Why is social responsibility so important to us?
Women’s Bank’s programme work is put into action by Finn Church Aid (FCA). Together we hold ourselves responsible to each donor in Finland, and to every woman contributing to our projects in Nepal, Uganda and Syria.
FCA is governed by laws, agreements, commitments and pledges that ensure the high quality and effectiveness of work.
Our first commitment is the one between FCA and Women’s Bank. We have agreed on certain ground rules and focus areas, and, accordingly, spend the funds we raise to promote female entrepreneurship and to help women earn an independent living.
This is our pledge to our donors, and its fulfilment is overseen by the Women’s Bank Steering Group. One of our key principles is transparency, which means every donor can access information regarding our programme activities through our website.
Our other important promise is to our beneficiaries. We have committed to creating them opportunities to earn a better living in exchange for the time and energy they invest in our projects. Our common goal is to bring about lasting change.
To measure the impact of our work, we have created indicators to enable us to verify changes in women’s lives and in communities. If our metrics suggest we are not moving in the right direction, we know that programme measures need to be adjusted and we can take the necessary steps.
Having specific metrics in place allows us to communicate achievements to our donors: how many people were affected by their donation, how many businesses have been set up, how many women have received an education and thereby an occupation, how much more are women earning, and what were the repercussions of their improved livelihoods.
This information is available in the Annual Report of Women’s Bank.
The monthly monitoring system we use to oversee our financial activity is checked for accuracy with annual audits performed by inter-nationally recognised audit companies. Audits, which cover both pro-jects and the entire organisation, are conducted in FCA and our partner organisations. Any discrepancies will be addressed immediately.
In recognition of corporate responsibility and accountability, Finn Church Aid was awarded the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) certi-fication in 2017. It was the first Finnish CHS-certified organisation. The Core Humanitarian Standards require us to continuously develop our operations in nine key areas. Operations are audited every four years. In 2021, FCA passed a rigorous assessment and was re-certified. Our work is anchored in the UN Declaration of Human Rights and principles under human rights law: All human beings – including women – are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
This obliges us to take action to ensure equal rights for all women, not just individuals. This work includes addressing structural inequal-ity affecting women in families and in societies alike. We disseminate correct information about legal issues, and question traditions that deny women’s right to own property.
We encourage women to support each other and defend their rights together.
Main picture: Women’s Bank is committed to economically, socially and ecologically responsible action. Yabengue Carole, leader of the Lakanzaka women’s group, walks in a rice paddy in the Bozoum region of the Central African Republic. Photo: Patrick Meinhardt