A financial program aimed at Fijian women who want to start small businesses is helping to generate income, create jobs, and, ultimately, increasen their self-sufficiency.
Fiji has historically been a very patriarchal place, one where women are often the victims of domestic assault and abuse. So where better to start changing attitudes than in perhaps the most macho of Fiji's institutions, its military?
Women in rural China have one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Wu Qing at the Development Center for Rural Women believes that empowering women with the idea of equality, giving them out-of-home work skills, and instilling them with a sense of social responsibility will increase their feeling of self-worth and improve their quality of life. To plant the desire for knowledge, the center also started a grassroots literacy program.
Nguyen Thi Phuong, a victim of human trafficking, is part of a woman's club in Vietnam that is helping her recover from her ordeal. She is also working to educate other women to prevent them from falling into the same trap she did.
In the poorest parts of Tajikistan, young girls are most likely to miss out on a formal education. However, a new UNICEF program that emphasizes traditional life skills such as sewing and cooking alongside academic classes is encouraging rural families to send their daughters to school.
Australia's aid program in East Timor has a strong gender focus. One example of this is in the justice sector, where AusAID is supporting civil society organizations that address violence against women and improve access to information and services.
More than half a million women die every year from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and almost all of these could be avoided with access to professional health care. Which is why Australia is helping to train the next generation of midwives and providing specialist surgical services and training in East Timor.
It's more than eight years since the Taliban ruled Herat but, for many women here, life has barely changed, with forced marriage, domestic violence, and rape still commonplace. Now a fledgling women's rights movement is determined to change that legacy.
The members of the Awra Amba community in rural Ethiopia believe there is a way out of poverty—through improved education, equal rights for men and women, and hard work. It may sound simple, but these values turn many firmly ingrained local traditions and deeply held religious beliefs on their head.
In Mumbai, thousands of young girls are forced into the sex trade against their will after being kidnapped or sold by their families. This film documents the work of the Rescue Foundation, which searches out imprisoned girls, and provides a refuge for them after their escape.
In the town of Iqaluit in the far north of Canada, domestic violence is a serious problem. But Arctic women are supporting each other at Qimaavik, a safe haven for abused women and children. Through peer support and counseling, they are rebuilding their self-esteem and healing wounded spirits.
In Koraro, Ethiopia, many factors prevent girls from obtaining an education. However, girls like Regbe are now able to attend secondary school because of scholarships provided by the Millennium Villages Project. The girls previously would have married at a young age into a poor family. Now, they have a brighter future.
In the 1960s, a small group of Malian women cloth dyers reinvigorated the craft of hand-dyed cloth using a fabric called bazin. Now, thanks to microcredit programs introduced in the mid-1980s, bazin production has flourished into a lucrative enterprise dominated by women. Their artistic creativity has become a force for alleviating poverty and affirming identity in West Africa.
Life isn't easy for Haitian migrants living in the Dominican Republic. Mostly women and mostly undocumented, they are easy targets for trafficking and exploitation, and face the constant fear of deportation. But, given a digital camera to record their stories of hope and struggle, some of the woman have begun to find a stronger voice for themselves.
Street vendors in Liberia are organizing themselves to gain rights and improve their working conditions. Helped by groups such as Realizing Rights, these informal workers are fighting hard for greater security and prosperity.
The Taliban's home city of Kandahar is a volatile and dangerous place. In the midst of the ongoing conflict there, Rangina Hamidi, an Afghan-American woman, has started a business that provides local women with jobs creating embroidery. Earning their own money empowers these women, raising them out of poverty, improving their self-esteem, and enabling them to make independent financial decisions.