Women's empowerment is vital to ending poverty.
Habitat for Humanity is committed to helping women thrive. Not only do we help women out of poverty by addressing a critical housing need, but also with access to clean water and toilets, education on legal rights, and entrepreneurial and business training. Our Women Build programme brings together women from all walks of life to help build better futures for women and their families. Regardless of who you are, or what you do, you have the ability to change another woman's life for the better.
Women own less than 20% of the world’s land.
1 billion women do not have a bank account.
Women who own land are 8 times less likely to experience domestic violence.
Housing and Land rights
In many parts of the world women are legally blocked from owning land, which puts them at constant risk of eviction and homelessness. When women can inherit and have equal access to land rights, they can invest in a safe and decent home. Habitat for Humanity works to advance land rights and home ownership for women around the world, including educating them on disaster risk prevention and incremental building. Learn more about our global campaign for land rights.
Women’s access to basic financial services, such as a bank account or small loans, is key to earning an income, saving money, and building businesses. Habitat for Humanity works with low-income women who run small, home-based businesses, upskilling on financial principles, market strategies, business plans, and diversification of product offerings. We partner with financial institutions to give women access to credit, often for the first time, with small, low-interest, short-term loans that allow them to enhance their businesses and gradually improve their homes.
Safety and Security
Lack of access to toilets and clean water puts women and girls at risk. Women in dry regions walk an average of 3½ miles every day to fetch water for their homes — their day often begins and ends with fetching water and in between they cook, look after children, and go to work. Girls and women without toilets are forced to go outside. In the daytime, they feel embarrassed and at night they risk assault. The longer they have to walk, the more vulnerable they are. Learn more about what we are doing for women in India who are Too Scared To Go.
Globally women comprise 48.5 % of the workforce.
50 countries have no laws against sexual harassment in the workplace.
Less than 5% Fortune 500 CEOs are women.
Investing in women benefits everyone.
Women all over the world face barriers to achieving their full potential and in some parts of the world the impact of inequality can mean life or death.
Women’s equality and empowerment is Goal 5 on the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. World leaders have embraced this urgent need to end all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls as an integral part of building a sustainable future for everyone.
Advancing women’s equality has the power to grow the global economy by $12 trillion. If full equality is achieved this could mean $28 trillion in global growth by 2025. Whether in the UK or in the developing world, closing the gender gap is good business sense. From participation in the workforce to top management, the persistent inequalities between men and women need to be addressed.
It is clear that by removing the barriers that exist in women’s daily lives, together, we can can build better futures for women and girls.
'Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.' - Maya Angelou
Join Women Build and Make Your Impact
Women Build is the unique opportunity to be part of transformational change. As you work in a community, building a home for a family, you not only make a permanent change in their life, you also witness firsthand the power that you have to make a real difference. Over the week, as you dig foundations and build walls, you create lasting friendships with other women from all background who will continue to inspire you long after the dust has settled.
What you will do:
- Spend a week with a team of women building a house alongside a family in need.
- Lay bricks, dig foundations, plaster walls, mix mortar, move materials, and contribute other activities on the construction site as needed.
- Meet women in the community and learn about what they are doing to improve their lives and their families’ lives.
- Participate in cultural activities and action learning sessions.
Your Impact - Safe Housing
Our volunteers work with families who have partnered with Habitat for Humanity to secure decent and safe housing. The families are ensured secure land tenure to ensure they are never unwillingly forced from their home.
Your Impact - Financial Inclusion
Families partnering with Habitat for Humanity receive support and training throughout the process, including financial literacy and business skills. They pay an affordable mortgage which is achieved by offsetting labour costs with volunteers.
Your Impact - Safety and Security
Habitat for Humanity builds new latrines for families so that women and girls do not have to travel far to use the toilet. They also help with easier more efficient ways of accessing clean water, including providing water wheels that are easier to transport and hold more water.
Let's Make Some Change
Challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone, and work on our construction site helping build houses for women and their families.
Challenge your company and others to demonstrate their commitment to diversity and equality by investing in women, including sponsoring participation in a Women Build.
Change the world
Progress requires commitment, but when women come together and raise their voices to demand equality as one, we are unstoppable.
I was humbled by what I witnessed in Mumbai and the surrounding rural area and can only stress to others considering taking part in future builds just how fulfilling an opportunity it really is. Nicola Barclay, Women Build 2017
Before the build I was riddled with self doubt: Would I be up to the challenge? How effective could a group of women be? Could we really make a difference? My experience completely changed those perspectives. I was surprised by how tough we were as individuals and how powerful a group of women can be in creating positive change – we built a house! I am looking to join my third build and would encourage others to sign up too – we can make such a difference together! Dr. Hilary Rhoden, Women Build 2017 and 2018