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Women’s charity 4 Voices celebrate International Women’s Day

2 min read

Innovative outreach charity helping women who are experiencing or at risk of domestic violence, homelessness, and social or digital isolation celebrate International Women’s Day.  

For many girls and women in need, one of the biggest problems is often the absence of connection both socially and digitally. 

Fear or embarrassment drives many women into a world of isolation. 4 Voices’ mission is to change that – through customised vans called ‘Connection Hubs’, which provide social, digital and employment connections for people in need, free of charge. 

“We know the stats around domestic violence, homelessness and digital literacy, and they are shocking, exacerbated by the pandemic, said Jo Westh, 4 Voices Founder and CEO. 

Westh shared that the innovative service aims to provide a practical and supportive way to connect women in need. 

“Every single one of us has been lonely during COVID and every single one of us has been forced to use digital devices like phones or laptop computers. Some of us have adapted, but many of us haven’t.” 

“Women escaping domestic violence often don’t use their mobile phone or computer for fear of being stalked or tracked. Others simply can’t afford or can’t access technology. This is a huge contributor to the gender pay gap, still 22.8% in this country,” she added.  

“This year’s IWD theme was literally written for us.” 

Westh highlighted that 51,000 women are homeless in Australia today, with two-thirds of these women being disconnected and alone, fleeing a violent partner. 

One in 8 Australians are not online and the gap is widening as our reliance on technology increases. 

“We know that one of the biggest barriers for women is not reaching out for help, because of fear, embarrassment or even shame. Many don’t know where to go or who to ask for help,” she added. 

The charity’s CEO enthused that their ‘Connection Hub’ mobile vans are staffed by volunteers to provide safe and free access to computers, mobile phones, printers, coffee/tea and importantly, non-judgmental conversation.  

“Our volunteers are people who just want to help others. Often, it’s about learning how to do something together – not having someone teach you or direct you.” 

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2023, the 4 Voices Sydney Van will be at Martin Place from 4-7 pm on March 8th, handing out free purple cupcakes. 

“We welcome anybody to come down and connect, even if it’s just to play a few technology-based games, have a cuppa and a chat,” added Westh.  

“But please wear a touch of purple, because that’s the colour that celebrates women’s achievements and promotes gender equality.” 

Related: ‘I’d like my lamington with a side of systemic change’: What we really want this International Women’s Day

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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