You're either pretty much finished with holiday shopping or haven't even started. Whether you're in the former or latter category, it's a good time to think about the impact of your gifts; here are several organizations and small businesses that specifically work with women to both empower them with fair-paying work and/or help them recover from violence or illness.
Made by Survivors educates and trains survivors of poverty, abuse, human trafficking, and slavery in jewelry making, business and leadership skills. Upon graduating from Made By Survivors’ training programs, artisans earn a good income in a previously exclusive industry, enabling them to permanently escape poverty and exploitation. All profits from product sales fund programs for survivors and their children, including: rescue, aftercare, healing arts and school sponsorship.
Global Giving lets you give a (very) specific project, class or kind of help to a woman in any number of countries (and each comes with an available biodegradable card, print at home or e-card). The variety is huge, for example, a gift card of $10 could be used to feed a Cambodian orphan for 10 days, a $30 card could buy sanitary pads for a Ugandan girl for one year and allow her to attend school, and a $500 gift card could pay for a plane ticket to help a domestic violence survivor get to a safe location.
The Palestinian Embroidery Society of Jordan "provides a source of income for Palestinian women and their families during a time when opportunities are scarce. Modern technology and the Internet offer an exciting outlet for Palestinian women to sell their art. The Society offers business resources and teaches women the skills needed to expand their opportunities."
Sseko sandals has a fun holiday package that includes the line's signature "pair of handcrafted leather sandal bases, three straps, a canvas gift bag and a holiday card." These are ideal for that woman on your list who loves to travel but still has plenty of style. The company was founded to "generate income for high potential, talented young women to continue on to university."