Empowering Women: The Key to Ending Hunger


The Hunger Project firmly believes that empowering women to be key change agents is the most critical element to achieving the end of hunger and poverty. Wherever we work, our programs aim to support women and build their capacity.

Women bear almost all responsibility for meeting the basic needs of the family, yet are systematically denied the resources, information and freedom of action they need to fulfill this responsibility.

The vast majority of the world's poor are women. Two-thirds of the world's illiterates are female. Of the millions of school age children not in school, the majority are girls. And today, HIV/AIDS is rapidly becoming a woman's disease. In several southern African countries, more than three-quarters of all young people living with HIV are women.

Studies show that when women are supported and empowered, all of society benefits. Their families are healthier, more children go to school, agricultural productivity improves and incomes increase. In short, communities become more resilient.

By empowering women as the key change agents in rural communities, 24 million people in 13 countries now have the opportunity to move from abject poverty to self-reliance. For example:

  • By providing women food farmers affordable access to credit, adequate training and instilling in them the importance of saving, The Hunger Project's Microfinance Program enables women to engage in income-generating activities to increase their incomes and invest in their families and communities. In 2011, there were 45,000 partners actively accessing financial services as part of our Microfinance Program, 75 percent of whom are women.
  • More than 1.1 million people have taken the HIV/AIDS and Gender Inequality Workshop, in which they not only learn the facts of AIDS, but also confront and transform the gender-based behaviors that fuel the pandemic.
  • In India, nearly 80,000 women, who are elected to their local councils, have participated in our Women's Leadership Workshop to be effective change agents in their villages. They are forming federations to ensure that their voices are heard at all levels of government.
  • In Mexico and Peru, indigenous women are reclaiming the dignity of their culture, becoming literate, forming income-earning enterprises, and bringing their traditional wisdom to key public policy debates such as climate change.
  • In Bangladesh, The Hunger Project catalyzed the formation of a 300-organization alliance that organizes more than 800 events across the country each September in honor of National Girl Child Day, a day to focus on eradicating all forms of discrimination against girl children.

How You Can Participate

  • Give Now. Those who give their money to The Hunger Project are not seen as "donors," but investors, or stakeholders who are standing in full partnership with people living in conditions of hunger and poverty. You will experience a return on your investment that is immediate and lasting: the joy and satisfaction that come from investing your resources in a way that benefits all humanity, and leaves a legacy for future generations that would not otherwise be possible. Become a Hunger Project investor now.
  • Are you a young person that is interested in making a difference in the world? Check out our Youth In Action page.