Women for the World is a local movement which aims to empower the world’s most marginalised women to combat injustice. Each September women and girls across the breadth of Australia gather to stand in solidarity with women fighting inequality around the world.

In today’s world, poverty and gender are inextricably linked. Women, especially in developing countries face systematic discrimination in education, employment, healthcare, control of assets and economic participation. According to the United Nations, one in three girls or women will experience physical or sexual violence during her lifetime and the risk multiplies during a conflict or disaster. This September, Caritas Australia is encouraging women across Australia to combat this injustice by hosting their own Women for the World event in solidarity with women experiencing poverty globally. Women for the World events can be held at home, at work, in schools or really anywhere and can take the form of a morning tea, movie night, luncheon or a dinner party.

Funds raised through the Women for the World events will go to programs supported by Caritas Australia, which is a part of the second largest international aid and development network in the world. Last year, thanks to the generosity of our supporters, Caritas Australia assisted two million people directly through our emergency and development programs. Long-time Caritas Australia supporter and one of the driving forces behind Women for the World, Dr Michelle Fernon believes that given the disproportionate impact that poverty has on women and girls it is vital that action is taken. “Despite being the backbone of their families, workplaces and communities, women have access to fewer resources and are denied opportunities to realise their full potential,” Dr Fernon said. “Yet we know that when we help a woman, her children thrive, societies thrive and the impact is felt for generations to come.”

Women for the World events, for Dr Fernon, are about bringing together those who are passionate about justice and making a difference to those living in poverty. “One of the most important things about hosting a ‘Women for the World’ event is to have fun. It might seem hard to invite your friends to a fundraiser, but in my experience once they know where the money goes and who they are helping their generosity is overwhelming.”

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