Putting a gender lens on philanthropy will help us reach global gender equality goals. Australians Investing In Women is leading the way

by Women’s Agenda
Tuesday 11 October 2022

Gender equality will not be achieved by accident. In fact, a recent report from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation estimated it will not be achieved on a global scale until the year 2108 – three generations later than previously thought.

There are many factors at play on the path to greater equality for women and girls, and where we choose to invest our money is, and will continue to be, critical to progress.

Globally, only 16 percent of private philanthropic funding supports gender equality and women’s empowerment. And in Australia, 12 percent of philanthropic foundation grants are allocated to women’s and girls’ projects.

The financial investments we make are powerful and have the potential to create a fairer and more inclusive society if used in the right way. It’s something not-for-profit organisation Australians Investing In Women (AIIW) is determined to highlight in its mission to support gender-wise philanthropy.

AIIW encourages Australians, especially philanthropic, corporate and community leaders, to apply a gender lens to their philanthropy, to increase investment in women, girls, and gender equality.

CEO of AIIW, Julie Reilly, is passionate about building greater awareness about the need for a gender lens on philanthropy.

Currently, AIIW is working across a number of events and initiatives to raise such awareness, including the recently released report into older women and homelessness in Australia, which found that the number of older women experiencing homelessness is set to double in the coming decade.

“Now, more than ever, we need targeted interventions through government policy and philanthropic investment to provide safe and affordable accommodation for women,” Julie Reilly said on the report’s launch.

Encouraging philanthropists to invest in causes that promote the wellbeing and rights of women and girls doesn’t just benefit women and girls themselves. There is a proven “multiplier effect” when it comes to gender-wise giving, which sees families and whole communities benefit when women and girls thrive.

Investing in women can also push forward progress on a range of social issues, because it is so often women organising and leading these movements.

It’s one of the reasons Mecca M-Power is so excited to partner with AIIW.

“Working with AIIW (Australians Investing in Women) is like applying a brilliant new filter to your social media posts – you can never see the world in the same way again,” Lisa Keenan, Executive Director of M-Power says.

“Sam Mostyn and Julie Reilly are a powerhouse team who have a track record of influencing national policy reform and igniting important conversations. We are grateful to have them on our team.”