Women and Girls


Empowerment project in India Good Shepherd project 'Rose Bakery' in India

Working for the full inclusion of women

In 19 countries in Asia Pacific, Good Shepherd conducts programmes and projects to assist women and girls to achieve their full potential and contribute to building a more just world.

The Girl Child 

In our time, across the world, children suffer severe violations of their human rights in unconscionable numbers. Throughout human history, the girl child has been subject to disproportionate discrimination and abuse.

We recognize that every girl is born with dignity, possess the inherent rights of all humans, and ought to be assured the unique rights of childhood to enable them to reach their potential as individuals, as women, and as members of society. When the value of girls is recognized, when their needs are met, and their voices amplified, girls contribute to positive change in their families, local communities, nations, and the world.

The Prostitution of Women and Girls

The root causes of prostitution are tied to poverty, patriarchy, male privilege, extreme wealth, racist attitudes, militarization, ecological degradation, inadequate family support, and the demand by men for women to be available for sexual purchase. The rapid global expansion of human trafficking as a criminal industry has increased the demand for girls and women to be objects of prostitution. Likewise, lack of people-centered and rights-based migration policies increase the incidence of human trafficking and prostitution.

Our first response is to express solidarity with those who are vulnerable to being the objects of prostitution. We seek to listen to the experiences of these persons, accompany them in their personal journeys and develop, with them, holistic programs to meet their needs. We support women and girls in healing, self-sufficiency through employable skills, economic and personal growth opportunities, and reconciliation with often-estranged families.

Good Shepherd programmes/projects

Good Shepherd programmes and projects are creative, diverse and practical.  Recognizing severe poverty as a contributing cause to other types of exclusion, many initiatives bring practical relief from poverty and generate income for women. 

  • Include skills training, micro-enterprise projects, micro-credit schemes, local co-operatives and international marketing of goods.

  • Offer many forms of social support and personal empowerment and growth.

  • Support grassroots actions that empower communities and individuals.

  • Engage in effective advocacy and lobbying strategies to address human rights.

  • Encourage participation and leadership in networks and/or campaigns that support an end to exploitation and promote full empowerment of women and girls.

Addressing root causes

In all its work, Good Shepherd seeks to address root causes, examining and unmasking the links between human trafficking and polices related to economic justice, violence against women, discrimination of the girl child, inadequate migration support, and the social acceptance of the prostitution of women and girls.  


The work of Good Shepherd in Asia Pacific is broader than these areas.  This may be for historical reasons.  Also, in some places there are Good Shepherd programmes and projects which include boys, families and other community members due to a specific need or to create a more inclusive and holistic response.


Learn about the 3 Principles of CEDAW

Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

These Video Resources are produced by International Women’s Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) Asia Pacific.  Click below to check out this excellent video series explaining CEDAW's three principles.  Useful for training on Human Rights.

1. CEDAW Quick and Concise: Explaining the Principle of Substantive Equality


2. CEDAW Quick and Concise: Explaining the Principle of Non-Discrimination


3. CEDAW Quick and Concise: Explaining the Principle of State Obligation