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She walks for hours each day to fetch water; and she toils in drought-prone fields to feed her family...she is a provider, farmer, teacher, doctor, entrepreneur, minister, leader, mother — contributing every day to her household, society and the economy.

Women and girls make up more than half the world’s population — often more deeply impacted than men and boys by poverty, climate change, food insecurity, and lack of healthcare. Their contribution and leadership are central to finding a solution (UN Women).

Today on 8 March 2016 - International Women’s day, SNV launches a new Gender Policy that reaffirms our commitment to reduce gender disparities, transform gender relations and promote women’s empowerment. SNV has moved beyond Gender Equality programming being a box-ticking exercise. The policy provides an overall framework that strengthens SNV’s organisational systems and accountability towards gender equality. SNV staff, together with leaders across the world, pledge to take decisive, visible and measurable action as champions of gender parity #PledgeForParity.

SNV’s Balancing Benefits (Agriculture) and Health for Wealth (Energy) solutions empower women to take active roles and ownership of decisions by investing in their business and leadership skills, stimulating household dialogues and addressing market entry barriers. SNV’s solutions in WASH put women and girls at the center, for instance through the Girls in Control pilot approach.

International Women's Day is a moment to not only celebrate the achievements of women around the world, but it is also a time to accelerate gender equality and make sure that women everywhere have every opportunity to excel and prosper. Join the campaign on Twitter.

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