While we’ve come a long way since the first International Women’s Day in 1908, and have much to celebrate, there’s still plenty of work to be done. Empowering women isn’t something that should be thought of only once a year, and at PCI, we think about it every day. In fact, it’s essential to the success of our programs.
Take the story of Chunchun from India, who found encouragement and education in a PCI Women Empowered group. Chunchun had suffered two miscarriages, and when she was pregnant a third time, she turned to knowledge gained from her participation in the group and attended a clinic for prenatal care. As a result, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl and is seen as a leader in her community for challenging social norms and taking the initiative for the health of her family.
Or the story of Enelisi from Malawi. Her family has been subsistence farmers for generations, living from harvest to harvest and unable to save for the future. However, after joining a PCI Women Empowered group called Chimwemwe (which means “happiness”), she was able to save and borrow money to grow her own agriculture business. She now employs villagers as her operations grow, and her family is on the path to a better life they never thought possible.
This week, the stars align for women’s empowerment as Sunday is International Women’s Day and March is Women’s History Month. And later this year, the United Nations will negotiate the Sustainable Development Goals, which will set the global agenda for development out to 2030, including significant targets for women’s empowerment. This is a time to celebrate and remember women’s achievements and to think about how we can make equality a reality around the world.
At PCI, we collaborate with all our partners throughout the development community to not only talk the talk about gender equality, but also walk the walk, by trying to become the very change we wish to see in our own programs. We have countless inspiring stories of women leading positive change from every one of our programs around the world.
We’re always inspired by stories like Chunchun and Enelisi. They’re reminders of our commitment to women’s empowerment, both through the activities we implement and the organizational culture we foster – every single day.