Megs Alston is a Board Vice-President of ActionAid. Megs has been part of the Board since 2011 and has worked in international development for over 25 years. As part of ActionAid’s 10-year anniversary, Megs reflects on some of the successes she’s seen and her hopes for the future.
Why are women’s rights and ending poverty important to you?
Women are disadvantaged all over the world. But by claiming their rights and gaining equality and opportunities to improve their lives, families and whole communities can benefit as well.
What ActionAid work do you feel most proud about?
ActionAid’s work on women’s rights in emergencies is fantastic. Women have rarely been given a voice in humanitarian disasters in the past, and sadly this is an area which we are going to see much more of in future due to the effects of climate change.
Why did you start supporting ActionAid?
I liked the fact that they use a human rights-based approach to development, which I firmly believe is the best way to achieve change. This means they enable women and communities to advocate for themselves, which is a key element to sustainable change.
I also believe campaigning is crucial so that we in ‘developed’ countries can see how our behaviour and that of our
corporations and governments can negatively affect people in other parts of the world. ActionAid has developed an important campaigning capacity which has had some significant successes.
As a Board member what difference do gifts in Wills make to ActionAid’s work with women and girls?
Having been on the Board of ActionAid Australia for the past eight years I have seen firsthand what a difference gifts in Wills have made to women’s lives.
What better legacy can we leave than to know that these funds will be used directly to support the struggle of women and girls, who merely because of their gender, have nothing like the chances and opportunities that many of us and our families take for granted?
What are your hopes for ActionAid over the next 10 years?
I hope ActionAid becomes further recognised as a leader on women’s rights. Not only for women in emergencies, but also on climate justice for women and in advocating for just economic policies and better access to resources for women.