Skip to main content

International Women’s Day:

Published: 08 March 2024
Updated: 08 March 2024
Moyna at the centre

The Importance of Investing in Women

Today is International Women’s Day and the theme this year is ‘Invest in women: Accelerate progress’.

Through our work with unpaid carers in South Asia, we find that roughly 86% of carers are female. There is an assumption that women and girls will be the family members that provide care, and because of this, girls are removed from school and women from the workforce, which perpetuates gender inequality.

In celebration of International Women's Day, we want to share stories from some of the women we support which show that just a little investment can go a very long way towards transforming the lives of unpaid carers, their families and communities.

The History of International Women’s Day

International Women's Day (IWD) traces its roots back to the early 20th century, marked by the global movement for women's rights and equality. The inaugural observance occurred on March 8, 1911, when millions of people across Europe rallied for women's suffrage, better working conditions, and gender equality. Inspired by these efforts, International Women's Day became an annual event, gaining momentum and significance over the decades.

The United Nations officially recognized March 8 as International Women's Day in 1977, solidifying its place as a worldwide occasion to commemorate the achievements of women and advocate for their rights. Today, IWD serves as a powerful platform to address gender disparities, challenge societal norms, and celebrate the remarkable contributions of women throughout history, fostering a collective commitment to building a more inclusive and equitable world.


Moyna is from Bangladesh and cares for her grandson who has Cerebral Palsy. She regularly brings him to her local Community Caring Centre, run by our local charity partner Centre for Disability in Development (CDD), giving her time to go fishing and then sell the catch at the market. Just having these two hours a day to fish and sell what she’s caught, means she can cover her household expenses.

Moyna fishing

Moyna told us:

“It is because of this Community Caring Centre that I am able to earn some income. My grandson has also improved a lot.”


Eripilli is from India and cares for her brother. Eripilli took part in our livelihood project, run by our local charity partner UETS, where she had a livelihoods assessment to find a type of work that she was interested in and that would fit around her caring responsibilities. She also received support and mentoring through the project to make sure her business is progressing well.


Eripilli said:

“With the support of the carers’ project, we can buy dried fish, clean them and sell them at the market every week. We are able to save money and we are now living with dignity in the society.”


The local government provided some financial support to one of our Community Caring Centres in Bangladesh, with which the team at our local partner CDD, bought a sewing machine. One of the staff at the centre was able to teach some of the interested carers how to sew and to make clothes. One of the carers, Hasina, was so inspired she bought her own sewing machine and she is now making clothes herself.

Hasina a Sewing machine owner

The other carers who were learning with her, are considering asking for financial support from their Carers Group to help them buy their own machine too.

Hasina said of the opportunity:

“The Community Caring Centre is a blessing for me and also other carers like me. When I come to the centre I can spend quality time here & I develop my skills. I am very happy to get training here and now I can make my own clothes. Now I can earn a little bit in my house. It will help me in my bad times.”


Kulsum is an unpaid carer and President of the Savar Carers Association in Bangladesh. This is where representatives from different Carers Groups come together to discuss issues and find solutions, to advocate for themselves and their needs and to raise awareness of the issues faced by unpaid carers.

Kulsum, president of the Savar CA

She told us:

“Five years ago, I did not understand what a carer was and that I was one. I was anxious. Now through the support from Carers Worldwide and Centre for Disability in Development, I am a leader of carers. Now I can speak for carers. I am ready to take any initiative for carers and people with disabilities. I request you please to join with us and support us.”

Through supporting women like Kulsum to take leadership positions in their communities, they can support so many more and make real change in society.

Our work in Bangladesh


Our Festive Appeal last year was raising money to launch our Carers to Carers scheme in Nepal with our local charity partner there, Self-help Group for Cerebral Palsy (SGCP). A scheme which will empower 10 unpaid carers to become Volunteer Health Workers and provide health and well-being support to other carers.

Goma and daughter

Goma, one of the unpaid carers who will be trained as a Volunteer Health Worker as part of the scheme said:

“As I embark on this journey of training to serve as a Volunteer Health Worker, I am filled with anticipation and gratitude. The prospect of gaining new skills and knowledge excites me, and I am eager to contribute to the well-being of those in need. The trust placed in me through this training reinforces my commitment to providing compassionate care and support to fellow unpaid carers.”

Our work in Nepal

By investing in these 10 women, who will each work with 25 unpaid carers within their community, we will see 250 carers in the Kathmandu Valley benefit from:

  • Empowerment to meet their own basic health needs
  • Increased self-care arising from increased knowledge of hygiene and nutrition
  • Enhanced access to healthcare services
  • Improved mental health due to regular empathetic support and a sense of community

Additionally, 250 children with cerebral palsy (and other neurological conditions) will experience improved health and development as a direct result of their carers having:

  • Improved knowledge of neurological conditions and their impacts
  • Experience in basic physiotherapy
  • Understanding of how to manage common health and medical issues

This project will also mean:

  • Increased awareness of the health needs of carers amongst local service providers
  • The ten trained Volunteer Health Workers will benefit from improved confidence and well-being by playing a valuable role within their communities
  • The ten children of the volunteers will benefit from improved physical, mental and social development due to the programme at SGCP
  • 250 children with disabilities will benefit from their carers having improved health which will lead to better care provision
  • The improved health of 250 families due to better nutrition and hygiene practices

So you can see what a huge impact this investment in women will have in the community as a whole.

Let’s Work Together

Together, let's celebrate the invaluable contributions of these unpaid carers and advocate for a world where their essential roles are acknowledged and supported. You can help us to do that by donating to support our work.