International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, is an important milestone for Feed the Children as it works to support the growth and development of women in the U.S. and around the world. Women and mothers are often the backbone of their communities, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why Feed the Children believes wherever there is enough support for women, the entire community stands to benefit. Through their various programs, Feed the Children works to address the many issues plaguing women today such as economic growth, proper hygiene care, breastfeeding and self-esteem.
In the U.S., since the start of the pandemic the economy saw a dip in job growth with 140,000 jobs lost in December 2020. All of these jobs, according to an analysis from the National Women’s Law Center, belonged to women. Consistently interviewing for a job can be difficult for women who suffer from poverty due to lack of resources such as business clothes, hygiene items and even laundry detergent and makeup. Feed the Children supports struggling working women through the help of its corporate partners who provide personal care and beauty products, clothing and shoes to women. Many of whom have shared their stories of improved self-confidence and empowerment as a result of this support.
Women are also an essential part of how Feed the Children fights hunger and poverty in the countries it serves. The nonprofit’s four key areas of focus of its international programs—Food & Nutrition, Health & Water, Education, and Livelihoods—all include benefits for women, especially mothers.
In Haiti, Feed the Children works to reach women and mothers through Care Groups, a program designed to help mothers provide better care to their children by facilitating training sessions about nutrition and illness. Marie, a local mother who has struggled with providing her children with the proper nutrition, was recently trained on the proper breastfeeding techniques that has largely benefited her children.
“I felt horrible as a woman and a mother not knowing how to nourish my children, especially when it comes to exclusive breastfeeding,” said Marie. “Feed the Children’s program saves us. We can definitely see the difference in our community. Breastfeeding women are as strong as their children.”
Feed the Children extends its fight for women to Uganda, where there is currently a struggle to reach equal gender participation in agriculture and economic development activities. Through its livelihoods pillar, the charity works with government agencies, other local nonprofits and community leaders to ensure women in their communities are economically active in agricultural production. In order to bring the community together, Feed the Children hosted a advocacy meeting on gender issues that affects agriculture in the districts of Gulu and Amuru. In the meeting, five women group leaders were tasked with training mothers on the key concepts of agriculture. This activity benefitted more than a hundred women and families, and was vital in understanding factors hindering equal gender participation.
“When women get together, they can become very strong when they lose that fear that they have to compete,” said Seintje Veldhuis, Africa Regional Director for Feed the Children. “Strong as a rock.”
While Feed the Children’s work to support women continues, it cannot be done alone. With the support of corporate and community partners, individual donors and volunteers, Feed the Children is able to provide its vast network of community partners with the funds and resources needed for their communities.
Visit feedthechildren.org/internationalwomensday to provide hope and resources for women around the world. Each dollar you donate provides $8 of food and essentials to children and families.