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Break The Bias – International Women’s Day 2022

  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Social Inclusion

Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. This International Women's Day, we celebrate the achievements of women through the projects we've supported that help create gender equal communities and #BreakTheBias.

For more than 40 years, The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund (PWCF) has supported work across the United Kingdom, commonwealth and overseas. Our small and major grant programmes provide vital funding to empower women, #BreakTheBias and tackle inequality in all forms. We are delighted to shine a light on our work with women in rural and urban communities in the UK and overseas.

Project Mahampy in rural Madagascar seeks to increase income for female traditional weavers. Women are particularly affected by Madagascar’s poverty, deeply entrenched cultural expectations and domestic responsibilities which limit women’s opportunities to generate income themselves.

Weaving mahampy – a locally sourced reed that grows in nearby wetlands – is a common livelihood and the sale of mahampy products provides a small but vital income for households. A single mahampy mat can take two days to make and sell for as little as $1.14. Project Mahampy improves the livelihoods of women by increasing the income received through reed weaving.

Eleven co-operatives of weavers have formed across the region, connecting women and driving empowerment and development. Forming collectives also enables the weavers to demand greater recompense for their products, as together they have greater negotiating power. Ravolasoa Jacqueline, President of the Taratsy Mahavotsy Mpandrary Weavers’ sub-Cooperative stated that the project was ‘helping women a lot. Not only women but young women too. If we make this we may teach this to our children’. PWCF awarded a grant to SEED Madagascar to deliver this sustainable livelihoods project.

In the UK, PWCF has recently supportedSafety Net UK. Safety Net work in Cumbria to provide therapeutic support to victims of domestic or sexual abuse. The vast majority of service users are women. Through the support of Safety Net UK, 79% of service users feel better able to cope, with new self-care strategies and 75% feel an increase in their personal safety. The work that Safety Net UK does is crucial in helping all victims of domestic and/or sexual abuse to rebuild their lives, and PWCF is proud to support their work.

PWCF also supported the Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid through a grant partnership with Comic Relief. This project helped older victims of domestic abuse, with a focus on improving the range of safe accommodation options for those who required them.

In Kenya, the International Tree Foundation (ITF) is building sustainable communities and encouraging women to #BreakTheBias through the Rural-Economic Green Zone Project. ITF works with women to mobilise the community, grow high value fruit trees and enlarge areas of woodland, establishing a reliable women-led source of income.

By the end of 2021, over 13,000 trees had been planted in the area. Training sessions for the community included ‘Gender integration in natural resource management‘ and ‘tree nursery establishment and management’. By working with women to establish tree nurseries, the ITF is helping PWCF to build more sustainable communities and transforming the lives of women in Kenya. ITF is supported through the PWCF major grants programme.

To learn more about #BreakTheBias and International Women’s Day, please click here.