Celebrating Women’s History Month
Women Are Leaders at Outreach
At Outreach International, women have earned positions of leadership in our various organizations all over the world. They constantly break barriers, shatter glass ceilings, and lead by example for the generations that follow. International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month were named to bring these ongoing successes into focus. And there’s no better example of women’s empowerment in 2023 than our Outreach community leaders.
In Malawi, Africa, it’s a persistent cultural norm that men are the leaders of any group they’re involved in. Living with this perception for generations has caused many women to look at themselves as inferior to men when it comes to leadership, credibility, and decision making.
Through her participation in Outreach-facilitated community meetings, Monica found her strength when she had ideas to share. She broke through cultural barriers and began to speak up. She became a leader, and recently directed a successful food loan project. In her words, “indee azimyinso Tingathe” (“yes, even women can”).
The Ofesi community group where Monica is a leader is 75% women. As they drew strength from each other, they more and more found it within themselves. Eventually they felt, as Monica said, “kwakwana-kwakwana tikufuna msintho” (“enough is enough, we need change and we are responsible for this change”).
Numbers Tell the Story
Meet Mama Agnés
Mama Agnes is a member of her community-led organization. Often, only men speak in official gatherings. But Mama Agnes knew she had leadership, directing, and problem-solving skills to offer. During the election of group leaders, she knew she could affect change more directly than she had been doing up to that point. So she spoke up.
She presented herself as a candidate for president of the group. With great ideas, the ability to communicate her qualifications, and no small amount of courage, she won the election with votes from both women and men. Now, she carries out her responsibilities without fear of gender stigmas. The power that Mama Agnes had within herself all along found its voice. There’s no better example to celebrate women’s empowerment in 2023.
When Women Get Involved, Goals Get Reached
Meet Mama Jisel
Mama Jisel is the treasurer of the community-led organization in Kanamankute, DR Congo. Like so many women, in so many cultures, she was afraid to speak to her group. She attended meetings and heard the ideas of others, and realized she had real value to contribute. She overcame her initial nervousness and started sharing her opinions, improving ideas and expressing her own.
This is an amazing transformation after a lifetime in a culture that may not look kindly on this behavior at first. But, as is the case with our community-led organizations all around the world, once her ideas were heard, her brilliance and leadership skills were undeniable. Now, she says, “I am no longer afraid… I must continue to encourage other women like me to be motivated in all that they do in order to promote the value of women.”
Women’s Empowerment 2023
The organization known as “International Women’s Day” works tirelessly to end the perception of gender stereotypes. They bring awareness to gender bias, and encourage inclusion for women everywhere. The theme they chose for Women’s History Month 2023 is “Women’s Equity.” Women’s equity in authority, participation, and income in all areas of cultural and economic development will pave the way to women’s equality.
Outreach International works so that women and girls realize they have the power within themselves to bring to bear their effectiveness. A driving work ethic and brilliant leadership skills make the women of Outreach International and our partners capable of ushering their communities into a future filled with the promise of unending development.
How to Help
To learn about our process and how it incites women everywhere to find the strength they have within themselves, read more.