Why the fight against poverty starts with women’s empowerment

Fighting poverty is impossible without empowering women, the backbone of every community. We believe that in order to truly alleviate poverty and fight inequality, we need to centre the rights of women in our work, both in Canada and around the world. That’s why women empowerment is one of the cornerstones of our projects.

Extreme inequality has ravaged much of the world as barriers continue to keep girls from pursuing literacy, education, wellbeing, and a brighter future. We are committed to breaking down these walls.

Older women studying - empowered women

And it starts with empowering women to become agents of change in their communities. That’s why our projects are designed to build safer, and more just communities for women and girls. 

From education for girls, to skills development and micro-finance projects, we’ve seen these porjects succeed. That’s why women’s empowerment is a key goal to help create and sustain better futures for themselves. Through community support groups and capacity building, these women rise to leadership and effect change in their communities.

All this sounds amazing, but we want to show you what it actually looks like! 

In this first episode of Season 2 of our series Follow Your Donation, you will witness first hand the stories of women that you have empowered. Our staff visit three women in Kosovo, Pakistan, and Kenya whose resilience and success shine through in inspiring ways. 

In Kosovo, we visit a goat farm, where the family matriarch Vezire has built her own business, and is able to provide for her family now through our assistance. Then there’s Alina, a bright young girl in Pakistan, who can finally finish her degree because of Islamic Relief’s orphan sponsorship. And finally, we meet a young mother in Kenya named Fatima, who’s able to lift her family out of poverty with our help. 

An Empowered Future – Powered By Goats 

Vezire’s life was devastated by years of war in Kosovo and the Balkans. Half of her country can’t find work. Life became harder and harder. We stepped in at just the right time to empower her to buy enough livestock to lift up her family. 

Goats from Islamic Relief Project supporting empowered women

“I can’t express how thankful I am
just knowing how much benefit you’ve given.


Our team visited her farm last year, now a home to 40 young healthy goats. Vezire’s expertise and life long experience has allowed her to turn this flock into a profitable goat cheese business. Stories like hers can be found all across the world thanks to you, our generous donors. 

An Escape from Conflict

Fatima escaped war-torn Somalia with her kids to live as refugees in Kenya. Like Vezire, her family depends on her to sustain them. 

“We were people who had nothing and struggled a lot,” she said. Opportunities were far and few in between and she struggled to put food on the table. 

Yet with just a small boost from us, she’s been able to turn things around as a single mother. Not only is she putting her kids through school, Fatima is also pursuing her own education. 

It shows just how much individual women are capable of with the right help, which brings us to Alina’s story. 

Education: Women’s Path Out Of Poverty

With hopes of becoming a doctor in Pakistan, Alina ran into all sorts of barriers and couldn’t put enough money together to finish her studies. She had been part of Islamic Relief’s Orphan Sponsorship Program as a child, so when she found her remaining family couldn’t support her dreams, she turned once again to Islamic Relief for help.

Within the week, Islamic Relief contacted her once more, with the assistance to help Alina fulfill her dreams.

“I just want to share my story with other people
so they get motivated. Insha’Allah, in 2020 I will graduate!”

Alina’s story shows how when women are empowered through education, they can go on to make lasting positive change. 

Ending Global Poverty Starts with Empowering Women

We’ve seen time and again through the course of our work in over 40 different countries that we cannot make lasting change without involving women. Global studies show that social programs that target women can affect the GDP of an entire country – something we talk more about in our post explaining why women are the key to eradicating global poverty.

Through this Follow Your Donation episode see just how far your donations go to help women all over the world. And how they turn around to lift their entire communities.