One day with Amleset “Helping a woman is helping a family”

We who work in and support international development initiatives are aware of how widespread and popular investing in and empowering women and girls is. We are not surprised that the Sustainable Development Goals include a goal specifically aimed at achieving gender parity in addition to gender-specific actions and statistics. The fifth Sustainable Development Goal is a significant, expansive, and bold goal. “Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls,” it demands of the world. As a woman, I firmly believe in this objective. It also appears to be particularly pertinent at this time, when both men and women are fighting for greater equality in everything from wage inequality to family leave laws. This objective drives Opportunity International’s work as well; we are proud that 90% of our clients are female and that, with the help of our resources and education, they are able to escape poverty. The development community appears to be in agreement that investing in and empowering women and girls is a good idea. Opportunity International concurs, and I concur as well. There are, without a doubt, the urgent concerns of parity, equal treatment, and human rights. These are self-evident and undoubtedly sufficient justifications for women-centric programming on their own. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as “Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation” are shaped by these factors. If for no other reason than it’s the moral thing to do, we fight for objectives like this. The Sustainable Development Goals emphasize the need for people to treat one another with respect and honor and that women deserve basic human rights. But there are other factors at work that make gender equality such a significant priority for those working in development around the world, in addition to just basic human decency. It turns out that investing in women is one of the most effective moves we can make toward creating a better future.

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