Women from around Australia are joining forces as part of a global sisterhood to raise money and awareness for women living in poverty worldwide.
In September, Caritas Australia’s Women for the World fundraiser will bring together thousands of women who will host their own Women for the World events.
These events will range from a simple morning tea, through to a movie night or a dinner party.
Caritas Australia, part of one of the largest humanitarian networks in the world, works at a community level in more than 29 countries and with Australian indigenous communities to improve the economic and social participation of women and girls.
Money raised from Women for the World events will go to fund Caritas Australia’s work in Asia, Africa, the Pacific, Latin America and within First Australian programs.
Michelle Fernon, a long-time supporter of Caritas Australia and one of the founders of Women for the World, believes it’s time to take action, given women represent the greatest proportion of people experiencing extreme poverty around the world.
‘‘Women have an important and increasingly influential role in the fabric of our society, yet 55 per cent of the world’s poor are women,’’ Ms Fernon said.
‘‘Many face systemic discrimination that prevents them from gaining an education, accessing health care and securing employment.
‘‘But we also know that we can do something about it and if we reach out and help a woman, her family and her community can climb out of poverty.’’
Ms Fernon said Women for the World events were all about bringing together those who were passionate about social justice, particularly where it related to women.
‘‘The fundraiser is a great opportunity to have a great time with your friends and family, while making an enormous difference to women’s lives globally.’’
Ms Fernon said when hosting a Women for the World event, the most important thing was to have fun.
So choose something you like to do, then get your friends, family and colleagues together and just go for it.
‘‘By bringing together women who care about these issues and utilising their incredible networks, we can build a community of women who are passionate about helping to fight poverty and promoting justice globally,’’ Ms Fernon said.
What can your dollars do?
Just $50 can build an energy-saving stove for a family, which uses less firewood to conserve the natural environment in Malawi, while $100 can provide 15 female farmers with vegetable seeds so they can grow sustainable food in Nepal.
Last year the donations reached more than two million people directly through Caritas Australia’s emergency and development programs.
Go to: www.womenfortheworld.org.au to register to host a Women for the World event, set up an online fundraising page and find some inspiring fundraising ideas and simple steps for hosting an event. Or phone Caritas on 1800 024 413 for more information.