For decades, Pact has worked hand in hand with communities around the world to empower girls and women – especially rural women. We focus on root causes of disparities that negatively affect women and girls.
Women make up half of the world’s population, but in countless ways do not enjoy the same rights and social benefits that men do.
Women are more likely to be unemployed than men and bear the brunt of unpaid care and domestic work. They are less likely to have access to education, social protections and participation in governance and community and household decision-making.
At the same time, we know that when women do better, families and entire communities do better. When women earn income of their own, for example, they are more likely than men to invest that income in their children’s health, nutrition and education, strengthening future generations.
For decades, Pact has worked hand in hand with communities around the world to empower girls and women – especially rural women. Our health, livelihoods and governance programming all focus on gender equality and inclusion to overcome root causes of disparities that negatively affect women and girls. Pact’s expertise includes women’s economic empowerment, health empowerment and equality, and community solutions to gender-based violence.
With Pact’s support, women and girls gain skills, resources, confidence, independence and influence. We increase meaningful participation by women in family and community decision-making, local governance and business.
Since it began in the 1990s, our WORTH program has reached more than 1 million women in 16 countries, helping them build skills in literacy, entrepreneurship and more to start and grow businesses to earn income of their own – a critical foundation for gender equality and eliminating poverty. WORTH also helps women take on decision-making and leadership roles in their families and communities.
WORTH’s unique model brings women and older girls together in groups of 20 to 25 to save money, access credit and start small businesses.
Unlike micro-lending and many other development programs, WORTH provides no capital or seed money. Members are required to make small savings deposits at weekly meetings, and when groups’ funds grow large enough, members may begin taking loans, which they use to start small businesses.
Groups elect officers, receive literacy and numeracy training, and learn the fundamentals of running a small business. With time, they receive additional training tailored to their needs. Women who grow and sell vegetables, for example, learn about pest management and crop rotation to boost their production. Pact is now working to digitize WORTH through the myWORTH app.
For many members, the knowledge and income they gain are life-changing. Once groups have built a foundation, many continue for years after Pact’s support ends — a testament to WORTH’s sustainability. Some have helped start entirely new groups, training them on their own.