International Women's Day 2011
The 8th March marks the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. The EU is working to improve the lives of women and girls throughout the world. Here you can find concrete examples of how we help.
Fighting gender violence in El Salvador
Nohemi lives in El Salvador with her three children. Her life has always been surrounded by violence.
“From childhood I experienced violence from my brothers and my dad. The same chain of violence affected me in married life”. Nohemi.
Nohemi found the support and courage she was looking for when she met the people working with ORMUSA (Organization of Salvadoran Women for Peace). ORMUSA runs a project to combat gender violence in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador . The EU gives almost a million Euros to the project. Thanks to its work, Nohemi has now started a new life:
“I have learnt to take care of my self-esteem and to support other women who suffer violence and still consider this a normal part of their lives”.
Equal access to education in Bangladesh
Education is a human right but it is not a given all over the world. At least not if you are a girl. In Bangladesh girls are often treated differently right from birth. In practical terms that can mean worse nutrition and less education. With the advent of puberty, differences become even more evident and girls often have little say on their own choices.
Shumi Akhter, a teenager living in the north of the country, had to fight against her parents to continue in school. As Shumi was 13-years-old, her father and uncle arranged a marriage with her cousin. She decided to say no.
Her mother was convinced and stopped the marriage against her husband´s will. The Kishori Abhijan- Empowerment of Adolescents Project helped to support them during this difficult time.
"In the Kishori club I learned about early marriage, child rights, HIV/AIDS, etc. I am thankful that I could get away from all this safely. I will take my own decisions when I grow up. No one can force decisions on me”, Shumi says.
In order to support Schumi and thousands of other girls like her, the EU gives 5,8 million Euros to the Kishori Abhijan- Empowerment of adolescents project. This project, also supported by UNICEF, aims to lower school dropout rates, increase girls’ economic independence and raise the age at which girls marry.
With increasing literacy and numeracy, women can better assert their right to a life of dignity and contribute to sustainable development.
Every day around the world women and girls are victims of many forms of violence, including sexual abuse, trafficking or early and forced marriage. Inside and outside Europe, the EU is determined to respond to the needs of women and girls and to help them to gain equality.
Here you can find more personal stories of women fighting against discrimination.