Women around the world face gaps in education, healthcare and finances. While the situations of many women have improved in recent years, there are still many areas where women are far behind men. However, it is important to help these women. For example, literate mothers are 50 percent more likely to have children who survive past the age of five, and a girl with an extra year of education earns 20 percent more money as an adult, according to World Vision International.
So what can you do to make an impact? Here are four simple ways you can get involved in bettering the lives of women and girls around the world.
Making a difference starts with educating yourself on the issues. This enables you to share your thoughts with others and spread the message. There are many online resources with information on women's rights, including the Malala Fund, the National Organization for Women and the ACLU.
But don't stop there. Discuss what you've learned and get more people involved in making a difference. Through this process you also may find a specific part of women's issues that you are particularly interested in, such as education for girls or ending violence against women.
Shop at the Right Stores
A simple way to make a difference is to shop at stores that share your passion for helping women. The next time you go shopping, take a look at women's charity shops to directly benefit them. There also are a lot of fashion brands that are taking a stand, as you can read in this list from Harper's Bazaar. For example, for each piece of clothing sold by Rallier, a school uniform is donated to a girl in an underprivileged area. Another example is 31 Bits, which supports Ugandan women by providing jobs and a five-year program that includes financial education, healthcare and other services. By doing a little extra research, you can support some incredible organizations.
Invest in Microloans
Microloans are an amazing way to help female entrepreneurs across the world. Nonprofits such as Kiva work with people who are trying to turn their lives around by creating or expanding their businesses. Choose an area of the world and browse through hundreds of profiles of people seeking funding. For as little as $25 you can help a woman buy supplies, feed her farm animals or hire employees for her business. But this isn't a donation; it's a loan. The women work to repay the loan and do so at a high rate.
Volunteer and Donate
After all of these other steps to find your cause to help women, you also can make a donation to your favorite organizations. You can easily donate online or through your phone on most nonprofit websites. Be sure to use a device like the iPhone SE that has a fingerprint scanner, encryption and other protections so you can make secure donations. And just remember, whether you can donate $1,000 or $5, you're doing your part to make a difference in someone's life.
Women's issues are human issues. Take the time to educate yourself and make conscious decisions that will better your community and the world.