Today is International Women’s Day and this year it's all about creating a gender-balanced world and equal opportunities for women.
Here at Muslim Hands, we firmly believe that when women are supported and empowered, the whole of society benefits. This is why we invest a lot of our donations and efforts into women-centred projects across the globe, equipping underprivileged women to fulfil their goals. Without further ado, let's take a look at some of the women you've helped:
Here are some of the ways Muslim Hands is empowering women:
Education is a key that unlocks countless opportunities. It is a way out of poverty, a driving force for social change and an important aspect of personal development and welfare. That’s why it’s important to educate all young people, regardless of gender - across the globe, many of the students we support or the orphans we sponsor are female. Their education gives them the opportunity to reach for their dreams and build a bright future for themselves.
‘I’m now at one of the best universities in Sudan – because of the way the teachers at Muslim Hands school taught me’. - Amira, aged 21, sponsored orphan, Sudan
Small Shop Businesses:
Despite their skills and enthusiasm, many widows are unable to earn an income for their family - but a few hundred pounds can give them the chance to transform their lives. Muslim Hands helps women - especially widows - set up small shop businesses so they no longer have to worry about food, healthcare and education. These shops build better futures for their children and ultimately benefit the whole community.
Salimata, a widow in Mali, could barely afford food - now, she can buy groceries and clothes, support her other family members, buy toys for her 4-year old daughter. ‘May Allah bless her (the donor) and give her a long life’.
Another way we empower women in need is by giving them the skills to become self-sufficient. For example, we’ve set up training courses to teach impoverished women sewing skills, giving them the opportunity to set up their own tailoring business and contribute to the family income. Not only will these skills remain with them their whole lives, they can teach them to other women in the community, thus allowing more women to become independent.
‘It used to break my heart when my younger sisters cried for something or when my mother couldn’t afford treatment for her sickness. Now I am earning enough to survive easily. I am blessed that I learned these skills’. - Aneesa, former sewing student, Kashmir
By providing a widow with chickens, goats, sheep or cows, we are not only ensuring her children have protein and other essential nutrients in their diet, we are also helping her generate a stable income for her household. By selling surplus eggs, milk or wool, she can pay for necessities like food and clothing; furthermore, she can breed her livestock and thus grow her business, even being able to sell extra meat or spare animals. In this way, a single, simple gift ends up providing for her family for years.
Zainab, a widow in Sudan, could barely keep her family going before. When a donor gifted her three goats, it changed their lives. She is now a successful businesswoman who owns fifteen goats, sells their meat and milk and educates her children.
Supporting women’s health and well-being:
Some of our healthcare projects are centred around improving the well-being of women who don’t have access to medical and mental support. For example, we’ve provided thousands of women in the Rohingya refugee camp with access to basic services such as medical and psycho-social care, including setting up a women-friendly space to provide counselling and support to survivors of gender-based violence. Another example would be our Motherkind clinics in Afghanistan and Somalia, which provide free healthcare to impoverished mothers and infants.
Our Motherkind Clinic in Kabul has been awarded ‘Best Clinic in the Area’ by the Ministry of Public Health in Afghanistan.
Safe water projects:
200 million women and children across the globe spend up to eight hours a day collecting water. This water is often far away from their homes or from contaminated sources. Sometimes, they are forced to collect it a night to avoid queues. Therefore, constructing wells doesn’t just give communities easy access to safe water – it also empowers women and girls by giving them the time to attend school, earn an income or raise a family, giving them the opportunity to change their lives for the better.
10-year old Alou used to help her mother carry water down the mountains instead of going to school. A generous donor gifted her village a well, and now she can go to school regularly. Every day, her mother thanks Allah for the well which made this possible.
Thank you for helping us improve the lives of women around the world. Your generous support has ensured that women in the poverty-stricken communities we work in have a fighting chance at success, just as much as their male counterparts.
To donate to our livelihoods fund, please click here.