March 8 is International Women’s Day, which celebrates the achievements of women and the progress made towards women’s rights. It's also a day that brings attention to ongoing struggles for equality around the world. Because of Covid-19, millions have been struggling, and research suggests that women have been hit hardest by the economic fall out—in 2021 alone, women have been losing jobs at an alarmingly higher rate than men.
Want to help? These Houston organizations are giving women confidence to stand on their own two feet with the necessary resources.
The Houston’s Women Group gives thousands of women an avenue to use their voice, tell their stories, and speak to their passions. Since 1975, they've met every Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to noon to provide a space for women to discuss topics and learn about one another, serving as a forum to build long-lasting personal and professional relationships. “A wide range of topics are covered," says communications director Deborah Bell. "From personal growth, to issues that concern us in this modern age such as racism, the environment, countering sexual harassment and discrimination, and focusing on women who are often not well-known but are greatly accomplished."
This organization’s mission is to provide women and girls in Houston with the necessary tools to be advocates for their health, with educational programming that includes preventative curriculum-based classes. “Our focus is on teaching women and girls resiliency skills,” says director Linda Rhodes. “Resiliency is not a trait that we're inherently born with, but it is a skill that can be taught ... I think it's so important that women and girls ask questions and become their own advocate for promoting wellness within their own lives."
This organization envisions the day when we can say that domestic and sexual violence is a thing of the past, rather than part of our daily reality. Until then, the organization supports individuals in the formation of healthy lives, advocacy, counseling, education, shelter, and support services. “We support them from the moment of crisis all the way through helping set them up to live self-determined lives,” says marketing and communications coordinator Raquel Fatiuk.
Dedicated to the advancement and empowerment of women through avenues of leadership, education, advocacy, and mentoring, this nonprofit not only helps Houston girls prepare to become the next generation of women leaders through scholarships and educational programs, but also helps more women diversify corporate boards and launch their own businesses. Says the nonprofit's founder and president Suzan Deison, “We serve women and girls of all ages, beginning with at-risk third grade girls in our STEAM Town USA initiative and our scholarship program for deserving female high school students graduating from six area school districts to entrepreneur and executive women leading at Fortune 500 organizations."
The Women’s Resource of Greater Houston believes that a women or girl who controls her own finances, controls her destiny. For over 30 years, the organization has inspired financial change with an array of services for women—including YourLife Finance Classes, one-on-one coaching, group coaching and even a class for high school girls called RISE!—all designed to them take control on their financial futures. “Our clients are incredibly resilient and strong,” says communications and development director Emily Pauley. “Their inspiring stories and dedication to achieving financial stability are a great reminder of what women can accomplish when we come together this International Women's Day.”