Women Bring Change

An old Chinese proverb says that “women hold up half the sky.” In our experience at AJWS, women hold up much more than half, even though they have access to much less than half of their share of resources in most of the world. This issue of AJWS Reports is dedicated to women activists and changemakers who inspire us around the globe. Click here to download the full publication.

Cover Story

Women Bring ChangeBy Leah Kaplan Robins

Women’s leadership is on the rise in developing countries worldwide.


Ambassador Meryl FrankBy Leah Kaplan Robins

An inside glimpse of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

From The Field

“We’re Going to be OK”By Nicole Graham-Lusher

An AJWS volunteer helps refugee girls in Nairobi get a fresh start.


Women on the Frontlines of DevelopmentBy Leah Kaplan Robins

Meet eight amazing women activists who are fearlessly pursuing justice.

A Woman Empowered, Who Can Find?By Rabbi Lauren Kurland

A Mexican woman’s success challenges this Jewish thinker to reconsider critique of “women’s work.”

It’s the Youth’s Responsibility to UpholdBy Jordan Namerow and Leah Kaplan Robins

Thoughts from a teen philanthropist.


Graffiti Art and Grassroots OrganizingBy Jordan Namerow

Bolivian women build a feminist movement.

Flooded OutBy Sara Hahn

Fighting the exclusion of women in Pakistan’s recovery

Empowering Girls to End ViolenceBy Amanda Cary

On-the-ground lessons from India to shape U.S. policy.

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About AJWS

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is an international development organization motivated by Judaism’s imperative to pursue justice. AJWS is dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the developing world regardless of race, religion or nationality. Through grants to grassroots organizations, volunteer service, advocacy and education, AJWS fosters civil society, sustainable development and human rights for all people, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship within the Jewish community.

AJWS has received an “A” rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy since 2004 and a four-star rating from Charity Navigator for nine years. AJWS also meets all 20 of Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability.


Join the chorus on Global Voices, AJWS’s new blog about grassroots development and global justice.

More than a million people have viewed Judd Apatow’s hilarious celebrity-studded video satirizing AJWS and Jewish identity. See what everyone’s talking about!

Watch President Bill Clinton, Paul Farmer, Rabbi David Ellenson and other prominent leaders in a video birthday toast to Ruth Messinger. www.ajws.org/ruthtribute

Coming this fall! “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” an exhibit presented by AJWS and the L.A. Skirball Cultural Center.

Footnotes from the Print Issue

  1. Kofi Annan, UN Press release: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2000/20000605.sgsm7430.doc.html
  2. United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), “Women, Poverty & Economics,” 2010: http://www.unifem.org/gender_issues/women_poverty_economics
  3. UN Press release: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2000/20000605.sgsm7430.doc.html
  4. Reuters, “Maternal Mortality Rate High in Afghanistan: UN,” Jan 26, 2009: http://in.reuters.com/article/idINISL40747920090126
  5. Otherworldsarepossible.org: http://www.otherworldsarepossible.org/another-haiti-possible/last-thing-lose-are-your-dignity-and-hope-haitian-refugee-camps-model-future-
  6. Go Magazine, “100 Women We Love 2008”: http://www.gomag.com/article/100_women_we_love1/67
  7. UNICEF country statistics, “Ethiopia”: http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/ethiopia_statistics.html
  8. United Nations, “The Feminization of Poverty,” Jan 10, 2011: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/followup/session/presskit/fs1.htm
  9. Proverbs 31:10-31
  10. Women Thrive Worldwide, “Women’s Economic Opportunity: Helping to End Gender-Based Violence and Poverty,” July 2009: http://www.womenthrive.org/images/gbv%20and%20poverty%20brief%20updated%20july%202009-1.pdf
  11. Ruth Levine, Cynthia B. Lloyd et.al., “Girls Count: A Global Investment & Action Agenda,” The Center for Global Development 2009: pg 18
  12. Ibid, 19

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