In June 2019, in partnership with Ford Motor Company and Ford Motor Company Fund, GWC launched the SHE-MOVES grant program. SHE MOVES (Strengthen Her: Mobilizing Ventures for Social Innovation) supports community ventures that benefit women and youth by providing Whole Person Leadership development and improving access to mobility. Through Whole Person Leadership activities, SHE-MOVES seeks to promote better health, develop tools for critical thinking, and activate their ideas within their communities. SHE-MOVES places women at the center of development by funding women-led social entrepreneurs to inspire long-term change. By combining philanthropy with social enterprise incubation models, SHE-MOVES will measurably contribute to at least five of the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Good Health and Wellbeing (SDG 3), Quality Education (SDG 4), Gender Equality (SDG 5), Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6) and Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7). Key enterprise areas will include women-focused enterprise development, child and maternal health services, education and learning and disability support services.
There are a number of obstacles that impede women’s ability to realize their full potential. SHE-MOVES will facilitate projects in India, Nigeria and South Africa to address and help women overcome these obstacles. To get a better understanding of how SHE-MOVES will tackle these challenges, below are the projects designed in the inaugural year to invest in women’s professional, personal and skill-related areas to support mental, emotional and physical well-being to empower women to move towards self-actualization:
- In India, SHE-MOVES, in partnership with Zaclon Limited India, will teach more than 40 women to operate and maintain vehicles. In addition, women will receive training on self-defense, women’s safety and access to a counselor to provide Whole-Person Leadership development resources. Also in India, SHE-MOVES is partnering with World Vision India to provide critical health and education services to more than 40,000 people in and around Chennai through mobile libraries and medical clinics.
- According to the 2017 Global Gender Gap report, Nigeria has a serious gender gap to address. This opportunity gap, especially when paired with long commutes in Lagos, results in less time at the office, which decreases productivity, and makes even fewer opportunities available to women for professional development. The SHE-MOVES Shuttlers Project provides specialized shuttles for women along popular Lagos routes, coupled with customized learning experiences onboard, for at least 600 women a year.
- Stigma around disabilities in South Africa affects both disabled people’s ability to work and participate in day-to-day life, but also hinders their caretakers’ mobility. To address this, the Uhambo Foundation, through SHE-MOVES, will provide community-wide support and education related to disabilities and women’s empowerment for disabled people and their mothers. Trainings for the community will focus on topics related to physical, educational, policy, assistance and attitudinal barriers those with disabilities face in their communities.
SHE-MOVES celebrates that women are central to community resiliency and well-being. By empowering women through increased mobility and Whole Person Leadership trainings, these programs will uplift not only the women included in project activities, but also their families and communities. SHE-MOVES, therefore, has the ability to measurably contribute to the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, particularly relating to health and wellbeing, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation and affordable and clean energy, which benefits us all.
For more on SHE-MOVES, please see the 2019 Ford Sustainability Report here.