International Women’s Day is a crucial reminder of the ongoing struggle for gender equality and the need for continued action towards a world where women can realize their full potential. It highlights the achievements of women throughout history and calls for collective efforts to address the existing gender inequalities that continue to hold women back from achieving their dreams. A world where women go to work to create impact is not only a better world for women but also for everyone else. As we work towards more and higher impact work, we must recognize the importance of diverse perspectives and collaborate across sectors to create impact. As of today, 35% of the women who have gone through our open-enrollment programs are in leadership roles across the world; together as an organization we are working towards increasing that number.
What is more, our extended community of graduates, partner organizations, and faculty members are doing essential work towards the importance of gender equality; today we have chosen to highlight just a few:
Project Kal was founded by our faculty member Tena Pick in 2018 under the belief that an equal world is possible. The organization is committed to creating a gender-equal world by delivering impactful and scalable solutions to the issues of gender inequality and gender-based violence. They believe that girls, women, boys, and men all play an essential role in building a gender-equal society and are dedicated to responding to their needs through initiatives such as workshops to promote emotional expression, soft skills development, and becoming global citizens of tomorrow. Project Kal is also dedicated to supporting female entrepreneurs globally and believes that economic independence, female-run businesses, and innovation are the path to empowerment. The organization takes an intersectional approach to equality, responding to individual and corporate needs with professionalism and dedication to measurable social impact and tangible results. With a curriculum rooted in research, experience, and traditions, Project Kal aims to fight gender inequality and toxic masculinity and give individuals and groups the tools to build a brighter future.
She’s the First is an organization dedicated to empowering and educating girls globally. Their vision is a world where every girl chooses her future, and to achieve this, they focus on putting girls first. Unfortunately, girls all over the world are denied an education, told who and when to marry, and blocked from leadership. She’s the First believes in using a rights-based approach to tackle these issues and works to build coalitions with grassroots, girl-focused community-based organizations to create sustainable change for girls. Their programs include training in feminist mentorship, strong sexual and reproductive health, and rights education, and girl-centered programs, as well as providing flexible funding and a global network for practitioners. When girls are educated, respected, and heard, they earn more, are less likely to marry at an early age, plan motherhood, and contribute meaningfully to their communities. She’s the First is committed to making this a reality for every girl around the world.
GirlUp is a global movement of young women leaders working towards gender equality. In Brazil, they are committed to empowering girls and young women to become leaders and changemakers in their communities. Their organization believes that when girls have access to education, health, and safety, they have the power to transform their communities and the world. They provide girls with the necessary skills, resources, and confidence to lead and advocate for gender equality. Focusing on developing girls’ leadership abilities, promoting education, and advocating for policies that advance gender equality. GirlUp works with girls from diverse backgrounds and provides opportunities for them to engage in community service, attend leadership summits, and participate in advocacy campaigns. Their ultimate goal is to create a world where every girl has the opportunity to reach her full potential.
Aravani Art Project is a creative collective led by trans and cis women in India, advocating for the rights and visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. Their mission is to reduce discrimination and stigma in society by reclaiming public spaces through art projects and creating safe spaces for alternative voices to be heard. They aim to engage with the community through transformative public art, particularly in areas where violence, harassment, social negligence, and pressure toward transgender individuals are prevalent. The collective seeks to reshape the politics of inclusion and exclusion surrounding gender identities, and they recognize the need for support and exposure of the transgender community worldwide. Through art-making, they hope to provide an alternative source of income and raise community awareness, while also preserving cultural nuances and archiving the experiences and practices of the community. The collective collaborates with other communities, companies, government institutions, and fellow societies to create a space for social participation and safe conversations, instilling a sense of responsibility towards various issues and themes while bridging the gaps between differences in society.
Organizations such as Aravani Art Project, GirlUp, She’s the First, and Project Kal, are some of the ones growing the movement, making us aware of the challenges we are still facing and getting us on board with conversations and actions that lead to change. There are still many obstacles that women are facing that we need to recognize and make visible, to effect change; so that the world lets every woman in every corner of the world reach their full potential and have the opportunity to someday go to work to create their impact.
“The statistics out there are scary; multiple reports from last year state anything between 130 to 300 years to close the global gender gap and achieve full gender equality. In good news, there’s a large bunch of organizations out there fighting the good fight to make sure these numbers keep reducing. We’re proud to have been able to partner with the organizations mentioned above, and we continue to be inspired by the thousands of organizations out there in this line of work. Their role is crucial in changing the status quo and creating a better world for the women of future generations to follow.”
Shehzia Lilani, COO of Amani Institute.