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Philanthropy urged to put gender lens on COVID-19 recovery


25 November 2020 at 9:31 pm
Maggie Coggan
Sector leaders argue the importance of a gender lens as Women Donors Network rebrands to encourage more people to focus on women and girls in their giving 


Maggie Coggan | 25 November 2020 at 9:31 pm


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Philanthropy urged to put gender lens on COVID-19 recovery
25 November 2020 at 9:31 pm

Sector leaders argue the importance of a gender lens as Women Donors Network rebrands to encourage more people to focus on women and girls in their giving 

Philanthropists must apply a gender lens to funding the COVID-19 recovery or risk failing women and the whole of society, sector leaders say. 

While COVID-19 has adversely impacted all Australians, research shows that women have borne the brunt of job losses, domestic burdens, remote learning responsibilities, and increased rates of domestic violence.

Speaking to Pro Bono News following the annual Gender Wise event on Tuesday, Australians Investing in Women CEO, Julie Reilly said that women have faced these increased difficulties without additional support.  

“Sadly there is little evidence of a gender lens on the COVID-19 stimulus funding,” Reilly said. 

The event was also attended by the head of the Minderoo Foundation’s Thrive to Five initiative, Jay Weatherall, who said that not supporting women had flow-on effects to the rest of society. 

“If we are to achieve the best possible start to life for children, we must design an early childhood system that works for women who, for the most part, continue to shoulder the majority of caring responsibilities,” Weatherill said. 

A new chapter 

Reilly also used the event as an opportunity to announce a rebranding of the Women Donors Network to Australians Investing in Women, a move she said would ensure more Australians had an intentional focus on women and girls in their giving. 

She said that while the organisation had advocated for increased investment in women and girls for over a decade, its name had not accurately expressed who they are or what they do. 

“Our new name is purposely aimed at inviting all Australians, particularly corporates, to increase their philanthropic funding for women and girls to deliver greater gender equality and a better world for all,” she said. 

The organisation will also change its tagline from “Women donors investing in women and girls” to “Empowering giving for a fairer future”.

Chair Sam Mostyn said this represented the organisation’s long-term vision.

“If we are to achieve gender equality we will need to pull every lever; being more intentional about bringing women into focus supports smart investment decisions. Philanthropic dollars are limited; it is investments in women and girls that bring the greatest opportunity for social change,” Mostyn said.

“As Australians Investing in Women, we are evolving to represent our growing network of women and men, and corporate funders, who understand that investing in women and girls strengthens economies and society as a whole.” 


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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