Empower Women

NAVTAF_LWEPWe have transformed thousands of lives through evidence-based programs that focus on expanding women’s economic opportunities, increasing women’s rights and security, and advancing women’s political participation. The Asia Foundation practices an integrated approach that promotes gender equality across all programs.

Outcomes

  • Increased participation of women in elections, public leadership, and decision-making
  • Expanded opportunities for women’s entrepreneurship, education, and employment
  • Improved rights and security for women
 

EXPANDING WOMEN’S ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

Our projects expand opportunities for women through education, entrepreneurship, and vocational training. We provide women the knowledge and skills to earn an income and lift themselves and their families out of poverty, including through scholarships. In the workplace, we address constraints faced by women entrepreneurs. By providing networking opportunities, mentoring, access to information and credit, and business management training, we foster environments where women can advocate for improved policies. We work alongside local partners to provide women with vocational training to break into higher-paid employment sectors.

EXPANDING WOMEN’S ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

In parts of Asia, women face discrimination that limits their options. Our projects expand opportunities for women through education, entrepreneurship, and vocational training. Women who lack education often become trapped in cycles of illiteracy, poverty, and abuse. We provide women the knowledge and skills they need to earn an income and lift themselves and their families out of poverty, including through scholarships. We work alongside local partners to provide women with vocational training to break into higher-paid employment sectors traditionally dominated by men.

INCREASING WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND SECURITY

We work with individuals and communities to change attitudes and social norms that perpetuate gender-based violence and the exploitation of women and girls. We engage government and civil society to strengthen laws, legal systems, and other response mechanisms to increase access to justice and improve service delivery. A leader in the fight against human trafficking, The Asia Foundation has pioneered initiatives to combat trafficking in nearly a dozen source, transit, and destination countries. Our broad engagement across Asia uniquely positions us to respond with locally rooted, gender-sensitive, and durable strategies to enhance prevention, prosecution, and protection measures.

INCREASING WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND SECURITY

Gender-based violence and human trafficking create debilitating trauma and exact a heavy toll on social and economic development across Asia. We work with individuals and communities to change attitudes and social norms that perpetuate gender-based violence and the exploitation of women and girls. A leader in the fight against human trafficking for decades, The Asia Foundation has pioneered initiatives to combat trafficking in nearly a dozen source, transit, and destination countries.

PROMOTING WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION IN POLITICAL AND PUBLIC LIFE

We help women develop skills to be informed voters, active members of political parties, and successful candidates. Our programs encourage women to engage in political processes and contribute to increased government transparency and accountability. We advance women’s rights by working with governments and local partners to support and strengthen legal systems. The Asia Foundation equips women with information on their rights and access to free legal aid and strengthens local efforts to reform laws and policies that discriminate.

PROMOTING WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION IN POLITICAL AND PUBLIC LIFE

Women must play an active and effective role in public decision-making and have a voice on critical issues. We help women develop skills to be informed voters, active members of political parties, and successful candidates. Our programs encourage women to engage in political processes and contribute to increased government transparency and accountability. We advance women’s rights by working with governments and local partners to support and strengthen legal systems.

Program highlights

SUPPORTING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are critical engines of economic growth and job creation, yet women own less than 10% of SMEs in South Asia. The Asia Foundation advances women’s ability to start and grow businesses and conduct trade in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Through study tours, networking, public-private dialogues, technology, and capacity-building of women’s associations, the Foundation has strengthened a South Asia regional network of women entrepreneurs.

LABOR MIGRATION IN CAMBODIA

In Cambodia, unsafe labor migration practices increase the risk of exploitation and abuse, often in the form of labor and sex trafficking. The Asia Foundation conducts trainings on safe migration and anti-trafficking strategies for community youth-based networks in high-risk provinces, and works to improve the capacity of local government to better protect communities from unsafe labor migration.

NEPAL: CONFLICT MEDIATION

In Nepal, women face distinct challenges in accessing the formal justice system. The Asia Foundation promotes community-based mediation as a means to improve access to justice and establish a culture of conflict resolution. We have worked with local partners to create more than 100 mediation service programs across 12 districts of Nepal that have provided more than 1,280 women with mediation support.