ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights and defeat poverty for all.

How we work

Monday, October 23, 2017 - 15:49

ActionAid uses a Human Rights Based Approach to challenge the oppression and exclusion that people experience in their everyday lives and to redress the power imbalances that deny people their human rights.

A human rights lens recognises the capacity of people living in poverty and exclusion to lead change and define alternatives. In advancing our Human Rights Based Approach, ActionAid Australia uses intersectional feminist analysis which recognises that poverty intersects with widespread gender inequality and other forms of discrimination including race, ethnicity, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation and age.

We place women living in poverty and exclusion at the centre of our efforts to shift power and challenge patriarchy, dehumanisation, discrimination, racism, homophobia and xenophobia, all of which drive violations of people’s fundamental human rights and freedoms.

Our Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA)

Our approach includes four interconnected methodologies: empowerment, solidarity, campaigning and alternatives.

  • Empowerment: Supporting women living in poverty and exclusion to become aware of their rights, conscious of the systems and structures that deny their rights, and able to take proactive steps to challenge oppression.
  • Solidarity: Strengthening and building movements for change that are led by those most affected by poverty and exclusion, and build collective power to demand change.
  • Campaigning: Harnessing people power to achieve demands for measurable political or social change in policy and practice, open political space and build public support.
  • Alternatives: Building a more just world by proposing alternatives to the systems and practises we criticise, ensuring the people we work with are central in defining and driving these alternatives.

Our strategic priorities

ActionAid Australia will prioritise climate justice and economic justice for women, and their rights in emergencies. This recognises that climate change, unjust economic policies, and humanitarian crises undermine women’s human rights and entrench poverty, and addressing these is central to achieving our mission. Our focus areas reflect the impact we can have by applying the pillars of our HRBA – empowerment, solidarity, campaigning and alternatives – across our work in Australia and internationally.

Our approach recognises that for the women we work with these injustices intersect, and ensures the lived experience and leadership of women living in poverty and exclusion is at the heart of our agenda. We will work towards an integrated agenda that recognises the intersections of these three priorities in women’s lives.

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Who we work with

We partner with women living in poverty and exclusion by strengthening their capacities to take action collectively and individually, calling for alternatives and opposing oppressive policies.

This will include women:

  • Marginalised by unjust economic policies
  • Affected by conflict, disasters, and forced migration
  • Experiencing the worst impacts of climate change and extractive industries
  • Working in the informal economy, including smallholder farming
  • Experiencing sexual and gender-based violence in conflict We will seek to build a strong activist network and supporter base in Australia, and work in solidarity with movements and alliances, recognising the power of people to create lasting change.

We work in solidarity with:

  • Women’s organisations, feminist alliances and social justice movements in Australia and internationally.
  • Women’s organisations in the Pacific which are facing increased frequency and scale of disasters due to climate change.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander movements, actively looking for ways that we can support their struggles for justice. 
  • Movements fighting for the just and humane treatment of those seeking asylum. 

Read more about our work here: