March 8

International Women’s Day



International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900’s. Significant cultural and attitudinal shifts have happened over the years with the new millennium bringing significant change and movement in women’s equality, women having a voice, women being heard, women having their own bank accounts, women having the vote.

“Our city streets are full of working women, the life expectancy of women is rising, women are much more likely to survive childbirth and are achieving well in schools and universities.” “It’s easy to feel a sense of optimism” (1)

On Monday, I had the privilege of hearing first hand the results of the Sydney Women’s Fund “The Portrait Project”. This is the first ever project in Australia that provides the evidence for effective philanthropy to women in Sydney. Whilst we have made significant headway since the 1900’s the fact still remains that inequality continues to exist not just in wide ranging parts of the world but much closer to home. And whilst this research focused on Greater Sydney, the frightening fact is that the trend applies across Australia.

The unfortunate facts that have been evidenced by “The Portrait Project” show that income inequality continues to be a problem, women are still not represented in equal numbers in business or politics and the vitally important areas of health, housing, work and education continue to disadvantage a large proportion of women:

  • Single older women will become the new face of homelessness
  • School attendance and retention is lower amongst girls in low income areas
  • Young women and girls in low income areas have a higher incidence of abuse, self harm and teenage pregnancy
  • Continuing inequality in pay and income

The research is available for download at

So absolutely let’s all celebrate International Women’s Day – what we have individually achieved, as a community achieved and overall in terms of advancement.

But let’s not forget the work that is still to be done.

As Abigail Disney shared with us during her visit last year;

“Women are 51% of the population and the mothers to the other half”.

At the Little Black Dress Group we are committed to funding and supporting disadvantaged women and children at the grass roots of Australia with a specific focus on improving education and employment opportunities. We do this via our very own fund, the First Seeds Fund which is a sub fund of the Sydney Women’s Fund of the Sydney Community Foundation. We are actively raising funds to facilitate grant making as well as donating our time and high quality connections to mentor others.
We invite you to join us and celebrate International Women’s Day this 8th March 2012 by showing your support to continue the journey of change. Find out how you can support us or make a donation now by visiting:



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