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International Women’s Day (IWD) 2017 is encouraging followers to #BeBoldForChange. For this special issue of Aid in Action, we asked our clients and partners to share positive stories of how the work of their organisations impacts women and girls around the world.

IWD reminds us to stop and share some of the great work being carried out in our field to support women. It provides a great platform for positive coverage of humanitarian aid and international development. Enjoy, and be inspired!

The Health Pooled Fund (HPF)

HPF has been transforming the lives of millions of people in South Sudan by providing access to good quality basic health services in partnership with South Sudan’s Ministry of Health.

HPF recently made significant steps towards expanding and improving women's health services by upgrading two primary health care facilities that are located in highly populated areas with limited or no access to emergency services. By establishing operating theatres with qualified staff in these locations, HPF has brought lifesaving emergency obstetric services, including caesarean sections and blood transfusions, to mothers who might otherwise have died in childbirth.

See here to read the full article from HPF.
Mercy Corps

"Throughout our programming, we partner with communities to build gender equality, and work to support the drive and resourcefulness of women and girls." (Mercy Corps)

For IWD the team shared some great examples of the successful impact they are having on women and girls around the world. 

For an overview of Mercy Corps' work with women and girls see here.
Our favourite stories from Mercy Corps:

Who are the worlds toughest women?
How we help girls fulfill their potential
From healthy pregnancy to happy baby 
Dig Deep

Dig Deep works to provide schools and communities with access to water and sanitation in rural Kenya.
Jessica the Partnership Development Manager told us of her experiences of how Dig Deep's work impacts women and girls.

"I met the ladies of Ngamuriak community in the Maasai Mara, where we are constructing a community rainwater harvesting
system. The ladies used to walk 9km to fetch dirty water (that they would often have to queue hours to collect) so the new rainwater harvesting system will relieve them of a huge physical burden as well as providing them and their families with clean and safe water."

Dig Deep have published blogs on their website looking at :
Why women are central to our work  
Why menstruation matters
What have we been up to?
We recently worked with the QED Group to produce this learning review for USAID Uganda. Community Connector reduced poverty, food insecurity, malnutrition & gender disparity through integrated community-level nutrition & livelihood interventions. Download our infographic for an overview, including key findings & lessons for the future.

What's next?

Later this month we're going to the annual BOND conference, which brings together diverse organisations and thinkers to share ideas and discuss emerging trends in the international development and humanitarian sectors. If you're going too, grab us for a chat!

We have announced our next Careers in Aid course date for anyone interested in a career in this sector: see upcoming training courses for more information and early bird discounts.
The Talent Development Project (TDP)

Women and children are often disproportionately affected when a disaster strikes. Yet they are rarely involved in humanitarian response initiatives.  TDP is a humanitarian capacity-building initiative which is part of the Disasters and Emergencies and Preparedness Programme (DEPP). 

TDP have shared some of their successes for women:
  • Their entry-level Humanitarian Trainee Scheme has succeeded in attracting and training a new generation of women humanitarians.
  • Globally 58 per cent of the TDP participants are female.
  • Their research indicates that female trainees are already beginning to positively change the work practices in humanitarian organisations even though they are new to the sector.
Read more about how the Talent Development Project is training a new generation of women humanitarians in Bangladesh, and breaking taboos around family planning in Wajir.
Royal Academy of Engineering/ UIPE

"We need more women like Dr Robinah Kulabako (pictured), Senior Lecturer & specialist in Environmental Engineering at Makerere University, and recipient of a UIPE Presidential Citation Award." (UIPE)

The Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers (UIPE), supported by the UK's Royal Academy of Engineering, is building the capacity of women in engineering and equipping them with the skills to enhance professionalism in engineering. 

To read more about this fantastic initiative, see the full article from UIPE here.

In India, menstruation is seen by some communities as impure or ‘dirty’, even cursed. But with a female population of almost 650 million, how can we begin to tackle a taboo like this?

Pravah International Citizen Service (ICS) team leader Eleanor Carne, 27, experienced how girls and women in her host community were living in a culture of anxiety every single month just for having their period. Now back in the UK, Eleanor’s creating reusable, washable fabric sanitary pads to send back to her host community so local women can create them from a template for themselves and others. Read more on the ICS website, here.

Are you struggling to find affordable, international medical insurance for your overseas work? Here at Aid Works, our staff and associates travel frequently to fragile states, so excellent medical coverage is a must. We rely on Bellwood Prestbury's policy designed exclusively for aid workers. If you are interested, please consider going to their website via this affiliate link - if you purchase a policy, we will receive a small commission which will help fund the continuation of our schools programme in the UK!  If you would rather go directly to their website, you can find them here.

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