EMPOWERING WOMEN AND GIRLS SO THEY’RE SAFE AND FREE TO LEAD THE LIVES THEY CHOOSE
The lives of women and girls across the world have improved in many ways over the last 25 years, but there is still so much to do.
Women and girls are exposed to horrendous levels of violence. Around the world, one in three women and girls will experience domestic violence or sexual assault in their lifetime. In the UK, the police receive a call about domestic violence every minute.
The world of work is equally unjust. Women perform two thirds of the world’s work and produce half of our food, but earn less income and own less property. Women still carry out the most poorly valued and low paid jobs.
We believe women and girls must have the right to have control over their own bodies, to live free from violence; to have a voice in their community and country; work safely and earn a decent wage. Investing in girls and women brings incredible returns - when a woman earns her own income she re-invests it in her family and community.
Working in the UK and around the world, we fund work that ensures greater protection and better support for women and girls who have experienced, or are at risk of, harm. This might include intimate partner violence, domestic abuse, sexual abuse or exploitation, early and forced marriage, honour-based violence, bride price, female genital mutilation (FGM), or other harmful practices.
We help those groups who are often ignored or remain invisible – for example older women; young women and girls exploited through gangs; women with HIV; or in the UK those from black and minority, ethnic and refugee (BMER) backgrounds. We’re also interested in pioneering work on the critical role men can play in reducing gender-based violence. Specifically, we support projects that help us achieve these goals:
- Reduce levels of violence against women and girls
- Inform and challenge young people about healthy relationships, abuse and consent
- Ensure women and girls who experience violence and abuse get help earlier - and have access to the services they need to rebuild their lives
Helping women work and ensuring equality
Financial independence and equality for women, is not only a right, but it also brings widespread benefits to the whole community, families and children. Despite great progress, inequality is still a major challenge.
Specifically, we support projects that help us achieve these goals:
- Improve the working conditions for women in low paid and unsafe work
- Help women earn more by accessing finance, assets and training opportunities
- Help poor or especially disadvantaged women enter or return to the job market, whether as paid employees or through self employment.
We support initiatives that tackle in-work poverty, helping women and men trapped in a cycle of low pay and poor progression opportunities and we support holistic initiatives to improve working conditions and income for women.
We work with organisations that empower women to reach their potential by focusing on three key areas:
- Ensuring women have the confidence, skills and voice to create change
- Increasing women’s confidence and voice; while removing institutional barriers to women’s full participation in society
- Increasing the representation and leadership of women in society so they can play a full and equal role in driving social change