The holidays! Full of travel stress, family strife, and maybe (hopefully) also the giving spirit! What with all the gifting and traveling, I know that finances can be extra tight this time of year. But if the giving spirit so moves you, there are lots of organizations you can contribute to that do great work to help women. Who knows, you may be investing in your own future by throwing a few dollars their way. Here are just a few of the many fantastic organizations you can contribute to over the holidays (or any time at all!).
1. Planned Parenthood. One in five American women has visited a Planned Parenthood center at some point during her life. Planned Parenthood is one of the single largest providers of women’s health services in the country. It is frequently targeted by anti-abortionists, so its funding is often at risk. Learn more here.
2. NARAL. Another important pro-choice organization, NARAL lobbies Congress to support women’s right to choose. They also help women get in touch with their politicians and organize to elect lawmakers who support abortion rights. Learn more here.
3. Stop Street Harassment. SSH founder Holly Kearl has been interviewed twice for Lady Bits (here and here). Her organization works to raise awareness of street harassment and fight back against it. Learn more here.
4. Girls Who Code. Women are still scarce in most science and technology fields, but especially in computer science. Girls who code works to close the gender gap in the tech and engineering industries, working with high school girls to provide them with the skills and encouragement they need to pursue computer science. Learn more here.
5. RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network). RAINN is the single largest anti-sexual violence organization in the nation. They provide information about sexual assault and abuse to victims and advocates, and operate the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Learn more here.
6. V-Day. You may have heard of V-Day because the proceeds from performances of The Vagina Monologues typically benefit this organization. Over the years, V-Day has expanded into a global movement to end violence against women, funding education campaigns and women’s shelters around the world.
7. Girls Write Now. Don’t you think there should be more women writers? Through mentoring programs, workshops, and college prep courses, Girls Write Now addresses educational inequalities. They aim to break down barriers of poverty, race, and gender. Learn more here.
8. 50 Cents. Period. 50 Cents began with the belief that every woman has the right to experience her period with dignity. They began with a program that provided a 50 cent package of sanitary napkins to women all over India, allowing them to leave their homes, attend school, and go about their lives while on their periods. Now, they’ve expanded their mission to address women’s health, gender-based violence, and educational inequality. Learn more here.
9. Fierce NYC. Fierce builds the leadership and power of transgender, lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth of color. They encourage activism and political engagement and offer youth development programs, cultural events, and other advocacy support. Learn more here.
10. Women for Women International. This nonprofit organization is dedicated to supporting women who are survivors of war. They work with many women who are survivors of physical and emotional trauma, and who tend to come from socially excluded groups. Women for Women provides a year-long program in which women learn job and business skills and learn about their rights and how to fight for them. Learn more here.
11. Off the Sidelines. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand founded this organization, based on the premise that the more women’s voices are heard on the issues we care about, the better the future will be. She has a plan to get more women into positions of leadership in business and politics, which involves equal pay, affordable child care, paid medial leave, and more. Learn more here.