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Project Focus Area – Gender Equality
"Development cannot be achieved if fifty percent of the population is excluded from the opportunities it brings”
- Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator
In the past decade the number of women living in poverty has increased disproportionately to the number of men. While women make up more than 50 percent of the world’s population, they only own one percent of the world's wealth (UNDP). The empowerment of women and the advancement of women's social, economic and political status are critical in ameliorating the hardship of future generations (UN Women). Historically, in societies with equal rights women are more educated, healthier, and have greater access to employment opportunities and financial resources, including land and livestock. Additional earning power raises household incomes and equal control over decision-making in households promote the greater well-being of children. Further, increasing the literacy of women is vital to improved health, nutrition and educational outcomes. Investing in formal and non-formal education and training for girls and women is an efficacious way to advance sustainable development and economic growth.
As community development strives to build upon the strengths and capacities of the most vulnerable, it is intimately connected to the needs, rights and will of the community in order to bring about structural change. In FCDE’s approach, community development is a means through which to raise consciousness, challenge patriarchies to be non-hierarchal, and expand the opportunities for women. NGOs throughout the world are working together to bring awareness of and eliminate violence against women (Oxfam, 2004). We work with these partners to support social institutions and programs to curtail continued infractions against women and children. In order to build more peaceful communities, participation of the women is one of the core components that drive sustained development in our society (Oxfam, 2003). FCDE is committed to uplifting the status of women, through education, health initiatives, and economic opportunities as a first step from which to address poverty and injustice in local communities.