This is the "Global Women's Organizations" page of the "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide" guide.
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Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide  

Last Updated: Oct 2, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Here are some of the groups that specialize in supporting women in developing countries. In addition, there are many outstanding aid groups, such as International Rescue Committee, UNICEF, Save the Children, and Mercy Corps, that are not listed below because women and girls are not their only focus. This list is not a rating, screening, or exhaustive list; it is a quirky compendium of groups both small and large that we’ve seen in action. Consider it a starting point for further research. Two useful Web sites to consult for more information about aid groups are and

Afghan Institute of Learning,, operates schools and other programs for women and girls in Afghanistan and in the border areas of Pakistan.

American Assistance for Cambodia,, has fought trafficking and now has a program to subsidize poor girls so that they remain in school.

Americans for UNFPA,, supports the work of the UN Population Fund. It is similar to 34 Million Friends of UNFPA,

Apne Aap,, battles sex slavery in India, including in remote areas in Bihar that get little attention. Apne Aap welcomes American volunteers.

Ashoka,, is an organization that identifies and invests in social entrepreneurs around the world, many of them women.

Averting Maternal Death and Disability,, is a leading organization focused on maternal health.

BRAC,, is a terrific Bangladesh-based aid group that is now expanding in Africa and Asia. It has an office in New York City and accepts interns.

Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED),, supports schooling for girls in Africa.

CARE,, increasingly has focused on women and girls.

Center for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA),, works on issues related to women and development.

Center for Reproductive Rights,, based in New York, focuses on reproductive health worldwide.

Developments in Literacy (DIL),, promotes education in Pakistan, particularly for girls.

ECPAT,, is a network of groups fighting child prostitution, particularly in Southeast Asia.

Edna Adan Maternity Hospital,, provides maternity care in Somaliland.     It welcomes volunteers.

Engender Health,, focuses on reproductive health issues in the developing world.

Equality Now,, lobbies against the sex trade and gender oppression around the world.

Family Care International,, works to improve maternal health, primarily in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Fistual Foundation,, supports the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia, established by Reg and Catherin Hamlin.

Global Fund for Women,, operates like a venture capital fund   for women’s groups in poor countries.

Global Grassroots,, is a young organization focused on women in poor countries, particularly Sudan.

Grameen Bank,, pioneered microfinance in Bangladesh and has now branched into an array of development programs.

Heal Africa,, runs a hospital in Goma Congo that repairs fistulas and tends to rape victims. It welcomes volunteers.

Hunger Project,, focuses on empowerment of women and girls to end hunger.

International Center for Research on Women,, emphasizes gender as the key to economic development.

International Justice Mission,, is a Christian-based organization that fights sex trafficking.

International women’s Health Coalition,, based in New York, has been a leader in the struggle for reproductive health rights around the globe.

Marie Stopes International,, based in the United Kingdom, focuses on reproductive health care around the world.

New Light,, is Urmi Basu’s organization to help prostitutes and their children in Kolkata, India. It welcomes volunteers.

Pathfinder International,, supports reproductive health in more than twenty-five countries.

Plan,, is a child sponsorship program that promotes community development and especially female empowerment.

Population Services International,, is based in Washington, D.C., and makes fine use of the private sector in reproductive health.

Pro Mujer,, supports women in Latin America through microfinance and business training.

Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA),, is a huge union for poor, self-employed women in India. It accepts volunteers.

Shared Hope International,, fights sex trafficking around the world.

Somaly Mam Foundation,, led by a woman who as a child was trafficked herself, fights sex slavery in Cambodia.

The Girl Fund, www.the, is run by the UN Foundation and works on education, health care, and protection from violence.

Tostan,, is one of the most successful organizations in overcoming female genital cutting in Africa. It accepts interns.

Vital Voices,, supports women’s rights in many countries and has been particularly active in fighting trafficking.

White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood,, campaigns against   maternal mortality around the world.

Women for Women International,, connects women sponsors with needy women in conflict or postconflict countries.

Women’s Campaign International,, is dedicated to increasing the participation of women in political and democratic processes worldwide.

Women’s Dignity Project,, cofounded by an American woman, facilitates the repair of obstetric fistulas in Tanzania.

Women’s Learning Partnership,, emphasizes women’s leadership and empowerment in the developing world.

Women’s Refugee Commission,, is linked to the International Rescue Committee and focuses on refugee women and children.

Women’s World Banking,, supports microfinance institutions around the world that assist women.

Women Thrive Worldwide,, is an international advocacy group focused on the needs of women in poor countries.

Worldwide Fistula Fund,, works to improve maternal health and is building a fistula hospital in Niger.


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