Empowering women, empowering humanity: Picture it!
Published on 8th March 2015
International Women’s Day 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the landmark Beijing Declaration, which set the agenda for achieving equal opportunities for women and girls.
When women have good health, the time and the opportunity to increase their incomes, they can lift their families out of poverty.
VSA works to support women and girls by supporting local projects that provide safety, education, legal help and access to an income. Between July 2013 and June 2014, in addition to these programmes, VSA volunteers mentored or trained 6,430 women. VSA also works on issues that disproportionately impact women, such as access to clean water. In the same time period, 6,269 people got new or improved access to drinking water sources.
VSA volunteer Marni Gilbert at International Women's Day 2014. Marni is working with VSA and UN Women in the Solomon Islands.
VSA: Supporting women in the Asia-Pacific region
- UN Women’s Markets for Change (M4C) project was created to address challenges female vendors faced. Many women have to travel long hours alone, at high cost, and often end up sleeping in the market until their goods are sold. Some women reported staying overnight in the markets to avoid violent situations in their homes. M4C operates with support from VSA in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji.
- VSA volunteers have worked with local NGO Empreza Di’ak to revive traditional skills in Timor-Leste, allowing a community on remote Atauro Island to create a successful business making and selling clay pots.
- VSA volunteers are currently at work in Vanuatu and Kiribati to improve water and sanitation facilities, which improve the lives of women and children, especially, by reducing the rate of post-natal infections, reducing diseases to which children are particularly vulnerable, and having good toilet facilities at school, giving girls access to an education.
- VSA volunteers work across the Asia-Pacific to address violence against women and girls: helping at safe houses, mentoring women to financial independence and providing legal advice at personal, community and government level.
Read VSA CEO Gill Greer's speech to UN Women Aotearoa about International Women's Day, and VSA's work with women in development across the Asia Pacific region.
Read the history of International Women's Day here on the IWD website.
Read about UN Women's activities here on their website.
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Members of the Luganville Market House Committee in Vanuatu work together to make markets cleaner and safer for women.