Gender equality

Gender equality is an indispensable tool for lasting and deep social transformation. CARE International works towards this purpose in everything we do.

Seeking greater gender equality for all 

Gender equality is CARE International's central organizing principle. We cannot achieve women’s economic justice, climate justice, health equity, the right to food, water, and nutrition, or equal access to humanitarian assistance without addressing gender inequality. 

By 2030, CARE International seeks to support 50 million people to experience greater gender equality in their lives.  

Focus on women and girls 

Women and adolescent girls are CARE International’s primary impact population. With our partners, we pay particular attention to how our programming, advocacy and partnerships include, enable, and impact women and girls.  

COVID-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities, underscoring society’s reliance on women on the front lines and at home, while exposing structural inequalities that are setting women and girls back.  

The secondary impacts of COVID-19 include a shadow pandemic of gender-based violence (GBV), declines in mental health, economic recession, job losses, and hunger and food insecurity. An anti-feminist backlash is occurring globally as extremist governments seek to instrumentalize gender stereotypes and control women’s bodies for their political agendas and roll back the progress of recent decades. Although many donors have identified gender equality as a key factor of development, aid reaching women’s organizations remains negligible. 

Gender discrimination also significantly harms people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. CARE International recognizes that gender is not binary and has expanded and adapted our work with LGBTIQ+ communities.

What is CARE International doing to achieve gender equality? 

CARE International has wide-ranging gender experience. In all our focus areas – from humanitarian assistance to food and water security – we have learned that our gender perspective is among our greatest added value proposition to the development and humanitarian sectors. 

CARE International’s gender equality work focuses on improving the rights of women, adolescent girls, and marginalized groups in three sub-programs: 

Read our Vision 2030 Impact Area Strategy for Gender Equality here.

Woman in the foreground smiling and other women in the back Play video

Gender at the heart in all we do

CARE has a vision. We seek a world of hope, inclusion, and social justice where poverty has been overcome and all people live with dignity and security and we put women and girls in the center, at the heart, in all that we do. To learn more, watch the video.

Reach and impact data
Total participants reached in 2021
  • Direct 14,062,878
  • Indirect -
Participants reached by program area
program direct
Total population impacted by end of 2021
  • All countries 3,088,962
Participants impacted by program area
program total
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Total reach
  • Direct reach:
  • Indirect reach:
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Country page
Please note that the figures in this site may not be the same as those reported to donors or host governments based on different reporting periods. CARE's international aggregated reporting mechanisms always use the Fiscal Year from July to June.

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Transforming social norms woman by woman

Ethiopian communities are led by traditions and social norms. CARE is committed to gender-transformative work. To that end, we partner with communities to challenge and transform inequitable gender norms that restrict women’s and girls’ ability to achieve their best possible health and lives. In Social Analysis and Action (SAA) groups community members lead the transformation process.

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Gender in Brief: South Sudan

Since gaining its independence in 2011, South Sudan experienced renewed conflicts in 2013 and 2016 which have significantly undermined the development gains achieved post-independence and contributed to a worsened humanitarian situation. Gender relations in South Sudan are shaped by the social and economic realities of being one of the world’s poorest countries and by decades of conflict.