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SheLeads: An iACT Voices Series

When asked why it’s important for women to be leaders in their community, Salwa Al-Taher Hamid, a new Little Ripples Education Director from refugee camp Touloum in eastern Chad answered simply, “because then the nation is complete in its assembly.”

Her words stuck with us as we worked to bring together our campaign to mark Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. When women are unable to fully participate in society at the same level as men, that society truly does remain incomplete.

So, how do we work toward complete societies? How do we create space for women to stand in their own power and thrive as leaders and role models for future generations?

First, let’s take a look at just a few facts about the state of women globally:

  • Women currently have equal rights to men at work in only six countries (WEF)

  • Women represent less than 20% of the world's landholders (UN Women)

  • Women held only 26.4% of parliamentary seats as of July 2022 (UN Women)

  • Women and girls still have only 75% of the legal rights of men and boys (UN Foundation)

  • More women and girls are forcibly displaced now than ever before (Global Citizen)

  • With current efforts, it will take 108 years to close the gender gap (WEF)

What these facts make clear is that while progress has been made toward gender equality, we have a long way yet to go. The United Nations has set 2030 as the year they hope to achieve their Sustainable Development Goals, including “gender equality and empowering women and girls.” But with the World Economic Forum estimating 108 years to close the gender gap, we need to think hard about what it means to reach those goals.

Gender equality will not happen through the casual advancement of women. It will take radical action. It will take a radical belief that women are not only equal to men, but that they deserve equal status under the law, and equal opportunities in education, employment, and in government. And it will take a focus on gender equity, including taking intentional actions to create space and opportunity for women and girls.

We hope you will join us this month for the She Leads series as we learn from the women who lead our soccer and early childhood programs across the globe. We’ll hear about what it means for them to serve as leaders in their communities, how war and displacement have impacted them as women, and what their hopes are for the next generation of girls.


Help iACT continue to do what it does best:

Support refugees in the forgotten corners of the world through soccer and preschool.

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