In 2018 our movement grew bigger, louder, stronger, and achieved some big wins for women’s rights!
From bringing puppies to Parliament House to pressuring Australia’s fourth biggest mining company to uphold women’s rights, here are 7 ways we made an impact together this year.
1. Thanks to our pressure, Australian mining company South32 agreed to address the concerns of the women in Phola.
This year we launched an ambitious campaign in solidarity with women in Phola, South Africa, who have been facing direct impacts from South32’s coal mine operating just kilometres from their community.
In June, 249 people came together to donate $12,511 to help support the women in Phola to launch an investigation into South32 to document the impacts of the companies’ coal mine on women and their communities.
Backed by powerful evidence from the investigation, activists in Perth then ramped up the pressure at South32’s AGM, and got the company’s CEO to commit to a meeting with the Phola women.
From there we didn’t let up – hundreds of you came to events across the country to learn more about the campaign when community activist, Millicent Shungube, came from South Africa to Australia.
In a positive meeting with South32 at the end of Millicent’s visit – the company finally agreed to address the women’s concerns about the impacts they’ve been experiencing. Now we need to hold them to it – but this was a massive campaign win brought about by the power of our movement!
2. We launched a major report revealing the true scale of Australia’s expanding fossil fuel footprint overseas.
The Undermining Women’s Rights report highlights the impacts of coal, oil and gas extraction on women in low income countries, and, for the first time, provides an estimate of the scale and carbon potential of fossil fuel projects currently being operated or planned by ASX listed companies.
On the back of this report, we also launched an interactive fossil fuel tracker online, where members of the public can explore a map of every Australian-run operational and proposed fossil fuel project around the world.
The report showed that Australian fossil fuel companies operating overseas are planning a fourfold increase in their operations in the coming years – but with this important information out in the open, together we can take action to ensure that these companies are held to account and stop them from robbing women and their communities of their rights.
3. We helped raise women’s voices in national media!
Throughout the year, stories from the women we work with were featured alongside our campaigns in media across the country.
Check out the full articles on SBS The Feed, SBS News, Pro Bono Australia, the Fairfield Champion and Devex just to name a few. Also stay tuned for a TV feature about Millicent from Phola, and the critical work her community has been doing to campaign for justice from South32.
4. We won over key politicians in our campaign for a human rights watchdog through a cheeky stunt on Parliament House lawns!
In June, a team of ActionAid Australia activists from around the country descended on Parliament House with real life ‘watchdogs’ to meet with 18 MPs and Senators. Together they amplified the call for a human rights watchdog that would ensure justice for women in mining-affected communities.
So far, 16 MPs and Senators have pledged their support for a human rights watchdog. Now the pressure is on for politicians to follow through in 2019!
5. We grew our people power.
There are now 17 activist groups in 6 states and territories, made up of 120 activists organising in their communities for women’s rights.
Our activist network had a huge impact this year, including gathering hundreds more signatures on our petition to see justice for mining-affected communities, bringing new people into the movement through events as diverse as panels to band nights, and more.
Not a part of the activist network yet? Sign up today and connect with like-minded people in your community passionate about standing up for women’s rights around the world!
6. Our movement sharpened our skills to maximise our impact.
This year, 119 community activists were trained in community organising and campaigning. Many then took part in additional workshops to learn how to train others in these skills, increasing the impact we can have together.
Numerous community activists are now facilitating their own training sessions for others who are new to the movement. We can’t wait to see what they achieve next.
7. The ActionAid community took over 14,100 actions online to stand up for women’s rights.
From signing petitions, writing to politicians, donating, taking action on social media, sending solidarity messages, and more – the ActionAid Australia community had a huge impact online in 2018 – helping drive forward key campaigns on climate justice and economic justice for women.
Now that’s one powerful movement!
2019, we’re ready for you.