Often times, the overwhelming amount of holidays trivializes the importance of one like International Women’s Day. For example, in March alone we have (deep breath): National Pig Day, Peanut Butter Lovers’ Day, National Frozen Food Day, Middle Name Pride Day, Learn about Butterflies Day, National Pi Day, St Patrick’s Day, National Quilting Day, Extraterrestrial Abductions Day, and National Bunsen Burner Day (did you make it?).
So what sets International Women’s Day apart? Why should you – or anyone – care about it?
For starters, there’s a 50% chance that you are a woman. Beyond that, there’s a 100% chance that you have been positively shaped and/or deeply influenced by a woman.
This year, International Women’s Day is focusing on gender parity (equality and representation). “In 2014, the World Economic Forum predicted that global gender parity could be reached by 2095, but last year, they changed that prediction to 2133 – 38 years later.”
This is a critical setback. Especially when it comes to the population Africa Development Promise serves: rural women farmers. The World Farmers Organization explains why rural women are negatively and uniquely impacted by issues of gender parity: “despite the important roles they play in agricultural economies, rural women in Africa suffer from the highest illiteracy rates and are the most visible face of poverty. Social customs dictate, moreover, that women, especially rural women, should - in addition to agricultural activities - be responsible for cooking, carrying water and fetching firewood, limiting their participation in decision-making processes and their exposure to those economic opportunities that arise, thus increasing the level of inequality.”
By providing agricultural and management training opportunities often given only to their male counterparts, these rural women farmers are closing the productivity gap. In addition, Africa Development Promise helps these farmers gain access to finance, a critical element to being able to have any kind of income-generating activity.
The all-women co-ops Africa Development Promise supports work every day to make their communities more equitable and representative. Help these entrepreneurial women be a part of the movement toward gender parity, and promise to support their journey.
$10 a month provides ongoing management training for one member of a cooperative.
$20 a month offers sustained financial management training for one member of a cooperative.
$50 a month assists in the continued effort to build long-lasting infrastructure projects