International Women’s Day-Make it Happen, Houston
“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” Gloria Steinem
March is Women’s History Month, and today is International Women’s Day. Communities and organizations all over the world are celebrating the strides made forward for the social, political and economic rights of women and girls everywhere. While we commemorate all the achievements women have made and the invaluable work done to improve their lives, let’s also remember that there is still a great deal to be done. Low wages, workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and assault, restrictions on reproductive health care, and lacking safe environments to raise their children, amongst other things, are still challenges facing women, their families, and all of society.
This year the International Women’s Day theme is Make it Happen, encouraging effective action to advance women’s rights. Below is a list of 10 incredible Houston-based organizations (in no particular order) working to end violence, discrimination, and bring about social, political and economic equality for our community. These organizations need volunteers to continue serving Houston, so consider giving your time to help #MakeItHappen.
The Houston Area Women’s Center provides shelter, counseling, and advocacy to individuals who have experienced domestic and sexual violence. HAWC provides vital support to help survivors of abuse rebuild their lives and works to engage and educate the Houston community to make meaningful social change.
- Clinic Access Support Network
As a result of anti-abortion legislation, access to abortion care has drastically declined. The Clinic Access Support Network aims to make reproductive health care more accessible by providing a ride share network to individuals who need transportation to and from their abortion appointments, but can’t afford it.
Daya promotes healthy family relationships in the South-Asian community by providing services that include counseling, referrals, legal advocacy, and financial support to women and children affected by family violence and sexual assault. Daya also promotes awareness on topics relevant to the welfare of South Asian families through educational seminars, publications, and outreach events.
- Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse
AVDA provides counseling and legal services to survivors of abuse who cannot otherwise access those resources, and also offers a battering intervention and prevention program for men and women who have been abusive in their intimate relationships.
- United Against Human Trafficking
UAHT is dedicated to confronting and preventing modern-day slavery. Through community outreach, training for law enforcement and health care professionals, and prevention programs for minors, UAHT is working to ensure that sex and labor trafficking is eradicated in Houston and beyond.
- Girls Rock Camp Houston
GRCH is dedicated to empowering self identified girls of all backgrounds and abilities through music and creative expression. Campers have the opportunity to develop their performance and song writing skills while learning about teamwork and building self-confidence. At the end of the week long program, the girls have the chance to put on a concert at a venue in Houston.
- The Montrose Center
The Montrose Center provides a myriad of services to the Houston community, primarily to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and their families. From professional counseling and addiction recovery services to youth activities and peer groups, the Montrose Center has safe and accepting spaces for all.
- The Community Cloth
The Community Cloth is a micro-enterprise initiative helping refugee women in Houston by providing seed grants, training, and peer support. By producing and selling their wares, the women have an opportunity to express their culture and heritage, learn new skills that will assist them in transitioning to life in the US, and obtain much-needed supplemental income. 100% of the profits go directly to the artisans and the program.
9 . Fe y Justicia Worker Center
Many domestic workers receive poverty level wages and are subjected to high rates of verbal, physical, and psychological abuse in the workplace. Fe y Justicia (Faith and Justice) provides support to domestic workers in Houston by providing leadership development, community organizing opportunities, and raising awareness about workers’ rights.
- The Women’s Home
The goal of the Women’s Home is to help women in crisis get back on their feet and regain the self-esteem and confidence to become self-sufficient members of society. The Women’s Home is a safe and encouraging space for women who have left abusive relationships, suffered from family trauma, experienced homelessness, or are overcoming addiction.
Laila is a native Houstonian who loves craft beer, political activism, and being outdoors.