Global Washington members address development issues for women and girls around the world

Today is International Women’s Day. We join our colleagues in the development field in celebrating the achievements of women, and recognizing the important work being done by development and human rights organizations to empower women worldwide. Research has shown that investing in women and girls is one of the most important components of community development. As women are educated and empowered, they are better able to be change-makers in their families and communities.

Global Washington’s mission is to help our  members work collectively to build a more equitable and prosperous world. We would like to recognize some of the important work being done for women and girls by organizations, companies, foundations, and academic institutions that are based in the state of Washingon.

Please consider supporting the missions of these fantastic organizations! 


PATH:  Path focuses on health equity for women, among the world’s most vulnerable—and influential—populations.

The basic protection of vaccines for women and children around the world.

Path’s work helps women take charge of their own protection 

PATH has formed a new product development partnership to advance the Woman’s Condom and expand affordable protection options for women. Under a new four-year, €5.1 million award from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PATH is coordinating with the Shanghai Dahua Medical Apparatus Company (Dahua), CONRAD, and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) on a project called Protection Options for Women (POW).


World Vision: Recognizing women as critical partners in development, World vision’s trained staff actively and sensitively works to equip and encourage women around the world.


GAPPS: Works on the premise that “Women are at the economic heart of the developing world. And to do all this work, they need to be healthy.” 

2015 Global Action Agenda ( GAA ) on Preterm Birth & Stillbirth, was created by GAPPS at their international conference a year ago. The primary goal of this GAA is to forge a collaborative effort toward achieving common goals to prevent preterm birth and stillbirth, and to improve related maternal, newborn, and child health outcomes.


Grameen Foundation: Supports local microfinance institutions and help poor women gain access to information and capital that enables them to create micro businesses and improve their lives.


Highline Community College: Women’s Programs at Highline Community College is proud to be celebrating over 30 years of service. Over the years they have developed many successful partnerships with community agencies to benefit the students of Highline including: co-location of community partners in Women’s Programs including cross-referrals, shared services, and life skills training programs.


Landesa: Land ownership and secure access to land transforms women and girls from victims to change makers. The Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights initiatives do this on a large scale, making women and girls powerful and effective tools in the fight against global poverty.

Their Current Initiatives:

In India: The Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights partners with state governments and local NGOs to help poor women in four states (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha and West Bengal).

In China: With the help of partners, the Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights is advising on a nationwide survey to learn how current land laws are affecting women’s land rights. This survey, across five provinces, is the first of its kind in China and will give us a better picture of female farmers’ needs and the challenges they face.

In Uganda: They are working in partnership with two local NGOs to help women and girls displaced by more than 20 years of civil war, design a program that provides the women with secure land rights.

Secure land rights will help improve the food security, health, and income of these marginalized women and girls, helping them to become self-reliant and reducing their vulnerability to contracting and spreading HIV/AIDS. In this innovative program, the displaced women are playing an active role in designing a solution to their own predicament.

Landesa has Global Fellowship Program for women: They encourage lawyers and other professionals from around the world to pursue a career in women’s land rights and provide training.

Landesa has E-Library on Women’s Property Rights: They are building a database of formal laws related to women’s land rights from every country in the world. The database will also include research on customary law related to women’s land rights. This helps legal practitioners and women’s advocates create more effective and suitable programming.


Oiko Credit: Oikocredit places a special empahsis on empowering women in teh developing world. Microfinance provides an unprecedented opportunity for women to take control of their own destinies. One of their important projects is Saadhana – women empowerment at the grassroots. Microfinance institution Saddhana operates through women’s centers in deprived districts of Andhra Pradesh.


Rwanda Girls Initiative: Aims to provide a high quality secondary school education for girls in Rwanda, supporting the ‘whole girl’ through a boarding school environment. 

Rwanda Girls Initiative has been awarded a grant of $15,000 from the Seattle International Foundation Global Program.  This grant will support our investment in training and developing Rwandan teachers and administrators for the Gashora Girls Academy.


Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA): Immigrant women, e-skills and employability in Europe


Bridges to Understanding: Uses digital technology and the art of storytelling to empower and unite youth worldwide, enhance cross-cultural understanding and build global citizenship.

One of their successful stories is “ Dowry is a Girl’s life.”


Crooked Trails : Works with Friends of Maiti Nepal on behalf of Nepali girls and young women who have been trafficked into sexual slavery in Indian brothels. (ANURADHA KOIRALA of Maiti Nepal won the 2010 CNN HEROES AWARD )


FUSEIQ: They use technology to connect people and bring communities together. Their aim is “A better web, a better world.”

Since 2007 FUSEIQ has been working on the project with Girls Scouts of Western Washington to create a new site to represent the new entity Girls Scouts of Western Washington (GSWW).

The new site serves as a key information resource as well as an effective marketing tool. The Content Management System has improved the organizations efficiency and use of their resources. This has allowed GWWL to focus on their mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

Fuse continues to work with GSWW and will soon be creating a custom shopping cart system that will allow users to purchase “goods” for the Girl Scouts, as well as making direct donations.


Global Team for Local Initiatives: Runs grind-learn-earn project for women of Hamar tribe in remote southwest Ethiopia.One of the staples of a Hamar woman’s day is grinding grain – pulverizing maize between two stones. It is physically demanding work, done in temperatures over 100 degrees, and it takes three to four hours to grind enough grain to feed her family for the day.

Last winter, the Ethiopian government gave the neighboring communities of Wassemu and Dore a diesel powered grinding mill. There was only one problem: the women did not know how to use the mill properly and, within the first 24 hours, it broke.

Enter GTLI – and the Wassemu women’s coop. For over a year the women’s coop had been eager to start a business. Unable to grow enough food, they yearned for a way to buy it. But isolated from the modern world, they lacked both skills and market opportunities.Suddenly, the broken grinding mill presented an opportunity.

 With a grant from Bainbridge Island (WA) Rotary and Rotary District 5020, GTLI repaired the mill – and taught the Wassemu women’s coop how to run it as a business.

 Today, the coop charges 7¢ to grind, in a just few minutes, what used to take three to four hours. With the money they earn, they employ four people – two women and two men – and buy spare parts and diesel to keep the mill going. These are the first jobs in the Hamar community; the community’s first sustainable business.


The new, “extra” hours give the women time to learn reading, writing, math and recordkeeping – skills that will enable them to start other small businesses

Now the neighboring Hamar communities all want their own “grind – learn – earn” opportunity.


Heal Africa:  HEAL Africa’s hospital and community development work address the root causes of illness and poverty for the people of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Some of the Heal Africa Programs for women are : a) Heal Rape Survivors

b) Stand up together

c) Gender justice that supports empowerment

d) Safe motherhood and Micro-insurance- motherhood prenatal care


Mercy Corps: One of the important projects of Mercy Corps for women is Empower Women In India Through Literacy.

They teach hundreds of Indian women to read and write, boosting their self-esteem and empowering them to open bank accounts, start small businesses and participate fully in their households and communities. So far they have met their $50,000 goal for this project — but every additional dollar we raise will help even more women learn to read and write!


New Course: They are currently working with partners in five countries to bring resources that empower women, and conserve critical ecosystems. Botswana, Tanzania, Republic of Congo, Democratic republic of Congo,Madagascar.


Pre Vent :  Their  mission is promoting and supporting maternal, neonatal and child  global health programs through partnerships for education, prevention and innovation.

Pre- Vent has technical partnership with Merlin to promote the training and retention of local women as healthcare workers in rural areas of Africa.

Pre-vent in partnership with HAPCSO promotes education and preventive measures to reduce the rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS at the community health level and their satellite offices.

Pre-Vent works towards improving maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) through innovative programs of education and prevention to achieve the following Millennium Development Goals:

MDG 3: Promote gender equality and empower women.

MDG 4:  Reduce child mortality

MDG 5: Reduce maternal mortality.

MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other major diseases.

 Programs under consideration: a) Training of community midwives in Obstetrical Surgery to perform essential and emergency Cesarean Sections at rural based community health facilities. This can reduce maternal and infant mortality dramatically. This program is under consideration for technical support in Sub-Saharan Africa.

b) Training of Registered Nurses to become Family Nurse Practitioners and serve their local community-based health care facilities. This program is in it’s planning stages in Guatemala and emphasizes teaching of women and young girls in topics such as sanitation, clean water, nutrition, pre-conception counseling, healthy pregnancy, and healthy newborn as well as the established curriculum for family nurse practitioners.


Results: REF has initiated two major projects that ally with organizations in numerous countries: The ACTION Project and the Microcredit Summit Campaign.

The Microcredit Summit Campaign is working to ensure that 175 million of the world’s poorest families, especially the women of those families, are receiving credit for self-employment and other financial and business services, and that 100 million families rise above the US$1 a day threshold by 2015.


Richard’s Rwanda is a group of Seattle students who are working together to support Rwandan girls’ education. They provide financial support to low-income girls in the rural area of Nyamata to enable them to complete their primary education and 6 years of secondary school.

Their Accomplishments:

·  Raised nearly $80,000 to support girls in Rwanda to finish their primary and secondary education;

·  Awarded a $25,000 matching grant from Paul Allen Foundation;

·  Annual fund-raising events by Seattle students;

·  Expansion from original chapter at Seattle Girls’ School to six additional high school chapters;

·  Developed a partnership with a local Rwandan girls’ school FAWE (Forum African Women Educationalist Girls School) to establish their own chapter of Richard’s Rwanda IPMUHWE to provide mentoring to low-income girls in the impoverished rural area of Namata; The program has officially been incorporated as part of a community service program for the FAWE School. (See below for more details).

·  June 2010 twelve founding members of RRI (from various member Seattle high schools) traveled to Rwanda to teach English literacy to impoverished high girls in the rural district of Nyamata and strengthen collaboration with their peers at FAWE. They had such a successful experience that a cross-cultural trip is now an annual program. They will offer a trip to Rwanda every summer for the Seattle members of Richard’s Rwanda-IMPUHWE to teach English and connect in person with the girls in Nyamata.


Uplift International: Their mission is to advocate and promote health rights for vulnerable women.

Uplift International and Aim for human rights have been working with six civil society organizations (CSOs) from different parts of Indonesia for the last year on a project that helps promote women’s health rights.


Washington Women’s Foundation

Engages women in the power of collective giving. Through informed and strategic grant making, their members expand women’s knowledge, invest in the life of the community and demonstrate leadership through effective philanthropy.


Women’s Enterprises International

Women’s Enterprises International is dedicated to creating opportunities that equip women in developing countries to overcome poverty and transform their lives and communities. They do this by partnering with indigenous women’s groups in development projects that provide solutions to three systemic causes of poverty; lack of access to water, lack of access to business capital and limited access to education for girls.


-Compiled by Anamika P. Ved, Global Washington volunteer