Jinnat and her friends, who live in Dhaka

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.


For women and girls to have agency and power in decision making at all levels (domestic, community, political & societal)

Someone to listen

This means supporting strong and coordinated women’s movements that influence policy, and lead in developing and modelling best practices, as well as developing a greater understanding about the influence of gender norms on choices and life outcomes. 


To end discrimination and harmful practice/behaviour on the grounds of gender

Lady selling fruit

We have a long history of funding programmes tackling gender based violence and women and girl’s empowerment and are proud to consistently maintain a specific woman and girls empowerment-focussed funding stream. Our approach and that of many other organisations is to embed a community coordinated response involving health, police, judicial and legal services, shelters and protection services, schools and other education institutions, religious or cultural groups. This approach is effective in ensuring survivors of violence, their children and other dependents receive the comprehensive support they need in a timely and sensitive manner. 

We know from our own learning and research that to effectively bring about change it is necessary to work not only at a direct delivery level, supporting women who have experienced or who are at risk of gender based discrimination and violence, but to also focus on strategic advocacy and the influence, agency and voice of those most affected; supporting women and girls to collaborate, catalyse action and build movements to make change happen.

Other programme areas