March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate the strides made by women and to acknowledge the challenges that still remain. To mark this month, and International Women’s Day on March 8, we hosted the “Embrace Global Equity for Women & Girls” event. It was a wonderful celebration of global progress, a chance to learn from leading organizations fighting against gender inequality and a reminder of the opportunities awaiting us when we work to empower women and girls around the world.

Want to take action for global gender equality this month too? This event is the right place to start. If you want to watch the recording, access it here. But with busy schedules and limited time left in the month, I want to give you a quick rundown of what we covered and share some of our favorite moments to inspire you. (Keep scrolling for your list of action items!)

CARE started in 1945 delivering CARE Packages to war-torn Europe. Today, they’re working around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. Speaker Ashby Brown explained that their mission cannot happen until we defeat global gender injustice. Gender is at the core of everything they do. This is because women hold the key to transforming our world – they are at the forefront of business, healthcare, agriculture, crisis resolution and more. CARE is working to engage with and support these leaders as they transform lives and communities.

What we loved: Ashby shared the story of Maxmilla, who used to only grow maize and sugarcane on her farm in Kenya. She was struggling to meet her family’s financial and nutritional needs. Thanks to CARE, Maxmilla started growing sweet potatoes, a higher-earning crop which brought in more money and offered her children more nutritious foods. Now, she helps other farmers grow sweet potatoes too, and uses her savings to reinvest in community projects!

Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation is enabling the poor, especially women, to create a world without poverty and hunger. They leverage people plus technology to create and deliver tools for self-empowerment.

President and CEO Zubaida Bai shared that 1 billion women don’t have access to loans, markets, business training or even open their own bank accounts – yet women produce half of the world’s food (70% of Africa’s food!). Data shows that when women are empowered they help improve health and education for their families and communities. So Grameen Foundation grants access to finance and technology for female farmers. Along with building community connections, partnerships with technical experts and more, women are able to grow their businesses and lead positive change in their communities.

What we loved: Grameen Foundation hosts household dialogues to ensure that men understand how their programs work and include them in initiatives that support women. They connect them with other men who are also supportive of women learning these things, so their sense of manhood isn’t threatened. It’s a sustainable model – men encourage and empower women instead of standing in their way, and this attitude improves outcomes for everyone. As Zubaida put it, “A strong woman doesn’t make a weak man. A strong woman makes a strong man.”

Women for Women International
Women for Women International invests where inequality is greatest by helping women who are forgotten — the women survivors of war and conflict. Speaker Latoyia Harris Allen showed event participants that Women for Women International supports women in some of the most dangerous places to be a woman: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, South Sudan and more.

We learned that the most marginalized women in these settings require holistic support. By utilizing skills, knowledge and resources, women are able to create sustainable change for themselves and their communities.

What we loved: Women for Women International operates a 12-month program that gives participants cash stipends. This allows women to save money, invest in their businesses and handle crises that emerge. But these programs also offer rights trainings to teach women what they’re entitled to, offer education and business support, and help them build connections with other women. Some of the women even go into business together at the end of the program! It was exciting to see what can happen when women are given the right tools.

Take Action
This event wasn’t just a learning opportunity – it was a chance for us to come together and pledge to make global progress. Here are the four action items we shared, and invite you to engage with too:

  1. Give to the Women & Girls Fund. Support multiple, leading organizations with just one gift. We like to think of it as one of the best ways you can celebrate Women’s History Month this year.
  2. Join Women Know How with CARE and sign their Women’s History Month petition.
  3. Invest in HER Power with Grameen Foundation.
  4. Use your #PowerToChange with Women for Women International:

A big thanks to our charities for participating in this event, and a big thank YOU for being a global champion for women and girls! If you want help involving your company in these Women’s History Month action items, reach out to [email protected]. We’re always happy to offer insights and map out a plan.