8th March marks International Women’s Day 2016, the theme of which is ‘Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality’. On this day, Muslim Aid reaffirmed its commitment to encourage positive social change through the promotion of greater gender equality within communities across the world as a means of tackling poverty and preventing injustice.
A spokesperson for Muslim Aid said: “Research has shown that greater inclusion of women has a positive impact on national economies, communities and individual families. Women have an equal right to a quality education, training and income as men, and since its inception Muslim Aid has worked to challenge misconceptions in the developing world to bridge this gap. We must come together to ensure that cultural practices that oppress women are abandoned and gender equality is promoted as a means to end poverty and injustice.”
Muslim Aid runs income generation programmes which it actively encourages women to take part in, and occasionally runs these programmes exclusively for vulnerable women. These programmes empower women to earn an independent income, giving them greater ownership and financial control within their households as well as economic freedom. In the last year alone, over 100,000 people benefitted from Muslim Aid’s income generation programmes which included livelihood programmes, skills training programmes and interest-free microfinance programmes, of which up to 90% of beneficiaries were women.
Furthermore, research has shown that on average, women invest 80% of their earnings on the wellbeing of their families through nutrition, education, medication and housing compared to men who invest an average of around 30%. The result of this is undoubtedly a healthier and more educated society in which the cycle of poverty can be easily broken for future generations.