Annie Lennox: Provide more cash for organisations tackling gender-based violence

Annie Lennox has called for increased funding for grassroots organisations tackling gender-based violence across the world.

The Scottish singer-songwriter has signed an open letter to the Government requesting them to commit more financial support towards the issue alongside the global feminist organisation, The Circle, which she co-founded.

It comes as part of their #MakeAStandfor1in3 campaign in line with International Women’s Day, which seeks to raise awareness that one in three women experience violence in their lifetime, according to the World Health Organisation.

Speaking about the campaign, Lennox said: “One in three represents the appalling ratio of women facing gender-based violence across the world.

“If we want to create effective change, then every sector must join the global women’s movement and stand in solidarity with a united call for a change in attitudes and behaviours impacting women and girls everywhere.”

The singer has written the letter alongside The Circle co-founder and activist, Livia Firth, as well as grassroot organisations which are supported by the NGO.

They have also called on corporations and philanthropists to contribute more to tackle the issue.

Among those adding their weight to the campaign are: US singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile; comedian and host of The Guilty Feminist podcast Deborah Frances-White; former Irish president Mary Robinson; Nowhere Boy director Sam Taylor-Johnson; and You actress, Saffron Burrows.

Chief executive of The Circle, Raakhi Shah, said: “Given the dire lack of funding given to addressing women’s rights, especially gender-based violence, and the notable rollback in women’s rights globally in recent years, it’s easy to foresee a bleak future.

“Yet we witness first-hand the powerful impact these women-led, frontline projects across the world can have.

“We call on governments, philanthropists and corporations to direct more funds to frontline women’s rights organisations to drive change.”

Started in 2008, The Circle describes itself as an organisation which “brings Global Feminists together to fight for a fairer world for women and girls”.

Alice Atieno, founder of Kenyan based grassroots organisation, Awer Women Empowerment, funded by The Circle, said: “I believe togetherness brings a lot of strength.

“When we know our rights, we can fight against those who are trying to violate them, to fight for our own existence, for our children.

“Whenever we come together as women, we can achieve great things.”