If social reconstruction is what you have in mind when thinking of possible volunteering projects to take part in, then volunteering for the empowerment, protection and education of women will most definitely be an interesting and rewarding field for you.
Gender inequality is an insidious problem and it affects more than just women, as it also impacts their families, from one generation to the next. Over the past few decades the west has taken serious measures to address this but this dance of going two steps forward before taking ten steps backwards has made apparent that deconstructing mindsets takes time and continuous efforts.
The range of such volunteering opportunities is huge: from educating women about their legal rights, especially against domestic abuse, guiding them in setting up businesses, teaching building skills like arts and crafts, helping to increase their computer literacy, as well as informing about family planning and medical care to support women affected by HIV.
This deprivation from reaching one’s full potential has allowed for various organizations to step in for changes, both global and local. Here’s a list of the top 5 countries where you can volunteer abroad to advocate for women’s rights.
Being the second most populated country in the world and having a society rooted deeply in conventional structures, the voices of women in India are often being unheard. India is a male-dominated society, and as a result, many girls are left behind in their ability to become literate, protect themselves from domestic violence, or develop other fundamental skills. As you can see, the opportunities to help women in such conditions are endless. Volunteers here can help in local community centres and NGOs to teach women from slum areas essential skills such as English, building skills, knowledge in the areas of health and well-being, computer operations and word-processing, and entrepreneurship. As a lot of women in these programs are rag pickers or housewives from disadvantaged families, this is great way for them to not only pick up new skills for independence, but to also have a support group to talk to about their personal experiences and the daily struggles they go through as women living in India (i.e. early marriage, forced marriages, abuse or low paid jobs).
Volunteer in Peru
If you are drawn to the warm temperament of the South American people, you might be interested to work with women in Peru, who represent only a minority here, both in numbers and legal rights. Their repression has been taking place through lower wages, less economic and political opportunities, as well as abuse without repercussions. Here in Peru, there are programs focused on the future development of women, making them more self-sufficient by supporting them with emotional healing, providing them with basic education, and much more. A few ways that you can help include teaching English, assisting with workshops and skills training, and helping with day-to-day activities in the shelter.
Volunteer in Tanzania
Domestic and sexual violence are highly prevalent in Tanzania. Here, a culture of impunity prevails, as traditional customs and practices still condone the harassment and abuse of women. As a result of illegal abortions, many women desperately need obstetric care, which is why especially volunteers who have nursing or medical experience are greatly needed in this country. Depending upon your level of experience, you can work in the areas of HIV awareness and testing, midwifery and labour ward, newborn care and immunizations, and obstetrics and gynecology.
Volunteer in Morocco
Despite Morocco’s many legal advances in women’s rights, its lack of effective implementation and the existence of legislative loopholes undermines its reputation as an open, tolerant, and progressive country. Since 2005, the Moroccan government has invested in programs to improve women’s education and livelihood, notably with income-generating activities and small businesses. As a volunteer, you’ll teach English at Dar Attaliba (House of Female Students), as well as sewing, art, computer training, and sports, as well as provide occasional childcare. Share your knowledge and skills in finance, health, communication, women’s rights, and single parenting. If you have a business background, you can help build websites to showcase and sell handcrafted items that the women make. Furthermore, your work will not only enhance their professional development, but also improve their children’s education.
In Kenya, female poverty is intensified through gender based violence, including sexual violence, rape, physical violence and sexual harassment. Women’s empowerment is further hindered by polygamy, early marriage and harmful cultural and traditional practices. Through IVHQ’s education program, you can work with a care center that provides counseling, guidance, and childcare if needed, allowing women to pursue income-generating projects, as well as offering education and training in skills needed to pull their families out of poverty.
If you can’t decide on a country or programm, just have a look at our website on volunteerworld.com to find more exciting projects and discover even more interesting destinations to volunteer for women’s rights.