In the Islamic state of Mauritania, women who have been raped often end up in prison. About 60 percent of women who come forward with allegations of sexual violence are accused of Zina, or a crime against morality. It is therefore unsurprising that most choose to remain silent. Fatima M'Baye, the first female lawyer in Mauritania, is part of the movement to blunt the harsher aspects of Sharia, and also help women overturn their convictions.
Since 2000, Room to Read has supported 10,000 girls across eight countries in Asia and Africa with an education through secondary school. The multiplier effect of this education will impact not only these girls but also their families and communities for generations to come. This is just one story among thousands.
Lack of toilets is a serious problem in India. Human excrement pollutes fields and rivers, causing disease and even death. But the Sulabh Sanitation Movement is helping to change that, with cheap, eco-friendly solutions that already benefit more than 10 million people every day.
A centuries-old local tradition of giving livestock to families in need is being used today to empower women of the Gutu Dobi village of southern Ethiopia. The gift of a goat can significantly help a woman as the traditional head of household: Goats reproduce quickly and make milk that will nourish families.