Five reasons we should all care about gender equality

Women around the world are disproportionately affected by poverty. They are also the key to overcoming it—not just for themselves but for their families and communities as well.

Want to find out how gender equality breaks the cycle of poverty? Here are five great reasons why we should all get behind investing in and empowering women and girls:

Coworkers Hidayyat, Sahida, Zarina Abdullah, Paari and Radan pooled their savings under CARE's Community Infrastructure Improvement Project in Pakistan and started a joint business, selling groceries and homemade clothes. Wolfgang Gressman/CARE
Coworkers Hidayyat, Sahida, Zarina Abdullah, Paari and Radan pooled their savings under CARE's Community Infrastructure Improvement Project in Pakistan and started a joint business, selling groceries and homemade clothes. Wolfgang Gressman/CARE

Ripple effect: Empower one woman to overcome poverty, and she will bring four people with her.

Basma Nazer runs a social enterprise called ‘Khoyoot’, translating as Threads, in Jordan. Basma’s Khoyoot Initiative creates partnerships with women in a refugee camp to produce hand embroidered products. The revenue from the sales is then used to fund more courses and initiatives within the camp. Basma was recently selected as a role model by CARE Jordan to tour the country and inspire other women who are thinking of setting up their own businesses. CARE Netherlands
Basma Nazer runs a social enterprise called ‘Khoyoot’, translating as Threads, in Jordan. Basma’s Khoyoot Initiative creates partnerships with women in a refugee camp to produce hand embroidered products. The revenue from the sales is then used to fund more courses and initiatives within the camp. Basma was recently selected as a role model by CARE Jordan to tour the country and inspire other women who are thinking of setting up their own businesses. CARE Netherlands

When more women work, economies grow. Recognizing women's contributions, ensuring they have opportunities to lead, and that they are fairly paid for their work is key to advancing gender equality.

Protection teams at Shafak, one of CARE’s partners in northwest Syria, visited Maram (pictured here, name changed for safety) grandfather’s house and spoke to her grandfather and grandmother. They presented awareness-raising sessions and discussed the need to take care of Maram and give her the right to play and the right to education. As a result, Maram returned to school to continue her education. ©Shafak/CARE
Protection teams at Shafak, one of CARE’s partners in northwest Syria, visited Maram (pictured here, name changed for safety) grandfather’s house and spoke to her grandfather and grandmother. They presented awareness-raising sessions and discussed the need to take care of Maram and give her the right to play and the right to education. As a result, Maram returned to school to continue her education. ©Shafak/CARE

Each year of school can increase a girl's future income by up to 20%.

Source: World Bank

In Guatemala, 2000 indigenous women took part in literacy training as well as good agricultural practices, certification, organizational strengthening, and advocacy. deBode/CARE
In Guatemala, 2000 indigenous women took part in literacy training as well as good agricultural practices, certification, organizational strengthening, and advocacy. deBode/CARE

A child born to a mother who can read is 50% more likely to survive.

Source: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Sandra is a farmer in Guatemala. She joined the local farmer’s Cooperative and they gave her the starting capital she needed to grow her farm and her income. Through the Cooperative she was also able to continue her basic studies. CARE, with funding from the H&M Foundation, has worked closely with the farmer’s Cooperative since 2015 offering business training support and technical assistance to its members. In addition, CARE has provided seed capital to the Cooperative for its packaging plant. Eric Kampherbeek
Sandra is a farmer in Guatemala. She joined the local farmer’s Cooperative and they gave her the starting capital she needed to grow her farm and her income. Through the Cooperative she was also able to continue her basic studies. CARE, with funding from the H&M Foundation, has worked closely with the farmer’s Cooperative since 2015 offering business training support and technical assistance to its members. In addition, CARE has provided seed capital to the Cooperative for its packaging plant. Eric Kampherbeek

If women farmers had the same access to tools and credit as men, there would be up to 150 million less hungry people in the world.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)