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Peace Corps Volunteers Work to Increase Opportunities for Women Around the World

The White House Council on Women and Girls, Washington D.C.

'During Women’s History Month and throughout the year, thousands of Peace Corps Volunteers are working in communities around the world to increase opportunities for women and girls.

Peace Corps Volunteers know that women and girls in developing countries play a critical role in the well-being of their families and communities.  That’s why a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines worked with women in her community on a small business venture to sell colorful handbags crocheted from discarded plastic bags, and why Volunteers in Moldova are working with a local domestic violence shelter to improve the shelter’s direct services and provide training on domestic violence interventions and prevention strategies.

Peace Corps is unique in that Volunteers work at the grassroots level to identify gender barriers in individual communities. In Kenya, Volunteers have been working to end the practice of trading sex for fish, which has perpetuated the spread of HIV/AIDS among communities along Lake Victoria and forces women to become financially dependent on men. Since 2011, three Volunteers have helped local women find financial independence by working with Kenyan businesses and U.S. federal government partners to acquire boats for women involved in the fish trade and support the development of their own fishing business.

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