Our services reach out to all those in our community who are most vulnerable. Yet sadly, it is women who are disproportionately affected by violence, homelessness, poverty, isolation and other hardships. So it is absolutely critical that services designed to address their urgent needs receive support and adequate funding.
It is also vital that those services are provided with compassion, skill and understanding.
At Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand we understand that, while gender inequality affects us all, its impact is strongest among those who are most disadvantaged. A woman already struggling to rise above poverty, family violence or other hardships is far less likely to have the resources to overcome the traditional structures which place obstacles in the way of women everywhere.
And so the cycle of disadvantage often continues, despite a woman's best efforts.
Just think of the profound and negative consequences this will have for her and her family. For her children, who are looking to her for their own support; children whom she is desperate to provide for, even regularly putting their many needs ahead of her own.
It is therefore our mission to challenge the structures and beliefs that cause such inequality, while embracing innovative ways of empowering women and girls and ensuring the value of every human being.
We also recognise that investing in services that improve the lives of women and girls has a positive flow on effect to families and communities.
As Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations noted in 2003 in the quote below:
Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service is currently running a number of programs focused on supporting women struggling to overcome hardship ranging from family violence to poverty and isolation.
We're also conducting extensive research into the root causes of these hardships, identifying where there are gaps in service provision for women and proposing models to meet these critical needs. Recent research projects and policy submissions undertaken by our Social Policy and Research Unit have focused on areas including:
These projects and submissions are aimed at creating real and lasting change in society, for the betterment of women everywhere. They represent just a few of our ongoing efforts to follow our mission of improving the lives of women and girls.