03/08/2013 06:53 EST

International Women's Day: Charities Helping Women In Canada And Abroad

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TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY ROMARIC OLLO HIEN A file picture taken on April 23, 2008 shows pupils studying in their classroom as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visits the Manegda Primary School in Manegda. AFP PHOTO/ LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)

Happy International Women's Day! First celebrated in 1909, International Women's Day has become a global event.

A survey conducted last year found that Canada is a pretty great place to be a woman. But there's still work to do.

Whether it's violence against aboriginal women going without investigation, domestic violence, or unequal representation in the nation's halls of power and business, there are still many women-centred issues in Canada. Below are some of the groups helping women in communities across Canada.

But it's not just within our borders that Canadians are helping — there are plenty of initiatives our citizens are focused on around the world. There are groups on the ground trying to lend a hand on matters as diverse as making sure girls in the developing world can get an education and helping mothers and grandmothers fight HIV in Africa.

In honour of International Women's Day, we took a look at some of the groups doing work to better lives for women around the world. But is this by no means a complete list. Know a group doing great work related to women's issues? Let us know in the comments, and we'll add them to the story.



The YWCA runs a number of programs from leadership training for girls, employment programs and shelter and housing. You can also send a Women's Day Card.

Canadian Women's Foundations

The group works to end poverty and violence against women in Canada. The group supports some 450 shelters across Canada.

We also suggest you seek out women's shelters, help lines and other women's support groups in your community. You can also check out Charity Village's list of women's groups.


Plan International

Plan's "Because I'm A Girl" campaign has done plenty to raise awareness of gender inequality and brought education to girls across the world.

Stephen Lewis Foundation

The Stephen Lewis Foundation's does work supporting HIV victims and sufferers in Africa. One of its hallmark programs supports African grandmothers who are often the primary caregivers for families due to HIV deaths and illness.

Free The Children

Free The Children does significant work abroad that helps strengthen communities and gives access to girls seeking an education. AOL and Huffington Post are partners with FTC.

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