SurfAid Programmes Help to Promote Gender Equality

Monday, September 24, 2018

Community health volunteers are trained to monitor the health of women and children at the community health post. Photo by Risna.

On the remote islands of Indonesia where SurfAid works, women’s economic mobility is limited. They often do not have a voice in decision-making and gender inequalities can persist at home. 

SurfAid’s programmes promote gender equality, recognising it as an essential component in reducing poverty and promoting the health, education and wellbeing of girls and boys.

SurfAid’s programmes are informed by detailed gender analyses of division of labour for different crops and activities, household food distribution and parenting tasks. The analyses reveal how these factors impact on time available for child care, female caloric intake and expense, and the implications this has on child health.

SurfAid’s programmes empower women to be leaders in their communities in areas of clean water, health, nutrition and microenterprise.

SurfAid trains, supports and coaches women to build their confidence and become role models in the village. Simultaneously, household decision-makers, local leaders and government structures are targeted to create space for women and their new-found confidence.

SurfAid instills lasting change in gender equality through the following: 

- Women are active water committee members, community health volunteers, representatives in village structures, 

and pioneers in income-generating activities 

 - Women are empowered to better negotiate decisions at the household level that influence their health and wellbeing

 - Women are given a stronger voice at communal and religious events where belief systems limit their rights and entitlements

 - Men adopt more equal gender roles and behaviours and work towards gender equality in all settings, including at home

Ibu Yuni is happy with her harvest! Photo by Lamhot.

According to the United Nations, investing in programmes that improve income-generating activities for women can return $7 of benefits for every dollar spent. Investing in women and girls yields some of the highest returns of all development investments, which is one of the many reasons why SurfAid’s programmes empower women.

By supporting SurfAid, you enable women to establish small businesses that not only sustain health care activities in their community, but also allow them to invest in the education, nutrition, health and livelihoods of their children and communities - an investment in a brighter future.