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17 Nonprofits Supporting Women and Girls this IWD & Women's History Month
This International Women's Day (and Women's History Month) here are a few of our favorite organizations supporting the rights of women and girls.
Across the world, the fight for gender equality takes many forms, from advocacy for equal education and bodily autonomy, to providing needed services for survivors of personal and global violence, to empowering the next generation of women leaders. Everyone is affected by gender inequality, so this International Women's Day (and Women's History Month) take some time to donate, volunteer for, or spread the word about the amazing organizations supporting women and girls in your community! If you're looking for a place to start, here are a few of our favorites.
At this moment, nearly 130 million girls are out of school. Even more are in school but not learning. That’s why Malala Fund is focused on accelerating progress — challenging systems, policies and practices so all girls can access 12 years of free, safe, quality education. By supporting youth activists, investing in local organisations and amplifying the voices of young women, Malala Fund is creating a world where girls have the agency to address the barriers standing in the way of their dreams. Malala Fund believes that local educators and advocates provide the greatest insight, innovation and energy needed to address barriers that keep girls out of school in their communities. Through their Education Champion Network, Malala Fund invests in their work so they can scale their efforts and leverage their collective power to create broader change to make it easier for all girls to learn. Their Girl Programme gives girls the tools they need to advocate for education and equality in their communities and a platform for the world to hear their voices.
Women for Women International
A woman who goes through a violent conflict or war lives through brutality, sexual violence, extreme poverty, and the death of loved ones. Her home and community are left fractured in its wake. And when the conflict is over, the world’s attention moves on, leaving women without basic resources like food and water in a community that puts them last.
Since 1993, Women for Women International has invested in the power of over 500,000 women who are forgotten — the women survivors of war and conflict — to learn the skills they need to rebuild their families and communities.
Their vision is to create a world in which all women determine the course of their lives and reach their full potential.
NARAL Pro-Choice America
The 4 million members of NARAL Pro-Choice America fight for reproductive freedom for every body. Each day, they organize and mobilize to protect that freedom by fighting for access to abortion care, birth control, paid parental leave, and protections from pregnancy discrimination.
Like 80% of Americans, they believe in the legal right to abortion. They are the foot soldiers who work to ensure that abortion access is not only protected but expanded. Since 1969, their member-driven campaigns have propelled political and cultural change at every level, from the statehouse to the White House. When it comes time to rally by the thousands on the steps of the Supreme Court in support of abortion access, NARAL members are there. When it comes time to push back against the disinformation and fear peddled by anti-choice extremists who want to take away our freedom, NARAL members are there. And when it comes time to hold political leaders accountable at the ballot box, NARAL members are there.
Working together, we push our friends to be bolder, lift up the champions fighting for true reproductive freedom, and shine a spotlight of accountability on the bad actors trying to impose their unpopular and out-of-touch agenda on us all.
National Organization For Women
As the grassroots arm of the women’s movement, the National Organization for Women is dedicated to its multi-issue and multi-strategy approach to women’s rights, and is the largest organization of feminist grassroots activists in the United States. NOW has hundreds of chapters and hundreds of thousands of members and activists in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since their founding in 1966, NOW’s purpose is to take action through intersectional grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life.
National Women's Law Center
The National Women’s Law Center fights for gender justice—in the courts, in public policy, and in our society—working across the issues that are central to the lives of women and girls. They use the law in all its forms to change culture and drive solutions to the gender inequity that shapes our society and to break down the barriers that harm all of us—especially women of color, LGBTQ people, and low-income women and families. For 50 years, they have been on the leading edge of every major legal and policy victory for women. Since 1972, NWLC has given a voice to women’s rage—turning hurried whispers into desperate shouts, and finally, into a rallying cry for justice and change. Their leadership has fueled a vision—and solutions—for laws, policies, and a societal culture that center gender justice values.
Center For Reproductive Rights
The Center for Reproductive Rights is a global human rights organization of lawyers and advocates who ensure reproductive rights are protected in law as fundamental human rights for the dignity, equality, health, and well-being of every person.
Since its founding in 1992, the Center’s game-changing litigation, legal policy, and advocacy work—combined with unparalleled expertise in constitutional, international, and comparative human rights law—has transformed how reproductive rights are understood by courts, governments, and human rights bodies.Through our their work across five continents, they have played a critical role in securing legal victories before national courts, United Nations Committees, and regional human rights bodies on reproductive rights issues including access to life-saving obstetrics care, contraception, maternal health, and safe abortion services, as well as the prevention of forced sterilization and child marriage.
They envision a world where every person participates with dignity as an equal member of society, regardless of gender. Where every woman is free to decide whether or when to have children and whether to get married; where access to quality reproductive health care is guaranteed; and where every woman can make these decisions free from coercion or discrimination.
American Association of University Women
The history of the American Association of University Women mirrors the progress of women in the United States. As the number of women graduating from college grew, so did their membership. They’ve published hundreds of research reports, from an 1885 paper disproving a prevailing myth that college impairs a woman’s fertility to, most recently, a study documenting the economic impact of workplace sexual harassment. They have supported the academic achievements of many thousands of scholars, from scientist Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, to astronaut Judith Resnik, the second woman in travel in space.
Their advocacy efforts have propelled countless new laws, including the Equal Pay Act, first proposed in 1945 and finally passed in 1963; the Title IX amendment in 1972; the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1993; the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009; and the Paycheck Fairness Act, which was passed by the U.S. Representatives in 2019 but is awaiting action in the Senate.
National Center for Transgender Equality
The National Center for Transgender Equality was founded in 2003 by transgender activists who recognized the urgent need for policy change to advance transgender equality. With a committed board of directors, a volunteer staff of one, and donated office space, they set out to accomplish what no one had yet done: provide a powerful transgender advocacy presence in Washington, D.C.
Today, NCTE works at the local, state, and federal levels to change laws, policies and society.The National Center for Transgender Equality advocates to change policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people. In the nation’s capital and throughout the country, NCTE works to replace disrespect, discrimination, and violence with empathy, opportunity, and justice.
NCTE envisions a society in which transgender people not only survive, but thrive, with accepting families and communities, full self-determination over their identities and bodies, and freedom from disrespect, discrimination and violence. For this vision to become a reality, we must also create equity, equal opportunity, safety, health, and economic well-being for all people over their entire lifetimes.
Transgender Law Center
Transgender Law Center is the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all people. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, we employ a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation. Transgender Law Center changes law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.
Founded in 2002, Transgender Law Center (TLC) has grown into the largest trans-specific, trans-led organization in the United States. Their advocacy and precedent-setting litigation victories—in areas including employment, prison conditions, education, immigration, and healthcare—protect and advance the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming people across the country. Through our organizing and movement-building programs, TLC assists, informs, and empowers thousands of individual community members a year and builds towards a long-term, national, trans-led movement for liberation.
National Center for Lesbian Rights
In 1977, a brave and determined woman, fresh out of law school and eager to make a difference, decided to put her knowledge to good use. As a legal scholar, Donna Hitchens saw the courtroom as a way to change the world. As a lesbian, she had experienced frustrations and fears—both personal and professional—and didn’t want others to suffer the same. As a future parent, she knew she would face even more challenges ahead. The National Center for Lesbian Rights was born.
NCLR is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, legislation, policy, and public education. They were the first national LGBTQ legal organization founded by women, bringing a fierce, longstanding commitment to racial and economic justice and our community’s most vulnerable.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) and the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) have joined together to expand the eco-system of holistic and inclusive support for survivors and advocates, through a venture affectionately named Project Opal.
Through Project Opal, they are working in tandem to:
- Create an ecosystem of services rooted in equity for survivors and advocates on a regional, statewide, national, and even international level.
- Lead survivor-informed, trauma-informed, and field-informed education, training, technical assistance, and certifications, and host the national conference on domestic violence.
- Create a scientific, data-driven, and scalable approach to domestic violence response that includes alternatives to law enforcement responses and a focus on culturally specific resources.
- Advocate for survivor-centered policies and protections.
- Create a standard for the wellness and retention of those doing this work. Every year across the country, domestic violence organizations lose amazing people because we do not equip them with the tools or resources they need to truly take care of themselves and relieve the impact of the secondary trauma they experience daily.
- Develop strategies to address social and racial justice in the framework of intimate partner violence. Putting in place education, resources, tools, and proposed policy that advance marginalized victims and communities and ensure they also receive the highest quality and most holistic services and support.
National Black Women’s Justice Institute
NBWJI researches, elevates, and educates the public about innovative, community-led solutions to address the criminalization of Black women and girls. They aim to dismantle the racist and patriarchal U.S. criminal-legal system and build, in its place, pathways to opportunity and healing. They envision a society that respects, values, and honors the humanity of Black women and girls, takes accountability for the harm it has inflicted, and recognizes that real justice is healing. At their core, NBWJI is committed to dismantling pathways to criminalization and confinement for Black women and girls, increasing and enhancing opportunities with and for formerly incarcerated women and girls, and promoting healing-centered justice.
National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum
The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only organization focused on building power with AAPI women and girls to influence critical decisions that affect our lives, our families and our communities. Using a reproductive justice framework, they elevate AAPI women and girls to impact policy and drive systemic change in the United States.
NAPAWF was founded in 1996 to realize the vision of 100 AAPI women who recognized the need for an organization that would amplify AAPI women’s stories and experiences. Being seen and heard in the public narrative gives us the power to shape the policy and cultural change needed to gain agency over our lives, families, and communities. Today, they are mobilizing and building power across the United States to create social, political, and economic change for AAPI women and girls. They also show up in solidarity for other women of color who are experiencing injustice and harms of oppression and marginalization.
National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Inc. (NIWRC) is a Native-led nonprofit organization dedicated to ending violence against Native women and children. The NIWRC provides national leadership in ending gender-based violence in tribal communities by lifting up the collective voices of grassroots advocates and offering culturally grounded resources, technical assistance and training, and policy development to strengthen tribal sovereignty. Our staff and board of directors consist of Native women from throughout the United States with extensive experience and commitment to ending violence against Native women and their children. NIWRC's staff bring decades of expertise in building the grassroots movement to increase tribal responses to domestic violence and increase safety for Native women.
Girls Who Code
In 1995, 37% of computer scientists were women. Today, it’s only 24%. The percent will continue to decline if we do nothing. The biggest drop off of girls in computer science is between the ages of 13 and 17. Girls Who Code is reaching girls around the world and is on track to close the gender gap in new entry-level tech jobs by 2030. They've taught more than 500,000 girls through our in-person programming and educational content. Half of the girls they serve come from historically underrepresented groups, including girls who are Black, Latinx, or from low-income backgrounds.
Juliette Gordon Low—also known widely by her nickname, “Daisy”—started Girl Scouts in 1912 in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia. The first troop was made up of 18 girls who all shared a sense of curiosity and a belief that they could do anything. At a time when women in the United States couldn’t yet vote and were expected to stick to strict social norms, encouraging girls to embrace their unique strengths and create their own opportunities was game-changing. That small gathering of girls over 100 years ago ignited a movement across America where every girl could unlock her full potential, find lifelong friends, and make the world a better place.
Girl Scouts bring their dreams to life and work together to build a better world. Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by trusted adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them.
Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, through direct service and advocacy. In partnership with schools and at Girls Inc. centers, they focus on the development of the whole girl. She learns to value herself, take risks, and discover and develop her inherent strengths. The combination of long-lasting mentoring relationships, a pro-girl environment, and evidence-based programming equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers, and grow up healthy, educated, and independent. Informed by girls and their families, they also advocate for legislation and policies to increase opportunities and rights for all girls.
Instil is proud to power the efforts of organizations fighting for the rights and well-being of women and girls across the country and the world. If your organization is looking for a relationship-centered platform to help you build community and foster connection with your donors, volunteers, activists, and other supporters, we'd love to talk to you!