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Today, many institutions and nations worldwide are celebrating International Women’s Day. This year’s theme, “Invest in women—accelerate progress”, calls on us to recognise the unique contributions of women.

Globally, women are leading the charge in addressing some of the most pressing issues facing our communities, from poverty and inequality to environmental sustainability and healthcare access. In this blog post, we want to make the case for why supporting and empowering female-led organisations is not only the right thing to do but also a smart strategic move for those invested in creating positive change.

Why it matters now

Today, we have an annual deficit of USD 360 billion in spending for gender equality measures, according to a UN Women 2023 report, which further highlights;

“The gender gap in power and leadership positions remains entrenched, and at the current rate of progress, the next generation of women will still spend, on average, 2.3 more hours per day on unpaid care and domestic work than men.”

The case for supporting women matters now more than ever. A research report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that women represent 67% of the global health and social care workforce and are more likely to invest their income back into their families and communities. This means that supporting women-led social impact organisations not only has a direct impact on empowering women but also creates a ripple effect that benefits entire communities.

Beyond the numbers, women-led organisations bring unique strengths to the table, including empathy, new approaches and collaboration. These qualities are especially valuable in the social impact space, where building trust and relationships is often as important as implementing programmes and initiatives.

Below, we celebrate and spotlight some of our clients who are women-led social impact organisations.

Adapting African farmers to climate change

Founded by Georgina Flatter and Asiedua Amoah, TomorrowNow is a climate tech nonprofit that supports smallholder farmers in Africa in adapting to climate change. This tech-enabled, women-led startup equips farmers with the latest agri-weather technology, improved data access, and knowledge to boost crop yield and productivity.

In the last year, they have empowered over 1 million smallholder farmers in Kenya with weather intelligence through collaborations with partners across the public and private sectors. Their ambition is to reach 20 million farmers in the next 3 years and 100 million farmers across Africa by 2030!

Their efforts have led to unlocking additional funding, and they are poised to revolutionise agriculture on the continent. Their farmer-first approach has also ensured that smallholder African women farmers are not left behind.

Georgina Flatter and Asiedua Amoah (Credit: TomorrowNow.org)

Bringing an end to exploitation

In the activist space, our client, Sophie Otiende, CEO and board member of the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS), is working tirelessly to develop systems and processes that advocate for ethical standards for protecting trafficking victims.

A Kenyan activist and feminist, she has identified and restored over 400 victims and received recognition globally for her efforts. In 2020, she was named the US Trafficking in Persons Report Hero and has been a 2015 Vital Voices Fellow. Sophie’s work in the sector has been life-saving to many.

Women leaders like Sophie are not only leading the way in addressing injustice but are also spotlighting and addressing some of the challenges women face in the workforce, including unpaid care work and unequal pay.

Sophie Otiende with NSW Anti-slavery commissioner James Cockayne (Credit: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

Combating neglected tropical diseases

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) affect more than 1 billion people, with 1.6 billion requiring both preventive and curative interventions. It is on this critical health intervention that Ellen Agler, through the END Fund, sought to tackle this issue. Mid this year, she will step down as the inaugural CEO, leaving behind an inspiring legacy that speaks to her abilities as a visionary leader.

Under Ellen’s leadership, the END Fund has helped provide over 1.7 billion NTD treatments, performed 126,000 life-changing surgeries and trained over 6 million health workers. Her collaborative approach has resulted in the END Fund raising almost $500 million so far and created a model for collaborative philanthropy.

Ellen Agler participates in an END Fund supported mass drug administration in Burundi (Credit: END Fund)

Conclusion

These women, Georgina, Asiedua, Sophie and Ellen, among the countless other leaders and visionaries, are a testament to why we need to support women-led organisations. Their work centres on collaboration and building a more just and sustainable world. Empowering women and women-led organisations can unlock new solutions, amplify marginalised voices, and create a future where everyone can thrive. This is why gender equality is not just a goal but a reality.

As we look to the future of social impact, let’s commit to amplifying the voices of women leaders and championing their invaluable contributions.

Here’s to the trailblazers, the innovators, and the changemakers who continue to push boundaries and challenge the status quo.

If you are a women-led organisation and keen to do more this year, contact us.

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