CC: TIAW Members, Affiliated and partner Associations, and Friends,
When I took over as President of TIAW last year from Diane Tompson, I must admit that I thought the worst of the Pandemic was behind us here in Australia, and in truth (other than being truly isolated from family, friends, and colleagues overseas) we have been among the extremely fortunate.
That has not been the case for our fellow women across the globe.
The impact of COVID-19 on women over the last two years has been far-reaching and disproportionate.
A recent policy brief of the UN Secretary General – The Impact of COVID-19 on Women policy_brief_on_covid_impact_on_women_9_april_2020.pdf (un.org) analyses the effects of the pandemic on all sectors of women’s lives. From economic challenges to the increased demands of unpaid work (as children are not at school); to the tragic increase in gender-based violence, we can safely say that 2020 and 2021 did not advance the goals of many, many women.
It clear that the work of a reinvigorated TIAW is never more timely; never more necessary.
I inherited an organisation that was financially fit and driven by a motivated and compassionate Board. We are also fortunate to have the extraordinary asset of a vital and energetic ‘Old Girls’ Club’ (TOGC) who not only provide active moral support to the Board and the organisation, but they also contribute funds to our microcredit program.
This year Grameen America joined us as a microcredit partner; TOGC donated in honour of our founder, Mandy Goetz and that money has been distributed to their newest branch in New Jersey. As always, these funds go to programs that focus on women’s financial empowerment.
We also made donations via our other partners, FINCA and CUFA. These efforts were also supported by Alteris Financial Group (sponsor of our International Women’s Day event in Sydney, Australia), and by the individuals and networks who have so wonderfully contributed to uplifting women, their families, and their communities by joining TIAW and/or donating to our campaigns.
Our World of Difference Virtual Awards Ceremony was broadcast on Zoom on November 19/20. Once again, we are proud to recognise outstanding women and men from around the world, whose contribution to the economic empowerment of women is significant, ongoing, and heartfelt. We congratulate them and look forward to a brighter 2022 for all women,
In addition, we are delighted to recognise two outstanding women whose contributions demand special recognition:
• Irene Natividad – 2021 TIAW Lifetime Achievement Awardee; and,
• Sherry Gysler – 2021 TIAW Mandy Goetze 21st Century Awardee.
You can read all about Irene and Sherry and see our other World of Difference Awardees on www.tiaw.org; and join us to see and hear their stories at our virtual event in two weeks (details and Zoom link to follow).
For those who have yet to join us, I encourage you to become part of TIAW as a member – as we are truly greater together.
To my extraordinary Board colleagues, my thanks for your support, good humour, and belief in TIAW. I look forward to seeing you all in person in 2022.
The International Alliance of Women