Women In Business – Forgotten Women

Women In Business

Forgotten Women aims to make businesswomen from those suffering deep poverty around the world, so they can earn with their own hands which in-turn will make them independent and protect their dignity. The purpose of our project is to enable women to escape the poverty trap for good. We believe in our hand-up policy and do not want women to be dependent on handouts every month. This initiative has a 95% success rate of women leaving the crippling poverty trap and not having to turn to desperate measures including selling their bodies to put food on the table.

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The lack of opportunities has led some women to either selling their organs or their children for $500. Out of desperation, some will give away their daughters, as young as 10, for marriage to much older men to receive a dowry of £400 ($500).

Women in developing countries face many challenges because of the level of poverty and the lack of opportunities, many women resort to extreme measures such as begging and selling their bodies to provide one meal a day. From time to time there are laborious jobs where a woman is required to work 16-18 hours a day for as little as 50p a day which in many cases is enough to buy basic bread or potatoes for the family.

Forgotten Women has met with many women who for a mere £300-£400 ($375 to $500) have either sold their organ or their child. Out of desperation, some will give away their girls, as young as 10, for marriage to much older men to receive a dowry of £400 ($500). And as a last resort many will turn to prostitution because they have no other option.

We have sat with women who have said that they buy potatoes for their family, one day they will eat the skin and the next day they will eat the inner content because that’s all they can afford.

The struggles in these countries are real and testing on many levels, many women have told the team that the mental pressure of having to provide basic meals for their children takes a toll.

Why We Don’t Do Orphan Sponsorship

Orphan sponsorship is very popular, many charities collect donations for orphans which will fund their schooling and meals, this could consist of a continuous donation of £30 – £40 a month for many years which can cause donor fatigue. This type of donation helps one child and not the entire family, and in many cases the children will be funded to stay at an orphanage which means being separated from their family, there are studies conducted on children being separated from the family which can leave damaging effects on the psychological development of the child because they are exposed to prolonged separation, such as problems with relationships, depression and long-term emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Quality Over Quantity

As part of our transforming lives programme, we make sure we give every woman the best opportunity we can by providing a business of quality. For example, if her preferred business choice is a shop then we will make sure there is sufficient stock, if she prefers to have livestock as her business choice, we will then take an expert with us to the animal markets and spend that little bit more in a bid for her return to be more.

AFGHANISTAN

For 43 years the Afghani people have been living through occupation, our team from the UK have sat with the women of Afghanistan, and they have told us horrific war crimes that were committed against women and children. Women across the country were violated whilst the men were massacred before their eyes. We have visited villages which largely exist of widows as majority of the men were killed in cold blood.

In such circumstances the women of Afghanistan have been left with no support or even basic food, and when the desperation sets in, they look to sell the only assets they have to save themselves and their family members, this includes selling themselves, their children, and their organs. The streets are littered with women begging for food, we have had case studies where women have been forced to sell their daughters as young as 4 years old to feed themselves and their children. You may ask, how can a mother do such a thing, when there is state support and you haven’t eaten for days and your children are crying out of hunger, a mother is faced with the hardest decision she will ever have to make, to sell one child in order for the rest to survive. This desperation leads them to selling one child for as little as $500 in order to save the rest of the family.

PAKISTAN

The floods hit Pakistan in 2022, 33 million people were displaced, most of whom were women and children. The waters affected an area the size of Britain. But the emergency was not then but now, the Government has appealed for international help because they can’t cope and are asking charities like Forgotten Women to help.


The floods in 2022 were the worst in Pakistan’s history where over 33 million people were displaced, many, largely women and children have been affected long term. The floods highlighted a deeper issue in Pakistan – extreme poverty.

As the months have passed, Pakistan enters a new phase of this dark emergency – trafficking. Women are being lured and children are being stolen and sold into indecent industry by predators. These women are living on the roadside, over 2000 women are giving birth daily in the open. Recent case studies from the ground have been of women selling their children as young as 10 into marriage for a mere £300 dowry to get money for basic food, this is the grim reality. Sodhar, from one of the most affected areas said her entire family, with pregnant women and infants, have no shelter and are living in the open in scorching weather in the nearby town of Mehar. “We barely get one meal a day. Our children are crying all day. What can I tell them to stop crying when there is no food or home for them.”

SYRIA

It’s been over 12 years since the Syrian civil war began, 580,000 people is estimated to be dead; with 13 million Syrians being displaced and 6.7 million refugees forced to flee Syria.

After 12 years of war, the Syrians continue to suffer, more than 13 million people have been forced to flee their homes, and an estimated 15 million are now relying on humanitarian assistance. The never-ending disasters kept many families moving from place to place in search of safety, especially in the war-torn north, where some cities have been reduced to rubble by their own government forces.

On 6th of February 2023, survivors already exhausted and vulnerable from the war were dealt another blow when a huge earthquake rocked the region causing loss of life, limb and security. Families are still grieving at the loss of loved ones, with one family of 22 losing 11 members to the earthquake.

Creating permanent income generation solutions for Syrians has been challenging due to the continuous changing landscape and situation of the people. Now that around 5 million Syrians have settled in free-Syria area of Azaz and Idlib, working in Syria has become easier under the Turkish government. We are therefore able to provide instant income generating businesses for women and their families.

BANGLADESH

Bangladesh has been on the rise for the last 10 years. Business (GDP) has continuously grown for the country, however, the lack of spend on the people & infrastructure is apparent and poverty remains as one of the biggest causes of hunger and famine. Living conditions are very challenging for the poor. The country has a large population of 170 million and competing for jobs and income.

We have been successfully setting up women with businesses for a few years and the results are remarkable. Most of the women make between £150 (US$ 190) – £250 (US$ 310) monthly.  There are some remarkable women who earn a profit of £350 (US$ 440) per month.

Our Response:

1.A business set up for a woman and her children, giving her an instant income and leaving the poverty trap for good
(permanent change, one-off donation)
£1000 ($1250)
2.£100 ($125) x 10 months

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Forgotten Women