By our friends at GoAbroad.com.
Women’s rights and gender equality issues have been fought for and debated over for generations. While those of us in developed countries are battling the glass ceiling, sandwich jokes and the ability to decide what’s best for our own bodies, other countries aren’t so lucky. Abuse, discrimination and a lack of education are among the many issues plaguing women around the world.
Volunteering abroad is one way to personally help these women better their situations. By combining your passion of traveling and women’s rights, you can make a difference. Women empowerment volunteer programs are offered in a variety of countries, including Ghana, India, Nepal, Costa Rica, Morocco, Uganda, Nicaragua, Kenya and the Philippines. In many cases no previous experience is required to work with these women; volunteers are only required to be warm and passionate.
Interested in lending a hand and spreading female power? Here are seven ways volunteers can help improve the lives of women around the world:
With English becoming a global language, helping women with vocabulary and grammar will give them more opportunities for the future. Knowing how to speak English will open doors for young women starting their careers and give them the chance to be more independent.
Helping with Small Business Development
By helping women develop skills required to create handicrafts, become beauticians or mend clothing, you are giving them the ability to create a life for themselves. Some programs also educate women in marketing and finance to give them the tools to sell products they already produce, such as honey, eggs or vegetables.
Assisting in Health Care Education
As a volunteer, you can give women the ability to live longer, healthier lives. Educate women on HIV/AIDS and what can be done to prevent the spread of the disease. You can also provide guidance for what is essential in a nutritional diet. Arming women with good health will help them lead stronger lives.
Helping with Career Skills Development
Along with teaching English and giving women the tools needed to sell their own products, women empowerment programs also provide women with the skills needed to enter the job force. You can teach courses in basic computer skills, adult literacy, grant writing and more.
Aside from helping women gain practical skills and knowledge, as a volunteer you can also provide emotional support and encouragement. Helping to uplift women and give them the confidence to have more independent lifestyles is a large part of volunteering with women empowerment programs. You can act as a guidance counselor, role model and friend.
Providing Guidance for Legal Issues
If you have an interest and background in legal issues, you can help provide guidance to women in difficult situations. For example, some programs have their volunteers create informal judicial systems to remedy cases of domestic violence, marital discord and more.
Supporting Abused Women
In countries such as the Philippines and India, women empowerment volunteers can work closely with battered women. Within these types of programs, volunteers provide counseling and support along with skills needed to create a better life. Empowerment programs for abused women also allow you to teach fun classes such as music and art to help women cope with troubling situations.
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