9 Best Charities for Women’s Rights (Complete 2021 List)

9 Best Charities for Women’s Rights (Complete 2021 List)

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Dennis Kamprad

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Women’s rights are human rights and should be protected. However, many women, both domestically and internationally, don’t have the rights they should because they face many issues, such as poverty, conflict, and gender discrimination. With so many issues to tackle and a variety of charities working to promote women’s rights, we had to ask: What are the best charities for women’s rights?

The best charities that promote women’s rights and gender equality include Equality Now, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and ActionAid International. Charities like Ms. Foundation for Women, Time’s Up, and the Women’s Refugee Commission, also advocate for women’s social and legal rights.

Whether you want to promote women’s rights in your community, raise awareness on a particular issue that affects women’s rights, or start a movement with other women’s rights activists, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities for women’s rights are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities for Women’s Rights Have in Common

The chosen charities work closely with vulnerable and marginalized women to fulfill their fundamental rights. Many of their programs and advocacy work are designed to promote women’s rights through legal and policy changes, as well as through social awareness. 

The charities on this list were chosen based on their impact and influence on women’s rights, transparency ratings, and achievements towards gender equality. These organizations all work to enhance the rights of women across the globe, no matter their race, ethnicity, social or legal status.

These Are the 9 Best Charities for Women’s Rights

Below are our favorite charities for women’s rights (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

Equality Now: Campaigners for Legislation That Protect Women’s Rights

Equality Now was founded in 1992 by three female attorneys and women’s rights activists, Jessica Neuwirth, Navanethem Pillay, and Feryal Gharahi. These three women worked diligently to highlight cases of gender discrimination and violence around the world. And to increase awareness and funding on women’s rights issues. By 1993, Equality Now gained support from the United Nations and the organization’s founders established their key areas of focus, including harmful and violent practices against women, and legal equality.   

Their impact and transparency ratings: Equality Now currently holds an accountability and transparency rating of 93 out of 100 from Charity Navigator. The organization also holds a Gold Star of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Achieve legal and systemic change that addresses violence and discrimination against women and girls around the world.”

Equality Now

What they do: Equality Now works to achieve legal equality and promote women’s rights for women and girls through legislation changes, policy shifts, and advocacy. The organization also provides research and tools to empower vulnerable women, combat sex trafficking, and raise awareness on other harmful practices that negatively affect women and prevent them from having fulfilled rights.

What they’ve achieved: The organization has assisted 13,556 women and girls through legal obstacles in 2019 alone. In the same year, they also trained over 3,000 public officials and civil society actors, including judges, police, and activists on women’s rights and awareness. Equality Now also provided expert support in 15 litigation cases that challenged discriminatory laws and suppressed women’s rights.

Ways to contribute: You can support Equality Now by donating directly through the charity’s website. You can also purchase Equality Now merchandise to show your support, or you can dedicate your birthday to the organization, by encouraging your friends and family to give donations to Equality Now.

Center for Reproductive Rights: Advocates for Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights

The Center for Reproductive Rights (CfRR) was founded in 1992 by Janet Benshoof, a lawyer and women’s rights activist. Benshoof established the organization to advocate for women’s reproductive rights on a global scale through legislative changes. When the CfRR was founded, it became the first international human rights organization to specialize in women’s sexual and reproductive health. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Center for Reproductive Rights has an exceptional 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a financial rating of 89 out of 100, and an accountability and transparency score of 96 out of 100, also from Charity Navigator.

“We envision a world where every person participates with dignity as an equal member of society, regardless of gender.”

Center for Reproductive Rights

What they do: The Center for Reproductive Rights aims to advance women’s sexual and reproductive rights by challenging existing policies, norms, and legislation that are discriminatory to women’s wellbeing. Through the organization’s network of women’s rights lawyers and advocates, the Center for Reproductive Rights is spearheading policy change that protects women’s rights and gender equality.

What they’ve achieved: The organization has successfully improved laws and policies regarding women’s sexual and reproductive rights in more than 60 countries around the world, including the US, Chile, and Kenya. The organization also has a network of over 800 pro bono lawyers across 70 countries that represent women’s rights and challenge gender-discriminatory laws.

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to the Center for Reproductive Rights by donating directly through their website. You can also get involved by participating in the organization’s campaigns and by showing your support to their mission on social media.

ActionAid International: Safeguarding the Rights of Women in Crises

ActionAid International was founded in 1972 by Cecil Jackson-Cole, a well-known British humanitarian, to protect the rights of women most affected by conflict, crisis, disasters, and humanitarian emergencies. The organization adopted an international human rights approach to assisting women in conflict via economic, social, and legal empowerment through their programs, humanitarian work, and rights advocacy. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: ActionAid USA, the organization’s US branch, currently holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar – the highest rank possible. They maintain a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator, along with a perfect accountability and transparency score of 100 out of 100. The organization also publishes annual reports detailing its international financial activities, and in 2019, 82% of their worldwide income was spent on humanitarian support and programs. 

“We work to achieve social justice and gender equality, and to eradicate poverty.”

ActionAid International

What they do: ActionAid USA challenges social and cultural norms that suppress women and put them at risk for violence or discrimination. The organization also uses strategic, humanitarian programming and advocacy tools to promote gender equality. To enhance the rights of vulnerable women, the charity provides training and resources to female leaders, which enables them to drive social change within their communities. ActionAid International currently works in over 30 countries across 5 continents, including Vietnam, Liberia, Haiti, Greece, and Australia.

What they’ve achieved: ActionAid International has responded to over 35 major disasters and emergencies and provided aid to the vulnerable women affected by those. The organization also implemented numerous capacity-building programs to promote women’s rights, such as training 42 women in Kenya as sustainable farmers, and improved the dietary health and livelihoods of over 4,000 women and girls in Cambodia.

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to ActionAid International by donating through their website to a country office near you. You can also browse the organization’s country profiles and donate to a women’s program in a country of your choice. 

Institute for Women’s Policy Research: Enhancing the Lives and Rights of Women 

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) was founded in 1987 by Heidi Hartmann, an economist and women’s rights activist. Hartmann established the institute to address the gap in women’s economic research and provide economic policy frameworks that were more gender-inclusive. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Institute for Women’s Policy Research currently holds a 4-star rating of excellence and an impressive financial score of 100 out of a possible 100 from Charity Navigator. The organization also has a Silver Star of Transparency from GuideStar

“To conduct and communicate research to inspire public dialogue, shape policy, and improve the lives and opportunities of women of diverse backgrounds, circumstances, and experiences.”

Institute for Women’s Policy Research

What they do: The Institute for Women’s Policy Research aims to reform employment discrimination against women, reduce gender inequality in specific job industries, and promote the rights of women in the workforce. The organization also researches women’s economic rights and publishes reports on policy changes for US state and federal governments. 

What they’ve achieved: The Institute for Women’s Policy Research helped raise wages for over 1,000 female nurses in New York by campaigning for fairer wages. IWPR also mobilized over 400 activists in Colorado to challenge gender-discriminatory laws. One of the organization’s programs, called The State of Women, provides localized research on women’s economic status in each US state and has helped create special funding for women’s rights programs in over 15 states

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to IWPR by sending a donation directly through their website. You can also support the organization by advocating for women’s rights and sharing IWPR’s success stories on social media. 

Ms. Foundation for Women: Promoting Women’s Civil Liberties and Rights

Ms. Foundation for Women was founded in 1973 by four, renowned women’s activists, including Gloria Steinam, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Patricia Carbine, and Marlo Thomas. They created Ms. Foundation for Women to empower women of color, women from low-income backgrounds, and marginalized women. Since its inception, the organization has brought awareness to issues involving harassment in schools and the workplace, support to women with AIDS/HIV, and contributed towards women’s economic empowerment. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Ms. Foundation for Women holds a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator. The organization maintains an accountability and transparency score of 100 out of 100, also from Charity Navigator. 

“To build women’s collective power in the U.S. to advance equity and justice for all.”

Ms. Foundation for Women

What they do: Ms. Foundation for Women advocates for women’s rights by ensuring women have access to education, childcare, equal employment opportunities, and are able to participate in civil society. The organization supports over 100 grassroots movements in the US that also raise awareness on women’s rights issues and promote gender equality across the country. 

What they’ve achieved: Ms. Foundation for Women successfully provided language support to over 5,000 Nepali-speakers that were in need of relief services in New York. The organization has also awarded grants to over 15 grassroots women’s movements in more than 10 US states, with the majority of the movements being led by women of color, indigenous women, and trans women. 

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to Ms. Foundation for Women by donating through their website. You can also show your support by spreading awareness for the organization on social media. 

Time’s Up: Activists for Women’s Rights and Dignity

Time’s Up was founded in 2018 by over 300 women in the entertainment industry, who had all experienced sexual harassment. The women came together to form Time’s Up to target women’s sexual assault, harassment, and gender inequalities. The organization also launched the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which enables female survivors of assault to receive legal assistance and support. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Most of the organization’s income regularly goes towards its programs and advocacy work. For example, in 2020, nearly 75% of Time’s Up income was spent on women’s rights advocacy and supporting victims of assault and harassment.

“Time’s Up insists upon a world where work is safe, fair, and dignified for women of all kinds.”

Time’s Up

What they do: Time’s Up works to promote the safety and security of women in the workplace, in schools, and in public. The organization advocates for women’s protection from sexual harassment and assault and aims to advance women’s rights through social awareness, public campaigns, and policy changes

What they’ve achieved: The organization’s Legal Defense Fund has supported over 4,000 female workers who were victims in assault and harassment cases. Of those cases, nearly 90% resulted in positive outcomes for the marginalized women the organization was representing. Approximately 33% of those successful outcomes benefitted women of color and indigenous women.

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to Time’s Up by donating directly through their website. You can also shop their online store and support the Time’s Up mission by sporting branded merchandise. 

Women’s Refugee Commission: Protecting the Rights of Refugee and Migrant Women

The Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) was founded in 1989 by four female activists, Liv Ullmann, Catherine O’Neill, Susan Stark Alberti, and Susan Forbes Martin, who sought to address the specific needs of refugee women and children. The organization engaged in groundbreaking research and set up programs that could enhance the rights of refugee women and empower them, regardless of their legal status. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Women’s Refugee Commission currently holds a finance and accountability score of 100 out of 100 from Charity Navigator. They also have a Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“To improve the lives and protect the rights of women, children, and youth displaced by conflict and crisis.”

Women’s Refugee Commission

What they do: The Women’s Refugee Commission strives to protect the rights of displaced and refugee women through social programming, international policy changes, and advocacy in countries with persisting refugee and migrant crises, including the US, Nigeria, and Myanmar. They achieve these goals through resilience-based approaches, by promoting gender equality, and by building the capacities of migrant women. They also distribute humanitarian aid and resources to women in need to ensure their safety and wellbeing during relocation and displacement. 

What they’ve achieved: The Women’s Refugee Commission successfully trained over 100 local health workers in Nigeria. With WRC’s support, those health workers were able to provide health services to nearly 8,500 women and girls. WRC also identified approximately 56 safe spaces for women and girls in Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, where they could access health and social services. 

Ways to contribute: You can support the Women’s Refugee Commission by donating directly through their website. You can also encourage your employer to make a matching gift to the organization. 

Rise Up: Campaigning for Legislation Change To Protects Women’s Rights

Rise Up was founded in 2009 by Denise R. Dunning, a women’s rights researcher and advocate. Dunning created Rise Up to advance gender equality through social initiatives that empower women within their communities. The organization currently operates across the US, Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The organization publishes annual reports to showcase their financial transparency and commitment to women’s rights. For example, in 2020, the organization spent approximately 80% of its income on women’s rights advocacy, programs, and grantmaking. 

“To activate women and girls to transform their lives, families and communities for a more just and equitable world.”

Rise Up

What they do: Rise Up aims to activate women and girls’ potentials to be strong leaders for change within their local communities. Through advocacy, funding, and support, the organization provides training materials and empowerment tools to women in 17 countries, including Brazil, Ethiopia, and Pakistan, to be advocates for women’s rights and policy change. 

What they’ve achieved: In 2011 alone, Rise Up ensured that 11 million girls in Liberia had the right to education. They also provided educational programming to nearly 1.5 million girls in Guatemala to prevent teen pregnancy. The organization also provided women’s rights protection and campaigned for legislation changes that directly impacted 4 million women and girls in Nigeria, India, Guatemala, and Malawi.

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to the organization by donating via their website. You can also attend local events and promote awareness for the organization’s work on women’s rights within your community. 

Womankind Worldwide: Protectors of Women’s Rights and Dignity

Womankind Worldwide was founded in the United Kingdom in 1989 on International Women’s Day by Sir Alec Reed, a well-known charity donor. Womankind Worldwide was designed to promote women and girls’ rights around the world, particularly in areas where their rights are compromised most, including Nepal, Kenya, and Uganda. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The organization publishes financial reports every tax year, outlining how it allocates its funds to each project. In 2019, Womankind Worldwide spent over $500,000 on projects in Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Ethiopia. The organization also regularly receives program grants from the UK government

“To achieve a world where the rights of all women and girls are respected, valued and realized.”

Womankind Worldwide

What they do: Womankind Worldwide works to make societies more gender-inclusive by ending violence against women, advancing women’s economic rights, and encouraging women’s participation in civil society. The organization currently provides programming and advocacy to 5 countries, including Nepal and Zimbabwe. 

What they’ve achieved: Womankind Worldwide has reached over a million women and girls worldwide with its programs and advocacy. On average, over 15,000 women and girls have benefited directly from the organization’s work annually. The organization also supported 15 women to participate in international policy decision-making.

Ways to contribute: You can support Womankind Worldwide by donating directly through their website. You can also fundraise for the organization’s campaigns that demand change for women’s rights.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities for women’s rights. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarize yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing the progress a charity makes in reaching its targets, the chances are not making positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Donate a percentage of your online purchases. If you bought anything on sites like Amazon lately, you’d find a prompt asking you to donate to your favorite charities through their Amazon Smile program. You can set this up so that your chosen charities will get a fraction of your online purchases.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is just up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to women’s rights – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,



PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

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