From India to Africa, tea fields to technology, women are the resilient hard-working backbones of their communities. Many of these women live in post-conflict or hard-to-reach areas, yet illuminate their shared determination to create better futures for their families through their creativity, ingenuity, and drive. These women from Africa, Asia and Latin America share stories of how they have risen above their circumstances to empower themselves through their tenacity and resiliency. On average, women make up just over 40 percent of the global agricultural labor force, yet own less than 20 percent of the land. Many have joined co-ops to learn the skills of building their business from kitchen garden to profitable business. Micro-loans and mobile money are taking women to another level. By starting their own businesses women are opening bank accounts and taking control of their own money. In many of these war torn countries, especially the Congo where a women is raped each minute of every day, nearly every woman has suffered some unspeakable atrocity. The numeracy, literacy, and job-training programs offered to these women gives them usable work skills. This offers them not only a sense of financial stability but equally as important it gives them a sense of self worth through like-minded community. Ask any of them why they do these jobs and it’s for the education and betterment of their children. Women in these countries are always somehow going to be the ones to figure it out for their families. Empowering women in the developing world not only benefits their immediate family, it benefits their whole village, their nation, our world.
Scott Mc Kiernan, Founder & CEO, ZUMA Press