100 women. Changing the lives of women everywhere

Today I was lucky enough to attend the launch of 100 Women, an initiative to engage women through philanthropy to change the lives of women everywhere, and in turn change the face of philanthropy. Alicia Curtis, Founder and Chair, is a woman I have worked with over the last fourteen or so months and she ran the first leadership event I have ever attended. And if there is one thing Alicia can do, it is get people involved.

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Today was an inspiring story of a want for change in the world. I am lucky enough to have access to an education and health services, I am safe and I do not live in fear. For many women and girls around the world this is not the case. And that needs to be changed.
The program is inspired by the book Half the Sky, written by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn and focuses on the stories affected by sex trafficking, violence and education; to name just a few of the abuses. 100 Women aims to change the lives of people effected by those issues.

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Headed up by a committee of eleven, 100 Women also has three outstanding ambassadors; Maria Saraceni, a lawyer for Francis Burt Chambers, Erica Smyth, the Non-Executive Chairman at Toro Energy and Rabia Siddique, a criminal and human rights lawyer, providing support, advocacy and profile to the organisation. Maria spoke this morning at the launch with a story that reminded us of how close poverty and exploitation can be without us having any idea.

100 Women invites a minimum of one hundred people to donate $1200 or more which will be pooled into a grants program that will be distributed to at least three groups. People can give more than the $1200 and these funds can be committed by individuals, groups, organisations, women or men. The individual or representative from the organisation/group can then choose the level of involvement that they have with choosing how the grants are distributed. They can be involved in the selection process or they can have no involvement at all.

This is a cause that I think everyone should be involved with. While $1200 is a large amount of money to contribute alone, I would encourage everyone to get together with family, friends and colleagues. Fundraise, donate yourself or start a crowd funding campaign, and get involved in how women and children across the world are helped. Check out the 100 Women website for more details.

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