6 Organizations That Support & Empower Women

The roots of gender inequality run deep, which means that even though the women's rights movement has made momentous progress in recent decades, there's still plenty of work to be done. Organizations like the ones listed here work to level the playing field, giving women opportunities that they might not otherwise have. Whether you're interested in the gender gap in the media, the threat of domestic violence, or social movements around the world, you should check out these six groups. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Groups That Celebrate & Stand Up For Women

Organization Headquarters Location Mission
Women In Media Los Angeles, CA Promote gender balance in the film and entertainment industries through networking, professional development, and advocacy for women who work above and below the line and the people who collaborate with them
AdventureWomen Watertown, MA Invite women to physically and mentally challenge themselves while exploring the world at their own pace and on their own terms
League of Professional Theatre Women New York, NY Advocate for opportunities and visibility for female theatre professionals
Women in Data Science Stanford, CA Inspire and educate data scientists worldwide, regardless of gender, and support women in the field
Women's Habitat of Etobicoke Etobicoke, ON Provide a safe refuge, counselling, support, and advocacy for women and their children who are fleeing violence, while also working towards a more equal society where the inherent value of all women is recognized and celebrated
Global Fund for Women San Francisco, CA Find, fund, and amplify the courageous work of women who are building social movements and challenging the status quo

Inspiring Quotes From Successful Women

  • "If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again!" - Sojourner Truth
  • "I believe that it is as much a right and duty for women to do something with their lives as for men and we are not going to be satisfied with such frivolous parts as you give us." - Louisa May Alcott
  • "It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always." - Oprah Winfrey
  • "One's feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results." - Florence Nightingale
  • "A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman." - Melinda Gates

The Importance of Women's Rights

Signs Of Domestic Violence & Abuse

If these signs, laid out by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services apply to you or someone you know, reach out to someone you trust, contact an organization that can help, or (in case of immediate danger) call 911.

You may be experiencing domestic violence if your partner:

  • Controls what you're doing
  • Checks your phone, email, or social networks without your permission
  • Forces you to have sex when you don't want to
  • Controls your birth control or insists that you get pregnant
  • Decides what you wear or eat or how you spend money
  • Prevents or discourages you from going to work or school or seeing your family or friends
  • Humiliates you on purpose in front of others
  • Unfairly accuses you of being unfaithful
  • Destroys your things
  • Threatens to hurt you, your children, other loved ones, or your pets
  • Hurts you physically (e.g., hitting, beating, punching, pushing, kicking), including with a weapon
  • Blames you for their violent outbursts
  • Threatens to hurt themselves because of being upset with you
  • Threatens to report you to the authorities for imagined crimes
  • Says things like, "If I can't have you, then no one can"

Percentage Of Women In The Workforce

The percentage of men & women in the civilian labor force over time, according to the U.S. Department of Labor

Year Women Men
1950 29.6% 70.4%
1960 33.4% 66.6%
1970 38.1% 61.9%
1980 42.5% 57.5%
1990 45.2% 54.8%
2000 46.5% 53.5%
2010 46.7% 53.3%

The Power Of Women Helping Women

In Depth

Over the past century women have made important gains in the effort to secure equal rights, but they still face many barriers to success, security, and self-actualization. In response to these challenges, dedicated professionals, activists, and volunteers are organizing with the aim of empowering women to take control of their lives. Presented here, in no particular order, are six groups confronting gender-based inequality and celebrating female strength.

Leading off at #1 is Women In Media, an intersectional network of women that works for gender balance in the film and entertainment industries. Their searchable database of qualified crew members helps filmmakers find and hire female professionals for their projects. The organization offers networking opportunities to connect participants with industry leaders, professional development programs to build key skills, and advocacy for equitable workforce practices.

Through its online platforms, WIM helps raise the profile of the many exceptional women in entertainment and media, and signal boosts efforts to promote gender parity in the industry. They sponsor and participate in events that celebrate female achievement and push for fair treatment by employers. Prospective members can find information about benefits and application on WIM's website; supporters can donate or pitch in as volunteers.

They sponsor and participate in events that celebrate female achievement and push for fair treatment by employers.

Next on the list is #2, AdventureWomen, an adventure travel company owned and operated by women since its founding in 1982 by former Peace Corps member Susan Eckert. The company's purpose is to help women form lasting connections while enriching their lives through exploration in settings from the cultural riches of Thailand to the harsh beauty of Antarctica. They offer trips for those who want to be an active participant in their journey, with activity ratings ranging from Moderate to Challenging. They aim to provide an experience that leaves their guests feeling more confident, productive, and daring.

Experienced travelers can accompany groups as AdventureWomen Ambassadors, and a number of longtime guests now make up an advisory board helping to shape the future of the company. Women inspired by their adventures or personal triumphs can share stories about their life-changing experiences through the Ciao Bella blog. Many of these accounts speak movingly about lessons learned from exploring the world with family members, overcoming tragedy, or forming lifelong friendships with one-time-strangers.

At #3 we have the League of Professional Theatre Women, a not-for-profit organization that has been striving since the 1980s to provide greater visibility and opportunity for women in theater. Through advocacy projects, like their campaign to encourage directors to speak with more female candidates during the hiring process, and awards celebrating the dramatic achievements of their colleagues, the LPTW cultivates awareness of the need for representation in the arts. They also offer mentoring for members in the early stages of their careers, and help to raise the profile of emerging female talent.

Through advocacy projects, like their campaign to encourage directors to speak with more female candidates during the hiring process, and awards celebrating the dramatic achievements of their colleagues, the LPTW cultivates awareness of the need for representation in the arts.

The LPTW began as a networking organization, and continues to foster community among women working in the theater, creating spaces to interact and exchange ideas. Their Theatre Connections program enables conversations between League members and the staff at producing institutions, enabling them to learn about opportunities and to receive advice. And their Heritage and Oral History programs help keep the historic theatrical achievements of women alive in the present. Anyone can support the LPTW's mission by making a donation or purchasing a ticket to one of their events.

Entry #4 is Women in Data Science, an initiative to encourage worldwide interest in statistics, analysis, and machine learning, regardless of gender. The core of the program is an annual conference at Stanford University, with female leaders in the field presenting on cutting-edge topics, but since its inception in 2015 it has grown to include more than a hundred regional events coordinated by WiDS Ambassadors around the world. The organization also sponsors a yearly datathon in which women worldwide learn, collaborate, and experiment by building tools to analyze datasets related to socially relevant issues.

The WiDS podcast, hosted by Professor Margot Gerritsen of Stanford University's Department of Energy Resources Engineering, offers discussions of issues like diversity in the tech industry or the application of data science to food scarcity. The organization also highlights inclusivity efforts and shares stories of exceptional women in the field through its blog and newsletter. WiDS invites those inspired by their work to help plan a regional event as an Ambassador.

WiDS invites those inspired by their work to help plan a regional event as an Ambassador.

At #5 we have Women's Habitat of Etobicoke, a feminist community organization based in Canada that offers emergency shelter and resources to survivors of violence and poverty, and to their dependents. They maintain comfortable and confidential accommodations for women at risk from domestic partners, along with counselling, recreational programs for children, and assistance with challenges like safety planning or finding new housing. Women's Habitat is committed to helping even when at capacity, and provides additional options through their outreach center.

Women's Habitat provides numerous other community services in addition to their shelter, such as support groups and informational resources about domestic abuse. Their programs on parenting and their youth activities assist women and children in strengthening interpersonal relationships and forging new connections. The organization also advocates against misogyny and violence and shares research on equality issues. There are many ways to help with their efforts, including volunteering, donating, or organizing a fundraising drive.

The final entry on our list, #6, is the Global Fund for Women, a public foundation campaigning for the rights of women and girls with programs targeting issues including reproductive health, economic opportunity, and gendered violence. GFW provides grants to female-led groups working for change in communities around the world, like Beyond Beijing Committee, a Nepalese gender equality initiative, or the NoVo Foundation, a South Asian garment workers' alliance. And they act as partners in major campaigns such as the Adolescent Girls Fund, which helps young people fight for education and fiscal independence.

GFW provides grants to female-led groups working for change in communities around the world, like Beyond Beijing Committee, a Nepalese gender equality initiative, or the NoVo Foundation, a South Asian garment workers' alliance.

GFW's human rights-based approach emphasizes collaboration and empowerment. They seek to amplify the voices and share the stories of women striving for progress, and to highlight the achievements of their grantee partners. With advocacy efforts like the Working for Justice campaign or the documentary series Fundamental, they bring attention to the critical issues women face and demonstrate how change can be realized. Supporters can find ways to take direct action on the foundation's website, or donate to their programs directly.