foundation and Interweave to support this project. The concept was simple: take 15 members of the LGBTQI community, give them an intense 12-day program at the Don Bosco Skills Mission in Bangalore, India, and help them secure jobs in the formal sector. All 15 of them did, with two of them becoming trainers in the program themselves.

Find more about this initiative here.

ZISO — Israel

Ziso is an architecture firm based in Tel Aviv, Israel, which designs spaces with sustainability, urban sociology and equality in mind.

They focus on projects that are focused on women’s rights such as schools for girls and support centers, and also have among their core beliefs that public and communal spaces must have women’s rights and safety as intrinsic part of the designs.

“As the world moves towards smaller private spaces and larger public and commune spaces including larger use of public transportaion, we believe that those spaces must be safe for women, and this can only be achieved with women being part of the planning team”.

Find out more about this initiative here.

NOSOTRAS: WOMEN CONNECTING — Costa Rica

Strong role models, leaders and heroes. All women. That’s what this initiative wants to give girls and women in Costa Rica. It’s a platform that seeks to empower women and girls by connecting them with women in leadership positions and women entrepreneurs through mentorships and coaching sessions, a conference and an online platform.

Nosotras: Women Connecting works to fight for gender equallity, empowerment of women, to open opportunities for women in economic development, political participation and inclusive representation in the media. All part of the Goal 5 targets.

Find out more about this initiative here.

RRING PROJECT — Ireland

Gender equality is one of six pillars at the base of this project, which aims to promote Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), mutual learning and collaboration.

Responsible Research and Innovation Networking Globally (RRING) is is a global network working on responsible research and innovation in research that is aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They recognize that gender equality is a key part to have success in achieving the SDGs.

“ RRING strives to present the unique experiences of our female researchers to empower future researchers and innovators. With our project we are pursuing gender equality within academia and science”.

During the 2018 Global Day of Action they introduced a guide to promote gender equality throughout research processes and a series of readings and toolkits to help organizations implement this.

Find out more about this initiative here.

RADFA— Pakistan

RAFFA is a non profit organization that is lead by women. They are dedicated to promoting diversity and cultivating leadership to achieve equality in tribal areas of Pakistan.

The organization is also an outspoken advocate talking on social media about violence against women, education for girls and other issues.

Find out more about this initiative here.

GLOBAL GIRL POWER FOUNDATION — Canada

This organization provides resources, education, training and supports philanthropic projects across the globe to support and empower young girls and women.

Among Global Girl Power’s goals are to stand against violations of women’s rights, provide women in rural areas the means to have sustainable income and collaborate with other organizations that are working on these issues.

Find out more about this initiative here.

INTERNATIONAL WORKING LADIES — DR Congo

Working on the SDGs is also a matter that has to be taken up by the private sector. This company is taking on helping with SDG 5 by empowering women in Kinshasa.

International Working Ladies Group is built up on what they call “femcentric” companies and foundation that works as an incubator and accelerator for companies held by women.

One of the initiatives they have is a taxi company whose taxis are driven only by women.

Find out more about this initiative here.

SECRETARIA DA MULHER DE BARUERI— Brazil

The targets of Goal 5 include to ensure women’s full and effective participation at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life, as well as to increase the proportion of countries where the legal framework guarantees women’s equal rights.

This is why initiatives like the creation of a Women’s office within the city of Barueri (Brazil) are important. The office is responsible for proposing and coordinating public politics directed at women, preventing violations of women’s rights and developing studies and research about the situation of women within the city in order to create instruments from within the government to tackle these issues.

Find out more about this initiative here.

Do you know other initiatives that are leading the Action on the #SDGs and #GenderEquality?

Share them using

#Act4SDGs #WomensDay #GenderEquality

UN SDG Action Campaign

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Special initiative of the United Nations to scale up, broaden & sustain the global movement to take action for the SDGs. #Act4SDGs #MYWorld2030 #SDGGlobalFest

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