GIVING WOMEN – GENEVA-BASED NOT-FOR-PROFIT TURNS 10
by Chené Koscielny
To celebrate International Women’s Day on Friday, the 8th of March, we shine the light on a women’s organisation created by Geneva-based philanthropist Atalanti Moquette: Giving Women.
‘WOMEN DON’T LIKE WRITING CHEQUES’
Greek-born Atalanti, who has lived in Geneva for over 25 years, started Giving Women “empowering women to empower women” after her extensive research revealed that women ‘gave’ differently from men.
“Women don’t like writing cheques, they prefer to get involved,” she says.
Furthermore women prefer to work together when helping others, because they realise they are more powerful as a group.
‘WOMEN ARE STILL THE MOST VULNERABLE’
Women make up 75% of the world’s poor and they are still the most vulnerable in situations of conflict, climate change and many other crises, she says.
“It takes them longer to reintegrate or rehabilitate after difficult periods and they often lack the fundamental rights or documents needed to restart their lives.”
MANY WOMEN SEEK TO START THEIR PHILANTHROPIC JOURNEY
There are many women who wish to start their philanthropic journey but are hesitant to start. Often they do not feel they have the knowledge to do this well and mistakenly believe that they need to be very wealthy, according to Atalanti. Giving Women provides the support and knowledge to help women to become informed and effective philanthropists.
“That’s why I decided on the strapline – empowering women to empower women. The empowering works both ways,” says Atalanti, who grew up in house where other people’s needs were always important. “Philanthropy is part of my DNA.”
HOW DOES IT WORK?
“We form a bridge between women in need of support and women in a position to support them.”
Once the project is chosen, project circles are created and a set of objectives are agreed upon which will help to professionalise the project and move it onto the next stage.
“We are like professional consultants, helping them to accelerate their projects.
We never give money. We offer to move them onto the next stage, which includes helping them to find money through contacts and by teaching them to fundraise.”
PROJECTS AROUND THE WORLD
Giving Women is presently working with a project, based in Northern Nigeria, aimed at creating a safe space for adolescent girls, teaching them leadership skills and how to become economically independent.
They helped the director of the project to create better organisational and governance structures so as to become more efficient and thus grow.
In Delhi – a transformational project aimed at helping women from the slums to become taxi drivers was given help in the form of creating an annual report.
In Rajasthan Giving Women helped to develop communication documents and a fundraising strategy for a project aimed at helping girls to continue their education and thus avoid early marriage.
To learn more about Giving Women click here
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Giving women is open to everyone, regardless of age, experience or skills. We have women from all nationalities and backgrounds, says Atalanti.
There are only 2 criteria – you have to be a woman and you have to want to be a giving woman.
Giving woman has monthly informal lunches open to all, where they share information about their latest projects.
EVENT TO COINCIDE WITH INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
On International Women’s day, 8th March, in collaboration with Festival du film et forum international sur les droits humains, FIFDH, Giving Women will be hosting within the programme of the festival a conversation with Pat Mitchell, media guru, lifelong activist, curator of Ted Women.
Ms. Mitchell’s career has been filled with firsts, breaking glass ceilings in the media industry and exposing the little told story of women leaders of history and today. Everything that Mitchell has done has been driven by the purpose of helping women to “discover, grow and use their power to make the world a better place”. She has been an activist since the 70s, leading the way for women to have a valued place and a voice in media, politics and business, clearly recognising the power of connecting women for change. Mitchell is a living legend, mentor, advocate and inspiration for women globally.
You are invited to hear Pat Mitchell’s story, understand what were the barriers she faced, see how much has changed and recognise how the media can play a role in helping women from the bottom of the pyramid up to have the power and agency to create a world that is fairer and more peaceful.
Meagan Fallone, CEO of Barefoot College and long-standing Giving Women member will also be joining me in leading the conversation with Pat Mitchell.