In Honor of International Women’s Day (March 8) – AKDN’s contributions

Building on its experience in other countries, in 2010 the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) began forming self-help and savings groups in rural Bihar to help marginalised women.

This is the story of one of those women.

Published on Mar 8, 2016

Over the past twenty-five years, women in India have made important gains. Over 1.2 million women have been elected as local representatives. Female literacy has increased to 65% in the past twenty years and girls now make up over 50% of new primary schools students. But the ongoing challenges for women in India are stark:

  • One-third are malnourished and half are anemic.
  • Most women spend at least six hours a day fetching water or firewood, cooking, and farming. Only a third of homes treat their water, resulting in illness, malnutrition, and lost work.
  • Lack of sanitation facilities affects women’s safety and rates of school absenteeism, and illness.
  • Only 26% of women in India have an account with a formal financial institution impeding their ability to balance family responsibilities with career or entrepreneurial opportunities.
    The more women come together, the more they can earn and save, the more economic benefits they bring to their families and the more voice and respect they have in their community.

Elsewhere in Bangladesh, Industrial Promotion and Development Company (IPDC) has been playing a vital role in financing the women entrepreneurs of the country since 2009.

IPDC aspires to have more success stories in the year ahead and stand strong beside women entrepreneurs to realize their dreams. The IPDC is the first private sector financial institution of the country established in 1981 by a distinguished group of shareholders namely International Finance Corporation (IFC), USA, German Investment and Development Company (DEG), Germany, The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), Switzerland, Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), UK and the Government of Bangladesh.

Source: The Financial Express

And in Tanzania, Aga Khan University – East Africa makes a statement while celebrating!

In conclusion, AKDN institutions highlight projects that empower women across the world

Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali

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