GLOBAL GENDER ISSUES
Violence against women, access to education for women and girls, and economic opportunities for women are among the most significant global issues impacting human security and improvement.
Acts of violence against women and girls are not isolated events but rather form a pattern of behavior that violates their human rights, limits their participation in society, and damages their health and well-being.
The numbers are staggering; according to the World Bank:
Nearly 1 billion women, or one in three girls and women, have experienced intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.
Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by an intimate partner.
According to the UN, "women are more likely to experience intimate partner violence if they have low education, exposure to mothers being abused by a partner, abuse during childhood, and attitudes accepting violence, male privilege, and women’s subordinate status."
Ample evidence by the World Health Organization illustrates that increased access to a higher education offer pathways to escaping these cycles of violence and empowering women to create better futures for themselves, their families, and their communities.
EDUCATION IS A VEHICLE FOR ENDING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Education is the path to a brighter future.
According to the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and multiple investigative studies, there is a direct correlation between higher levels of education and women's human rights and opportunity:
Higher levels of education for women has a positive correlation with an increase in autonomy and a decrease in domestic violence.
Education increases women’s employment opportunities and socio-economic mobility.
Access to educational opportunities decreases the incidence of early marriage and childbirth, which correspond statistically with higher rates of domestic violence.
The empowerment of women reduces the unequal power relationship between women and men, which has been identified as the root cause of gender-based violence.
As stated by the World Bank, “Violence against women is a plague that can be fought through education.” By creating opportunities to pursue a higher education, Love Forward’s scholarship and transition program is designed to help young women from the most disadvantaged backgrounds gain dignity and independence, break the cycle of violence, and ultimately contribute to greater community stability, national prosperity, and increased human development.
TACKLING THESE ISSUES
It has been observed that "few organizations address the educational needs of the most marginalized girls," those that are "the hardest to reach." That is where Love Forward places its focus.
Love Forward works in countries where global organizations like the United Nations, World Economic Forum, the Global Slavery Index have highlighted that poverty, physical and mental abuse and exploitation play a significant role in limiting upward mobility and have a disproportionate impact on women.
While these factors negatively impact both genders, girls are more vulnerable, especially in the Global South when they are aging out of an orphanage or a similar program at 18. In this context, the following additional variables are usually at play: extreme poverty, past abuse, the lack of a supporting family structure, and no means by which to continue their education. These factors often lead to early, forced, or arranged marriages and having children at a young age.
This demographic of young women is at a particularly high risk of experiencing future gender-based violence and exploitative circumstances. Love Forward is committed to creating pathways to a different future through higher education, which leads to greater degrees of economic self-sufficiency, financial independence, and self-determination.