Policy and Systems Change Initiatives

We continue to meet the immediate needs of women faced with financial insecurity, but we are also putting an increased focus on tackling the root causes of gendered poverty, acting as a catalyst and convener to fund and facilitate programmes that enable local communities to develop their own solutions to reducing gendered poverty.

Some of this work includes our individual place-based networks and partnerships but we also fund a variety of partners working more broadly on policy and systems change initiatives including some examples of current projects below:

Women’s Budget Group (WBG)

The Women’s Budget group (WBG) is working alongside organisations and networks supported through Smallwood’s place- based funding to produce a series of briefings providing a gendered analysis of the cost-of-living crisis (COL). The project combines quantitative elements of their COL analysis (the Local Data Project) Local Data Project – Womens Budget Group (wbg.org.uk) with the lived experience of women in different parts of the UK, through interviews and focus groups conducted with local organisations.

WBG hope the project will help their understanding of the gendered impact of the COL crisis in different parts of the UK, with a view of contributing to gender-responsive solutions.

Programme duration: December 2022 – November 2024

Funded by: Sister’s Trust

Women’s Resource Centre (WRC)

Led by the Women’s Resource Centre in partnership with the Manchester Women’s Network, the Alternative Women’s Economy project is a pilot to facilitate and develop a Greater Manchester Women’s Media Hub where marginalised, poor, working class, Black and Minority Ethnic women from the Manchester Women’s Network tell their stories.

The project aims to ensure the voices of marginalised women are heard and that the work articulates structural inequality and illuminating where and how policy needs to be remedied, building a bank of solutions and key messages, thus developing a media hub that can confidently work with journalists to reach opinion-formers and policymakers.

Through their lived experience, marginalised women are experts by experience; they know what’s wrong and have the solutions to how society can work more equitably, but they are largely invisible.

Together they will co-produce key messages in identifying and addressing the root causes of gendered and racialised poverty.

Programme duration: January 2023 – September 2025

Funded by: Smallwood Trust

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