The WeirAnderson Foundation is a Private Ancillary Fund supporting a number of cultural, educational, philanthropic and scientific organisations. Its particular emphasis is on projects that will improve the lives of women and girls, promote gender equity and support Australian cultural institutions in the sharing of stories.
The reason for focusing on women and girls is ultimately a practical one. While women work 66% of the world’s working hours, they earn only 10% of the world’s income. Girls are the most disadvantaged group on the globe: more likely than any other group to die young, be uneducated, live in poverty and suffer violence. Yet there is compelling evidence that strategies aimed specifically at improving the position of women and girls has much greater impact than non-gender specific measures.
We believe in the power of helping women and girls to help themselves.
When women and girls generate an income, they reinvest 90% of their earnings into their families, compared with up to 40% for men.* Further, the Asia-Pacific region is losing AUD $44-47 billion annually because of limits on women’s access to employment opportunities, and another $16-30 billion per year because of the gender gaps in education. The increase in female employment in the developed world has been the main driver of economic growth in the past couple of decades, contributing more to global GDP growth than new technology, or the rise of India or China.
The WeirAnderson Foundation is part of the Women Moving Millions movement. WMM is a global philanthropic community committed to large-scale investment in women and girls, with each member committing a minimum of $1m in funding for relevant organisations.
The Foundation has pledged half of its commitment to projects supported by the Sydney Women's Fund, which focuses on working to improve the lives of women and girls in the greater Sydney metropolitan area. The remaining funds are being donated to the International Women's Development Agency: the only Australian development organisation entirely focused on women's rights and gender equality.
As an example of gender-focused investment, in 2014 the Foundation supported G(irls)20 at the Sydney Opera House. G(irls)20 is a unique global platform for 18 to 21-year-old delegates representing G20 countries. It places girls and women at the heart of economic decision-making process by advancing the idea that increasing female labour-force participation will generate growth, stabilise communities and countries and lead to social innovation.
*All statistics sourced from “Gender-wise philanthropy: Strengthening Society by Investing in Women and Girls”, published by the Australian Women Donors Network.