AIIW News, 8 May 2021.
In the lead up to Mother’s Day I have been reflecting on my own mother’s story and the life-changing nature of the support she received at a critical time in her life as a single mum and, by extension, the life-changing effect of that support on her children.
We know investing in women provides a multiplier effect. When you support a woman that benefit doesn’t stop with her – it flows on to support the health and wellbeing of her children and the community more broadly. I know this to be true even without the many authoritative reports from organisations including the United Nations, World Bank, McKinsey & Co.
The urgent need however has landed with a thud in the most recent Global Gender Equality Index from the World Economic Forum. This report reveals not only Australia’s disturbing slide down the gender equality list, but the increased estimated time it will take – 135.6 years – to reach global gender equality. An alarming reminder that we need to take intentional action not only to achieve progress but to preserve the hard-won gains fought for by our mothers.
Mother’s Day has its origins in the U.S in the early 20th century when Anna Jarvis, motivated by the death of her own mother, advocated for a day dedicated to expressing love and gratitude to mothers, acknowledging the sacrifices women make for their children.
This Mother’s Day I’ll be celebrating my amazing mum, and I’ll also be giving thanks for those of you who, either through your targeted philanthropic generosity or through your work in the social sector, actively support mothers as part of your commitment to investing in women.
Our recent research report from Equity Economics, Gender-wise Investing: A Springboard for Australia’s Recovery makes a compelling case for the critical need to invest with a focus on women – not only because of the disproportionate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic but because of the critical role women can play in driving our economic and social recovery.
For some, Mother’s Day is a day of mixed emotion, whether because they have lost their mum or perhaps have not had the chance to be a mum, or because they are separated by COVID-19 travel restrictions. Whatever your feeling we wish you well and trust you find a way to honour mothers and the mother figures who play such a major role in shaping our lives.
Australians Investing In Women