International Women's Day

  • International Women’s Day recognizes and commemorates achievements toward gender equality and women’s empowerment.

  • Join USAID in raising awareness of issues that uplift women globally – economic empowerment, healthcare, food security, education and more.

  • Women play a vital role in advancing agricultural development and food security.

Women in Africa are accelerating electricity access through residential solar power.
Daisy Karimi, co-founder of Strauss Energy, installs solar roofing tiles in Kenya.
Strauss Energy

March 8 is International Women’s Day, when we celebrate achievements toward gender equality and women’s empowerment around the world.

The United States Agency for International Development is using this time to raise awareness of issues – such as economic empowerment, healthcare, food security and education – that uplift women globally.

On International Women's Day, we recognize the often unacknowledged contributions of women and girls—from energy entrepreneurs in Uganda working to advance clean cooking solutions, to scientists healing plants to feed a nation in Kenya, to a widow growing a thriving flower business in Bangladesh.

 


 

SHARING STORIES

This year USAID and its implementing partners are sharing stories about progress in women's economic empowerment, equality in land ownership and access to credit, women working in STEM fields, maternal and reproductive health services, and women’s political participation. During the days leading up to and including March 8, discover more stories by following USAID at on Twttter, Facebook and Instagram.

 

Power Africa’s Women in Africa Power (WiAP), brings together women working in the energy sector, including engineers, who are promoting innovations to address the continent’s energy access challenges.

Blog: Power Africa celebrates women and girls in science

Inspired by the “Sun Queen” who built the first house heated by solar energy in Massachusetts, women in Africa are accelerating electricity access through residential solar power. Power Africa’s Women in Africa Power brings together women working in the energy sector, including engineers, who are promoting innovations to address the continent's energy access challenges. Members like Charity and Daisy contibute to creating an enviornment that encourages women and girls' full participation in the sector be increasing interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and providing young professionals with role modes.

 

Encouraging Asia's young women to pursue science and technology: women scientists strengthen network in Lower Mekong

In collaboration with Intel, Cisco, Microsoft, the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Science Envoy Program, the USAID Connecting the Mekong through Education and Training (USAID COMET) project brought together college-level women from the Lower Mekong subregion for a Women in Technology workshop in Vietnam. Participants broadened professional skills, shared challenges and opportunities for women in science and technology, and strengthened their professional network in the region.

Chi Nguyen, the general manager of Mobext Vietnam, served as a mentor at the workshop. “This network of mentorship does not only benefit the young women—it helps us mentors to learn and get inspired from the youth as well,” she said. “It’s incredible what inspiration, determination and a bit of coaching can do to help young women fulfill their potential in science and technology. ”I am very excited about the idea of ‘women-helping-women’ in the tech world,” Bach added. “The mentorship I received from the female professionals helped me engage with peers and role models, inspiring me to achieve more for myself.”

 

Woman-owned clothing company keeps migration in check: "I wanted to think about how we can keep Moldovans here"

Lilia Ranogaet didn’t start out wanting to be a clothing designer. She had studied law, and for years she ran a consulting company that helped Moldovan citizens find work abroad.

Moldova is the poorest country in Europe, and good jobs at home can be hard to find. Thousands leave the country each year seeking employment elsewhere to better support themselves and their families. Ranogaet explained that her experience helping people leave Moldova made her realize how important it is that they stay. “I wanted to think of how we can keep Moldovans here,” she said. “I was thinking, we can’t bring construction or certain other jobs here—but we can bring production here.”

Ranogaet had limited experience in production processes when she started her business in 2001. But over the past 15 years, she has worked hard to strengthen her knowledge of the industry. Her efforts have paid off as her company, Portavita, now boasts three clothing factories—one in Chisinau, one in Balti and one in Ghindesti—and employs about 380 people.  Portavita is one of more than 100 companies from light industry that have received assistance from the USAID-funded Moldova Competitiveness Project aimed to help move them from low-value to high-value manufacturing.

 

Photo Essays

Profiles

Videos

  • Supporting women with land Issues in Tajikistan: "If one has a goal, one should keep moving forward."
    • Makhfirat Saidrahmonova was told that since even men had a hard time running a dehgan farm, as a woman, she should abandon her dreams and be content with her usual chores. "However, if one has a goal, one should keep moving forward," she said. "In 2005 I established our farm... in only three years I achieved the level where our farm is an independent dehgan farm with an income that allows us to fully cover all expenses, such as fuel, mineral fertilizers, and seeding material; it can operate freely."
  • Making room for Syrian students: "I really love my school and I also love my students.  I think love is giving as much as you can, by helping and supporting them to take away their hurt."
    • In Jordan, where the Syrian crisis has led to around 635,000 additional people taxing already overburdened schools, hospitals and social services, some people still find reasons to open their arms and make it work.  Maha Salim Al-Ashqar is one of those people. 

 


 

Resources

 

Briefer

Advancing Women’s Leadership and Political Empowerment: The Women in Power Project [PDF, 958K]

  • Gender equality is a basic human right and a necessary condition for sustainable development. Women’s ability to participate fully in the key decisions that affect their lives is essential for creating democratic societies and successful development outcomes. However, around the world today, women face numerous obstacles to running for office, holding office, and even expressing their choices through the ballot box

Infographics

Photographs

 

      Last updated: March 08, 2017

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