Women carry the heaviest burden of poverty in the developing world. So women's empowerment is key to ending global poverty - which is why it is also one of the priorities for the Anglican Alliance.
Three of the internationally-agreed Millennium Development Goals have women at their core: the reduction of infant and maternal mortality rates, and the achieving of gender equality in education.
In some countries progress towards these goals is faltering, and all too often, women suffer discrimination and violence. Women do an estimated 66 per cent of the world's work, but get only 10 per cent of the pay.
Some of the challenges facing girls and young women are set out in a series of reports on the theme "Because I Am A Girl".
But despite the setbacks, women's empowerment is producing results, and the Church is playing its role in this. In Burundi, the Anglican church runs 581 literacy centres and 30,000 women have already been trained. In Bolivia, Anglican microfinance agency Five Talents provides income generating activities for rural and indigenous women, who are routinely marginalised. In Zambia, the church provides help and support to young sex workers to empower them to make healthy, informed choices about their futures. And in Pakistan, the quality of education in Anglican Schools has attracted girls and young women from all faith communities.
The Anglican Alliance has produced a Justice for Women briefing pack for International Women's Day and Mothering Sunday to raise awareness around the issue of women's empowerment.