She Matters

Empower Women and Girls in Timor-Leste


Women and girls bear the brunt of poverty and violence in Timor-Leste, where over 40% of people survive on less than $2 a day. This EOFY you can help us change the story. 

What’s the problem?

Timor-Leste is still rife with trauma and violence following its struggle for independence. Unfortunately, this legacy has contributed to high levels of violence against women and girls – especially domestic violence.

Almost 60% of women between the ages of 15 and 49 have reported physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner, with 46% experiencing this violence within the last 12 months.

At the same time, women have lower levels of education and savings than men. Just 54% of women are literate. This is a major barrier to employment and participation in civic life.

Smiling woman holds up notebook - Action on Poverty

Creating real change

Through counselling, education and training, we help some of Timor-Leste’s most vulnerable women transform their lives. We work with:

  • girls who have survived sexual assault,

  • women who have survived domestic violence,

  • women facing mental health problems, and

  • women in prison.

We offer counselling and business training for women and girls who are escaping gender-based violence. With this training they can start their own business, such as a kiosk, like Marisa, or second-hand clothing shop, like Ines.

We also teach women in prison such as Maria how to read and write through weekly literacy classes. For many, it is their first chance to receive a basic education. With literacy skills, women are more likely to find work when they’re released and become self-sufficient in the long term.

With independent incomes, women enjoy greater respect and power in their families and communities, which reduces vulnerability to violence.

We also know that women are more likely than men to spend any increased income in ways that benefit the whole household, such as on school fees for kids or putting savings in the bank. Investing in one woman or girl can lift her whole family out of poverty.

Woman smiling from insider her kiosk - Action on Poverty

Help women escape violence, poverty and illiteracy

Give a tax-deductible gift* by 30 June to empower more Timorese women and girls to change their lives forever.

Your gifts will help women and girls who have survived gender-based violence access counselling, attend vocational training, and start a small business. Your gifts will allow us to expand our literacy classes for vulnerable women in prison,  buy learning resources, and pay qualified teachers.

In the unlikely event that this appeal is over-subscribed, we will direct your gift to a similar project or contact you to find out your preference.

*Action on Poverty (ABN 42 002 568 005) has Deductible Gift Recipient status with the Australian Tax Office. Find out more about how we use donations.