IWD 2014 - Women too often carry the burden of poverty and injustice

Report
from Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA
Published on 07 Mar 2014 View Original

Women perform 66% of the world’s work and produce 50% of the world’s food, yet they only receive 10% of the worlds income and own 1% of the world’s property.

That's why three-quarters of Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA's projects are aimed at improving opportunities for women and, by doing this, improving their families' lives. We work with local women's groups and women's community groups and unions to deliver projects that women really need and want.

Here are just a few of our projects that focus on improving the lives of women:

Timor-Leste: Literacy & Workers' Rights

Around two thirds of adult women in Timor-Leste have never attended school. Consequently, many rural Timorese women are functionally illiterate. Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA is assisting a women's organisation, the Grupo Feto Foins'ae Timor Leste, to conduct literacy and income generation training for these women so they can better participate in Timorese society.

The work of the Working Women's Centre Timor-Leste, a not-for-profit community organisation that supports women employees or women who wish to work, is also vital.

The Working Women's Centre:

  • Provides information, advice and support to women on work issues.

  • Runs training programs on women's work issues.

  • Develops printed material for women on issues facing women in or entering the workforce.

  • Works with local unions on gender equality for women members.

  • Encourages women to take an active part in their union.

  • Promotes equal employment opportunity for women through policy development, and campaigns.

Refugee Women on the Thai-Burma border

Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA works with the Karen Women's Organisation (KWO) in five refugee camps in Thailand, near the border with Burma. The camps are mostly made up of Karen ethnic people with the largest camp having over 110,000 residents.

As Thailand is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention, Burmese refugees living on the Thai border receive little support from UNHCR. The Thai Government does not allow them to leave the camp and work in Thailand.

The KWO aims to improve conditions for women in the refugee camps through skills training to enable them to earn some income. Whilst international aid provides them with food, the women have very little capacity to earn money to buy things they need such as clothing, soap or medicines. One of the few job opportunities available is to work in finance or adminstration for the community organisations that service the refugee camps.

Cambodia - Rural livelihoods support through skills training for women

Through our partnership with Department of Women's Affairs in Cambodia, Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA supports sustainable agriculture and vocational training for women living in rural areas.

Vocational training courses help these women obtain skills that are in demand in their villages, providing them with the ability to earn an income and the option to stay close to their villages and families if they choose. Training in fish farming and home gardening also assists farmers to improve their productivity.

The training is open to all poor farmers, but most participants are women farmers who cannot produce enough rice to feed their families year-round.

The training supports these smallholder farmers to improve production techniques, increase their productivity and develop greater self-sufficiency, and is a sustainable and equitable way to improve rural livelihoods.

Join Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA and make a regular monthly donation to support women's projects like these. Please freecall 1800 888 674 or join online.

Contact Details
Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA
Ph: (02) 9264 9343
Fax: (02) 9261 1118
office@apheda.org.au