(Written for The Hunger Project – Australia)
In 2016, 107,283 volunteers participated in our ‘Women’s Empowerment’ program and have become village leaders equipped with the knowledge, skills and confidence to promote the rights of women and girls within their communities.
By placing women at the centre of our programs, we aim to end deeply embedded cycles of hunger and inequality which have resulted in women being; victims of sexual abuse and violence, denied opportunities of employment and education, married in childhood and malnourished since birth.
When we empower women with education, they understand the significant influence they have in transforming discriminatory systems that have failed them for generations. Their creativity and leadership skills are unleashed and they can see how they are the solution to ending their own inequality and hunger.
Our programs empower village leaders, like Lucy from Kachindamoto, Malawi. Lucy and her friends (pictured above) are now able face their futures with optimism and hope and can educate other women in their community to; understand their rights, stand up for themselves in the face of adversity and protect themselves, and each other, from sexual discrimination.
By embracing their role as change agents, these women shift mindsets within their communities, so that others prioritise health and equality too. The whole of society benefits from the changes they bring to their communities, as; food security, nutrition and family health improves, rates of malnutrition, hunger, poverty and child mortality decline.