This unit was created by Catherine Yackee, a high school history teacher in Chicago, IL, as part of the 2021-2022 Pulitzer Center Teacher Fellowship program. It is designed for facilitation across approximately twelve class periods.

For more units created by Pulitzer Center Teacher Fellows in this cohort, click here.

Unit Overview:

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many social issues that women around the globe have often always experienced. In this unit, students will explore the challenges that women face and examine how they are overcoming these limitations. Students will learn not only about a number of issues facing women today, but also the many ways women are taking the initiative to improve their lives. 

One of the ways women can combat gender inequality is by achieving financial empowerment. As such, this unit will introduce students to Kiva, a nonprofit organization that provides microloans for individuals to grow their own businesses or create opportunities for their communities. Kiva’s mission is to expand financial access to help underserved communities thrive.

This unit is designed to be a culminating unit in a Geography class. Students will apply concepts from AP Human Geography in order to create a project that melds geographic skills with content knowledge and apply this knowledge to real-world problems. 

  • Week 1 will cover the personal impacts of COVID, its impact on Indian women, and domestic violence
  • Week 2 will focus on genital mutilation, agriculture, and trade 
  • Week 3 will focus on students conducting their own research 
  • Week 4 will focus on student presentations and fundraising campaigns.

In the final task, students will examine possible projects from Kiva and conduct research on the plight of women in the country they are assigned, and use the research for fundraising for particular projects.


Students will be able to...

  • Explain patterns and trends in visual sources to draw conclusions
  • Use primary and secondary sources to craft logical argumentative essays 
  • Apply concepts from the unit to create a campaign for a service learning project

Essential Questions:

  • What social, political, and economic effects has the pandemic had on women?
  • How have women empowered themselves while weathering the pandemic?
  • After conducting research on women in countries that Kiva supports, how can students’ fundraising efforts potentially uplift women around the globe?

Performance Task:

Students will participate in a culminating service learning activity related to microloans to women in Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs). They will be assigned to a country and conduct research on the experiences of women in that country. After creating a PowerPoint presentation, students will present their research and findings to the class. 

Once students have finished hearing all of the presentations, students will vote on their top three Kiva projects. Finally, they will conduct a fundraising campaign to fund their top three projects.

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Three women grouped together: an elderly woman smiling, a transwoman with her arms folded, and a woman holding her headscarf with a baby strapped to her back.


Gender Equality

Gender Equality
navy halftone illustration of a covid virus