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The world?s female population faces a lot of serious problems: Haitian women are dying of treatable diseases; expectant mothers in Sierra Leone have to travel long, treacherous distances to reach hospitals; Afghani girls have a 12.6 percent literacy rate--one of the lowest in the world.

The good news? You can now help solve those problems directly, thanks to a new crowdfunding website called Catapult.

Catapult was, ahem, launched in the fall of 2012 and basically brings the Kickstarter model to the world of women?s empowerment. Trusted organizations (UNICEF, V-Day and the like) post concise, actionable projects--say, cervical cancer screenings in Haiti or a literacy program conducted via cell phones in Afghanistan--and anyone can contribute as much or as little as they?d like.

To get started, log on and browse by issue or area of the world. Then click on a specific project to see what, exactly, your money would be going toward (organizers break it down very succinctly) and how much is needed for complete funding. For instance, an initiative to build birthing houses in Sierra Leone needs only $1,700 to get off the ground.

No matter what amount you donate, we guarantee it?ll make a difference.

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