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UN Women

Interested in Gender Equality? Support These Organizations


Interested in Gender Equality? Support These Organizations

by Kate Vandeveld

As a woman-owned company, WhyWhisper places a lot of value on working with and supporting talented, driven women.

We were excited to celebrate International Women’s Day this past Tuesday, and Women’s History Month through the end of March. This year’s theme for International  Women’s Day was ‘Pledge for Parity,’ calling women and men to pledge to take action for gender parity in various ways.

Why do we need gender parity? Because the ripple effect of gender inequality is monumental. Globally, women are less educated than men, making up an astonishing two-thirds of the world’s illiterate people and with just 39% of rural girls attending secondary school.

This lack of education means that women are paid less, and increases their vulnerability to child marriage and domestic violence. Gender inequality is also one of the primary causes and effects of hunger, with an estimated 60% of the world’s chronically hungry being women and girls. The education deficit among rural women is a major contributing factor to this issue.

Even women who are able to pursue education earn significantly less than men in the workplace. According to a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, if the pay gap continues to decrease at its current rate, we won’t see parity until 2059.

The bottom line is, gender inequality is a major issue, and it’s going to take a great deal of effort to overcome it. We want to acknowledge some of the organizations that are leading these efforts, and encourage you to follow along with their work, supporting them however you can. Here are a few of our favorites:

Global Fund for Women

Global Fund for Women is an organization that works to shed light on critical issues around the rights of women and girls, and then “find, fund, and amplify” the women who are addressing them. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay on top of their powerful and impactful campaigns, like their “Fierce 8 for March 8” International Women’s Day campaign.


MomsRising is an organization that harnesses the collective power of women, specifically mothers, to impact policies that affect them every day. Mothers are a critical and often underrepresented subset of women. In recognizing that, MomsRising has been able to mobilize women for change in unprecedented ways. Stay on top of their incredible successes by following them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Take the Lead

Take the Lead is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help women get into leadership positions, reaching parity across all sectors by 2025. They offer a variety of courses and programs for propelling women into leadership positions, and a blog that highlights female leaders and provides advice to women who want to advance their careers. Our favorite offering? Their newsletter, which shares updates on what’s happening in the world of women’s leadership.

It’s Time Network

It’s Time Network is a building a community of individuals and organizations that are working together to accelerate the full empowerment of women and girls worldwide. In a space where so many who are working toward the same goal are looking for resources, It’s Time Network wants to make it easier for them to work collaboratively, focusing less on funding and more on collaborative action. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for the latest updates in the space.

Women’s Empowerment Principles

Developed by UN Women and UN Global Compact, the Women's Empowerment Principles are seven steps that are meant to guide business on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. If you’re interested in employing the principles in your own workplace, you can find out how to do so here. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter for updates, including information about their events and chats.


Do you support a women’s empowerment organization that we should follow? Let us know about them, and we’ll spread the word. Here’s how you can get in touch:



Take a Stand for Human Rights


Take a Stand for Human Rights

by Kate Vandeveld

Tomorrow is International Human Rights Day, commemorating the day that UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. To give some context, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the first global expression of rights that all human beings are inherently entitled to – in other words, an extremely important step in the human rights movement.

This year, the day is dedicated to the launch of a year-long campaign for the 50thanniversary of the two major human rights covenants adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 1966. The theme for 2015 is ‘Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always.’, focusing on such rights and freedoms as freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. You can learn more about the day and what it represents here.

International Human Rights Day provides us with an opportunity to take time out of our lives to think about the rights that we believe every human should have, who lacks them, and what actions we can take to stand up for them. 

So today, we challenge you to really think about that: What do you care about enough to stand up for, and how will you go about it?

If you’re looking for some ideas to get started, here are a few campaigns we support:

Eliminate Gender Based Violence 

An estimated 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives. And that’s a conservative estimate – as you might imagine, a large number of cases go unreported.

Not enough people are aware of these shocking statistics, and that’s the first problem. That’s why from November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, through tomorrow, UN Women has been running a campaign to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls all over the world. The United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence Against Women campaign is encouraging you to “Orange the World” by sharing photos, messages, and videos to raise awareness about the problem. If you want to join the campaign, check out their Facebook and Twitter feeds and learn how you can spread awareness yourself.


Stand up for LGBT Rights

In more than half of the country, the LGBT community can be denied employment just because of their suspected sexual preferences – it’s legal in 31 American states. And this is only the beginning of the appalling statistics surrounding this issue – learn more about LGBT discrimination here.

If you want to help spread awareness of the issues surrounding LGBT rights, check out the UN’s Free & Equal Campaign, a global public education campaign for LGBT equality. The primary purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness of homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination, and promote greater respect for the rights of LGBT and intersex people everywhere.  


Join the Movement for Gender Equality

Gender inequality remains a huge issue, across all sectors. To start, women in most countries earn on average only 60 to 75 per cent of men’s wages, and girls all over the world continue to be majorly excluded from education systems. And, once again, this is just the beginning – you can learn more here.  

One of our favorite initiatives around gender equality is the He for She campaign. He for She brings men and women together to support one another, for the benefit of both genders. They’re building a movement that creates substantive impact at the policy level, and they’re working to get the masses involved. You can commit to taking action against gender discrimination and violence in order to build a more just and equal world here, or take it a step further with help from their action kit


Support Syrian Refugees

Right now in Syria, 13.5 million people need humanitarian assistance. 4.3 million Syrians are refugees, and 6.6 million are displaced within Syria – half of which are children. These people – all of them – need our help. Why now? Winter is coming, and refugees who are currently living in settlements have fewer resources than they’ve ever had. And this means that they’re more vulnerable to trafficking and other dangerous forms of escape.

If you want to provide support in this critical moment, start with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which is providing basic and necessary humanitarian aid to Syrians in need. This aid takes the form of cash for medicine and food, supplies for heating, winter clothing, and more. Every donation makes a difference, and UNHCR explains exactly how each dollar amount will impact the individuals and families who need it most.


On the most basic level, just talking about human rights violations on your own digital platforms (and in real life!) is so important. Think about the issues that matter to you, do some research, and spread the word. 

What are you doing to stand up for human rights today (and beyond!)? Share with us – here’s how:


Our Favorite Moments from The Social Good Summit


Our Favorite Moments from The Social Good Summit

For the past five years, Mashable has hosted The Social Good Summit. a two-day conference during UN Week in conjunction with The United Nations Foundation, 92nd Street Y, UNDP, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This year, we were thrilled to join hundreds of other global leaders, changemakers, and activists, in discussions about technology as a means for bettering our world. For those of you who were unable to be there, we thought we'd pass along our feelings of inspiration and progress by sharing our favorite key messages. 


Day One, alone, generated online conversation in 144 countries & 31 languages

Day Two

  • "Companies can have a social good agenda, and make money. They can drive down cost of tech but scale up." - Michael Dell, CEO of Dell
  • "Volunteering for more than two organizations can decrease your mortality rate by more than 40%." - Sheryl WuDunn, Author, Journalist, Speaker & Executive, and Nichola Kristof, Author, Journalist, Columnist
  • "Women do most of the work & earn the income; however, only own 1% of the land in Africa. Let's empower them." - Connie Britton, Actress, Singer & Producer
  • "For every $1 women make, they invest 90% back into their children, their communities, their world."  - Vicki Escarra, CEO of Opportunity International
  • "We're talking about human dignity, and that should be without borders." - Geena Rocero, founder of Gender Proud 
  • "The same people who contribute the least to climate change are the ones impacted the most." - Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda
  • "We have the power to choose. What are you doing with your power?" - Dr Jill Bolte Taylor, Brain Scientist, Public Speaker & Stroke Survivor
  • "We know that students learn 90% of what they teach, but only 20% of what they consume." - Mike Soskil, Teacher
  • "When you invest in a girl, you're also investing in her brothers, her family, her community, in society." - Michele L. Sullivan, Director of Corporate Social Innovation of Caterpillar and President of Caterpillar Foundation

Have others to add? Pass along the positivity by sharing in the comments below!