International Women’s Day: Our Favorite Ideas for 2014

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re rounding up our favorite ideas, resources, and blog posts on gender and women’s empowerment. From the role of technology and safe spaces to entrepreneurship skills and women’s business groups, people and organizations around the world are developing new ways to help the women in their communities improve their lives.

Meet Chuna: Empowering Women in Rural Nepal

This fantastic video from READ Global highlights the story of Chuna Devi, a mother of three in Nepal who once said that “being born a girl is worthless.” But at the age of 47, she changed her and her daughters’ lives by learning to read at a READ Center, educating her daughters, and starting a women’s association. Today, her goal is to convince other women that it’s never too late to learn.

How can libraries help reduce violence against women?

Beyond Access interviewed Dr. Carrie Baker of Smith College to find out more about the role of access to information in reducing violence against women. In the interview, Dr. Baker emphasizes the importance of helping women learn about their legal rights and connecting them to others so they can develop support networks.

Safe spaces: Why they matter

For an overview of the importance of safe spaces for young women, check out the Girl Effect’s content on the subject.

We also continue to hear new stories of public libraries serving as safe spaces for the women in their communities — giving women in a rural community in Bhutan a place to explore democracy, and women weavers in Guatemala the space and support they need to learn new technology and business skills.

Can tech make a difference?

We’re always thinking about the role of technology in social and economic development, but we also need to keep one point in mind — a point we reiterate constantly at Beyond Access — and that is: tech isn’t everything. In that spirit, we gathered four key points about using technology to support women’s empowerment. And none of them are about tech itself.

Still, digital tools and corresponding skills are key for women to access the information they need about business, agriculture, health, and just about every other topic imaginable. WorldPulse is one organization working not only to train women in digital skills, but to unite them using a digital platform. They’re advocating for access to tech, digital literacy, and digital empowerment — exploring how the web can support new initiatives to generate positive change for communities around the world.

We would love to learn about more great resources and ideas this International Women’s day, so please share with us in the comments below.