If, like me, you are occasionally challenged about why and whether we still need International Women’s Day (IWD), I trust you won’t have too much trouble responding. There is no question women have achieved important gains since the early 1900’s when IWD was first observed, and many more since the official adoption of IWD by the United Nations in 1975, but it is painfully clear there is still serious work to be done. In political representation, workforce participation and safety, childcare, domestic violence and every single aspect of life where women experience inequality.
This time last year the world was a very different place as we headed into IWD celebrations. While still reeling from summer’s devastating bushfires we were, for the most part, blissfully unaware of the impact the growing global pandemic would have on our lives. It’s fair to say everyone’s life has been affected by COVID-19. Tragically the virus has cost far too many lives and ongoing health and well-being with ‘long-COVID’ emerging as a significant issue for survivors, particularly women.
In addition to the health costs, the economic and social costs are still being calculated and understood. What is clear is that the impact of the pandemic on women’s lives has been significant and, in many areas, disproportionate. These gendered impacts speak to the very essence of our work – embedding gender-wise philanthropy in the sector. They underline the need to examine the different ways that any and every issue impacts the lives of women and girls. These differences must be understood and addressed if philanthropic funding and the initiatives supported are to have maximum effect.
We are proud to be collaborating with Philanthropy Australia on a Gender-wise event featuring the doyenne of gender-wise giving, 2020 Leading Philanthropist Carol Schwartz AO, in conversation with our brilliant board Director, Catherine Fox. If you’re a member of Philanthropy Australia, please save the date (March 30, 2-3pm). We’ll be launching an important research report commissioned to help inform funders of the need and opportunities for effective investments in women and girls, as well as new editions of our Gender-wise resources. Please read on for news, events and important listening and reading.
Happy International Women’s Day 2021!
Australians Investing In Women