The best organizations to support this International Women’s Day



Looking at the news, it can be very easy to feel disheartened about the state of women’s rights around the world right now.

Rape prosecutions in the UK have fallen to a record-low, domestic abuse has spiked since the start of the pandemic, and the cost-of-living crisis, like austerity measures before it, is known to affect women and girls more acutely than men .

Confidence in the police to protect women has been shattered following the rape and murder of Sarah Everard in 2021 by a serving Metropolitan Police Officer, the discovery that Metropolitan Police officers had taken selfies with the dead bodies of murdered sisters Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry in 2020 , and a February report which revealed that racism, misogyny and harassment texts exchanged between officers were dismissed as “banter”.

Further afield, a new law passed in Texas means women in the southern state can now only access an abortion under six weeks, an incredibly narrow window, and without exception in the cases of rape or incest.

And as the Russian invasion in Ukraine approaches its third week, leading human rights organizations have warned of the risk of sexual violence being used as a weapon of war against women and girls.

Thankfully, there are plenty of people working to support women, push for change and campaign for a better world, a handful of which we’ve listed below. While financial donations are always welcome, it’s worth checking out their websites to find out more about their work and the different ways you can help, from lobbying your local MP, to volunteering your time.

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Refuge opened the world’s first safe house for women and children fleeing domestic abuse in London in 1971. Since then, it has continued to campaign against gender violence and has grown to become the country’s largest single provider of specialist domestic and gender-based violence services. As well as operating the Freephone National Domestic Abuse Hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it also offers support for victims of online abuse, support in the community, culturally-specific services and refuges.

Abortion Support Network helps people who need to access safe abortions. They provide information on clinics, travel and accommodation, and provide financial assistance to help with costs for those who need it. They do this for women and pregnant people resident in countries such as Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Malta, Gibraltar, Poland, Romania, Hungary, France, Spain, the Czech Republic and the other EU countries on a case-by-case basis. -case basis.

Wish is a user-led women’s mental health service and the only national charity specifically focused on the mental health of women. Established in 1987 to provide long-term advocacy, emotional support and practical guidance at all stages of a woman’s life, the charity offers support as women move from hospitals and prisons into the community, and also campaigns for women’s voices to be heard at a policy level.

Bloody Good Period fights for menstrual equity and the rights of all people who bleed. They give essential period products to those who can’t afford them, such as those on a low-income, refugees and asylum seekers.

By the end of the first week of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, one million Ukrainians, a vast majority of whom are women and girls, had fled their homes and sought refuge in neighboring countries. At least 160,000 people have been internally displaced across Ukraine amid frigid winter temperatures. UN Women is working to ensure that women, especially those who are displaced, survivors of violence, HIV positive, Roma women, and disabled women, are not left behind.

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Women in Prison is a national charity supporting women affected by the criminal justice system in prisons, in the community and through their Women’s Centres. They campaign to end the harm caused to women, their families and our communities by imprisonment. Their vision is for a new system of justice that addresses the root causes of offending, including poverty, mental ill-health, substance misuse, homelessness and abuse.

Imkaan is the only UK-based, umbrella women’s organization dedicated to addressing violence against “Black and Minoritised women and girls ie women which are defined in policy terms as Black and ‘Minority Ethnic’ (BME)”. The organization works to improve policy and practice responses to issues affecting women of colour, including forced-marriage, so-called “honour-based” violence and domestic abuse,

Girls Out Loud is a social enterprise dedicated to raising the aspirations of teenage girls. They offer intensive coaching and mentoring programs for girls to increase their confidence, emotional resilience, self-assurance and self-esteem.

With none other than Meghan Markle as a patron, the Smart Works charity provides unemployed and/or low-income women with high quality clothing and coaching ahead of upcoming job interviews. Smart Works helps women feel confident, look fabulous, succeed at their job interview and move on with their life. The charity also boasts Meghan Markle as a patron.

Women for Refugee Women work to empower refugee and asylum-seeking women to speak out, become leaders and advocate for change. They offer services, such as English lessons, drama and other activities to build confidence, skills and combat isolation. They also publish research on the experiences of refugee women and work with policy makers to campaign for a fairer asylum process.

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Young Women’s Trust offers support to young women aged 18-30 who are living on low or no pay, and campaigns for change in this area. Their mission is to give economic power to young women in the workplace and they undertake research and campaigns to achieve this goal. Young women are at the center of the charity’s work: leading, designing and participating.

Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, the woman who was shot by Taliban fighters at the age of 15 after speaking out on the rights of girls to go to school, founded the Malala Fund in 2013 to champion every girl’s right to free, safe, quality education. Aiming to break down the barriers that prevent 130 million girls from attending school each day, the charity invests in education activists and advocates who are driving solutions to barriers to girls’ education in their communities.


www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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