This month we focus on international programs that support women and girls overseas. Although the U.S. government has historically been a leader in funding programs that address the needs of women and girls globally, there are indications that such initiatives are in danger of being significantly reduced or eliminated. Cutting funds and eliminating programs would negatively impact communities that depend on the support of our government to improve the lives of women and girls.

On March 21, Join ELCA Advocacy/the EPPN and presiding bishops of the Episcopal Church and the ELCA as we #PrayFastAct.

Pray for our nation’s elected leaders to courageously invest in programs that address the needs and basic human rights of women and girls, as well as provide opportunities for them to thrive. We also pray for the men and women who continue to work tirelessly improve the lives of women and girls around the world.

Fast in solidarity with women and girls across the globe, who continue to face gender inequality and other challenges in many aspects of their lives.

Act by urging our elected leaders to support strong investments in programs that help prevent gender-based violence, educate and empower adolescent girls, discourage child marriages, increase leadership opportunities for women, foster women’s inclusion and economic empowerment.

March Action: Invest in Women and Girls

We are all one in Jesus Christ, and therefore must work to dismantle structures and norms that allow gender inequality to thrive. Studies show that when women and girls are meaningfully included in all aspects of decision-making, countries are more likely to be peaceful and prosper economically. However, women and girls continue to suffer greater harm from lack of economic, political, and social opportunities, as well as gender-based violence. Let us take action by asking Congress to protect programs that address the needs of women and girls around the world.

Here’s how to equip yourself and your congregation to #PrayFastAct on March 21:

  1. Read the March advocacy resource to learn how ELCA Advocacy is urging the U.S. government to address the needs of women and girls around the world.
  2. Visit to watch a message from The Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA.
  3. Read the 2017 World Economic Forum report on gender gap
  4. Read the U.N. Secretary General’s 2017 report on women and peace and security
  5. Look out for the #PrayFastAct action alert on Wednesday, March 21, and join us as we pray, fast and advocate together.