Why Women and Girls

First, there is overwhelming evidence that investing in women and girls has a flow on effect to families, communities and the environment. Women know what is going on "on the ground" so women-led solutions have a great success rate.

Second, women suffer greater and often different disadvantage to men especially in developing countries but also in Australia, and that disadvantage needs to be addressed.

Today, there are still many religions and cultures which deny women rights. Moreover in Australia, women tend to take responsibility for the unpaid work of managing families and caring for children. This limits their participation in paid work. As a result they are more dependent on others for financial maintenance and more vulnerable to poverty. This dependence also leaves them vulnerable to domestic abuse. Women's superannuation pay out is one-third that of men's but it has to last longer because they live longer. As a result in Australia older women are two and a half times more likely to live in poverty than men.

How much goes to Women and Girls?

A recent report by the US Foundation Center indicates that, in recent years, funding for women and girls by the broader foundation community has grown at a faster rate than foundation giving as a whole. This is great news, but as a share of foundation funding, it is still less than 7.5% of the total.

How much mainstream funding, that is for health, education, sport, the homeless, youth or the arts actually targets or reaches women and girls is unknown..

The global financial crisis and the subsequent of loss of jobs, homes and security for so many people may prove to be a major opportunity for the philanthropic community toward a fresh approach to funding and investment. Now is the time to focus on the best ways to achieve positive social change. Investing in women and girls – from alleviating poverty through to improvements in family and other law, healthcare, education, sustainable development and human rights – is a smart investment to support change.

The Status of World's Women

Download this comprehensive look at the Status of World's Women, produced by the Women's Fund Network.

The document covers Economic Security, Healthcare, Education, Economy and Violence. Many thanks to the Women's Funding Network for allowing us to reproduce this important document on our website.

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