Women around the world are more likely to live in poverty – just because they’re women. We’re helping women to challenge discrimination, claim their rights, and transform their societies.
Around the world, women have less power, money, protection from violence and access to education and healthcare. Despite these injustices, women everywhere are standing up to claim their rights and to fight poverty.
Women are often not allowed to own property or keep the money they earn; as farmers they get the most marginal land, and as workers they are trapped in the worst jobs for the least pay. More girls than boys are denied education.
70% of people living in poverty are women
Men still dominate decision-making at every level, from village councils to national government, so even when policies are introduced to help the poor, they often ignore the needs of women.
Men’s power over women often costs women their lives. Women are more vulnerable to HIV infection because they are not able to insist on protected sex, even when they know their partner is infected. Men often use physical violence to reinforce their power over women and girls.
Women - the drivers of Change
Yet despite all this, women are powerful forces for change, amazingly determined and resourceful in their fight to achieve a better future. Income in the hands of women has a dramatic impact on the wellbeing of their families, since they spend a significant proportion of it on children’s food, health and education.
Every time a family has good food to eat and clean water to drink, every day that a child arrives at school or a sick person makes it to the clinic, it’s usually a woman who has fought for this small, daily victory over adversity.
The best way to end poverty is to strengthen women in their own struggles, helping them to unleash their own potential to change the world.
ActionAid and women's rights
ActionAid is committed to being on the side of the poor and vulnerable, so we believe that gender inequality, in and of itself, is an injustice we must fight. We fund projects around the world which support women to claim their rights, and we also campaign for change.
We work to ensure that the effect on women is considered in the planning of all our programmes and campaigns, and we also support projects with the specific aim of raising the status, rights, livelihoods and political participation of women. Our key themes are:
- Violence against Women and Girls
- Women's access to and control over land
- HIV and AIDS
- Women's Unpaid Care Work
- Women’s Rights to Sexual Autonomy and Bodily Integrity
ActionAid's work supporting women
- In Kenya, Actionaid Ireland supports women’s organisations which report and advocate for just outcomes in cases of violence against women and girls.
- In Malawi, Actionaid Ireland is helping women to mobilise to form local organisations that are working to change attitudes and behaviour in relation to violence against women at community level.
- In Nepal, Actionaid Ireland supports women’s rights organisations and organisations for people living with HIV. This work educates and highlight the links between gender inequality and HIV and AIDS.
- In Vietnam, Actionaid Ireland supports activities to increase awareness of the risks of trafficking and to reduce incidence of trafficking amongst women and girls.
- In Pakistan ActionAid has been a key part of the campaign to challenge the Hudood Ordinance which, among other things, criminalises women who have been raped.