Women’s Suffrage, Equal Pay, And Finding a Voice

Women’s Equality Day, established on August 26, 1971, celebrates the day women earned the right to vote in the U.S. (August 26, 1920). The day continues to highlight the need for equal representation of women all over the world. As a nation, we have made huge strides in equality in the workplace, education and government. In other areas of the world, women are starting to demand equality. Central Asia Institute is working to help women in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan access education and work towards equality in their own communities.

Educating women is one of the most impactful ways to change societies. It can decrease early childhood mortality rates; studies show children of literate mothers have a 50 percent greater chance of living past the age of five. Women who are educated bring in 10 to 20 percent higher earning potential for every year of school completed. That additional income could be enough to bring a family out of extreme poverty.

Gender Equality Today

When women gain an education, they also gain a voice and a hand in their own futures. They achieve the ability read their rights, to understand and lobby for laws to protect them. They are less likely to allow their families to join extremist groups, and they provide a new path to peace. When women learn to read and earn educations, it improves the opportunity for equality the world over.

Achieving gender equality worldwide will create an incredible impact on the health and development of all nations. It’s so important that the United Nations Development Program named gender equality one of seventeen goals that make up the Sustainable Development Goals as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The group explains, “Empowering women and promoting gender equality is crucial to accelerating sustainable development. Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, but it also has a multiplier effect across all other development areas… There are still gross inequalities in access to paid employment in some regions, and significant gaps between men and women in the labor market.”

Women’s Rights Are Human Rights

At CAI, we witness the powerful effects of education on women’s equality first hand. Whether it’s a woman completing a literacy program and gaining the ability to read her rights, a girl receiving a health care degree to become a midwife in the village she grew up in, or a scholarship student breaking into a field once only open to men; our work provides opportunities for women and girls to become part of the development of their countries.

On Women’s Equality Day we want to celebrate the milestones that have already been reached through the hard work and courage of women all over the world. Young women in the countries we serve now dream of future careers. Our programs work to make those dreams come true. The road to achieving complete gender equality is a long one, but we’re committed to writing the map and reaching the destination through our programs in Central Asia.