Gender equality

Woman in niger carrying a big metal bowl on her head

In the past decade, there has been progress in improving women’s and girls’ human development. Unfortunately, challenges remain. Girls’ and women’s access to education, healthcare and employment lags behind that of boys and men.

Women are still underrepresented in international governments, representing only 17 percent of national parliamentarians and only seven of the 150 elected Heads of State. Additionally, violence against women and girls continues to be a global problem, with high costs to both survivors and their communities. 

The inclusion of women and girls in development is critical. They play key roles in food production, child health and nutrition, and improving livelihoods and education. Most importantly, deliberately including women and girls translates into helping them claim their basic human rights.

  • 15k

    survivors of gender violence in CAR we've supported since 2007
  • 10k

    visitors to our municipal women's rooms in Georgia
  • 4k

    male change agents in Uganda we've trained about women's health
  • 55

    girls empowerment forums we've established in Somalia


At Mercy Corps, we also recognize that men and boys play key roles in sustainable solutions to the challenges outlined above. These roles come in many forms: partners, supporters and, most importantly, advocates for the integration of women’s and girls’ participation in their communities.

Through our programs, we engage in active dialogue on gender issues and build capacity to design and implement impactful, gender-sensitive programming. We believe that efforts to create secure, productive and just communities result in more lasting, transformational change when everyone is engaged.

For more technical details on our gender equality programs, please download our approach document.