Founded by Pida Ripley in 1987 as a humanitarian aid and development agency, WomenAid's core mission is to provide relief and assistance to women and children suffering distress caused by war, disasters or poverty, to empower women through education, training, provision of credit, to raise awareness of issues adversely impacting upon women, campaign against violations of women's human rights and, importantly, to act as a catalyst for international and national legislative and public policy change.

The first UK charity to focus on women globally, in 1993 Womenaid International also became the seventh British aid organisation to be invited into a Framework Partnership with the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO).    Substantial implementing and development partnerships with many UN agencies, the USAF and other INGOs followed.

Gender inequality for many starts in the womb - and lasts to the tomb as women are placed at a disadvantage throughout their lives. There are millions of "missing" girls, lives cut short because in many countries parents prefer sons.

Millions of women throughout the world are marginalised, overlooked and locked in an unequal struggle for survival.   Living in abject poverty, working long hours for little or no money, they are trapped in a life of suffering, hunger, malnutrition and disease. 

According to the United Nations:

  • one fifth of the global population, 1 billion women, are the poorest people on earth.

  • two-thirds of the world's 781 million illiterates are female.

  • Women are half the world's people who do two-thirds of the world's work. They earn a tenth of the world's income and own a hundredth of the world's property.

Despite slow gains and improvements achieved in recent decades, the reality for women globally is a litany of gender discrimination and abuse. The human rights of women and of the girl child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights. If human rights are to be universally respected and protected, then they must apply to the lives of over half of the human race - women.

"Equality for women and girls is not only a basic human right, it is a social and economic imperative". Ban Ki-Moon, Former UN Secretary-General.

Reducing the poverty and powerlessness of millions of women throughout the world is not just a women's issue but is central to sustainable economic and social development of the global community. Gender equality and women's development are human rights that lie at the heart of development and the delivery of the sustainable development goals. How can development be achieved if 50 percent of the global population is excluded from the opportunities it could deliver? It is a complex global challenge.  

The existence of WomenAid International is a  
response to that challenge.

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A WomenAid International/UN World Food Programme convoy Georgia, CIS.

"We face an enormous challenge   which we cannot tackle alone. Only with voluntary contributions from governments and the dedicated commitment from organisations such as WomenAid, can refugees look forward to a better future. Refugees are the responsibility of all of us."

Sadako Ogata, United Nations
High Commissioner for Refugees

"Our collaboration with Womenaid International as a major implementing partner was commendable achieving our common goals to serve 240,000 refugees, IDPs and vulnerable persons throughout the Republic
of Armenia. May I take this opportunity to congratulate you on founding an esteemed organisation"

Mamo Desta, Country Director, UN World Food Programme, Armenia.

"If you are poor, you are disadvantaged. But if you are poor and also a woman, you are doubly disadvantaged!"

Professor Muhammed Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank.

"It is our privilege to thank you for raising public awareness about the tragedy befalling our people in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We appreciate your time and expertise in this matter. We also want to acknowledge the contribution made by your organisation, Womenaid, as humanitarian of medical supplies and food."

Sekib Sokolovic M.D., Department Humanitarian Aid, Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina





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