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The Circle: Women empowering women

 We don't always realise we are invested with the power to make a difference; working together, we can inspire everyone to be part of the solution.

Annie Lennox - Oxfam ambassador and founder of The Circle

Set up in 2008 by Annie Lennox and Oxfam, the Circle is a partnership of influential women who are passionate about women's rights and empowering other women. They use their networks, resources and skills, working with Oxfam to help fight poverty and inequality.

Raising funds for Oxfam

Ever increasing Circles

New groups of dynamic women launched their own circles in 2011: The Lawyers' Circle is supporting women's legal rights in Africa; The Music Circle fundraises for women's protection in the DRC; The Scottish Circle is campaigning and fundraising to end violence against women in Pakistan; In Italy, The Circle has an exciting new partnership with Marie Claire; The Asian Circle is supporting a Violence Against Women project in support of Oxfam India.

Circle fundraising

Of the 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty worldwide, more than two thirds are women and girls. The Circle is raising funds and awareness for a portfolio of Oxfam projects that seek to empower and support women.

Supporting women's co-ops in Liberia

80% of Liberian women are unemployed, and economic dependence on men makes it harder to combat inequality or gender-based violence. This project helps two women's co-operatives by providing tools and training to help them increase productivity and negotiate better contracts.

£30,000 raised by The Circle

Getting girls into school in Zambia

Community schools offer a lifeline for one million Zambian children. They are run by local volunteers, most of whom lack training and resources, and few are aware of the help available from the Ministry of Education. The Circle is supporting Oxfam to reach 18,000 learners at 25 community schools, ensuring education is recognised as a right for all Zambian children, especially girls.

Watch Livia Firth's trip to Zambia

Stopping violence against women in Pakistan

Violence against women is endemic in Pakistan. Domestic violence is rarely reported and seldom investigated. This project is part of the 'We Can' campaign, which works at a grassroots level to drive social change. The project aims to reach 800,000 people.

£100,000 raised by The Circle

Improving maternal healthcare in Ghana

In Ghana, 75 women die each week from complications in pregnancy and childbirth. This project is putting pressure on policy-makers to reduce maternal deaths by supporting and promoting free health care. The project is helping ensure a 10% drop in maternal mortality in six focus communities.

£30,000 raised by The Circle

Get in touch

For more information about The Circle and to find out how you can get involved, contact Claudia Codsi:

Phone: +44 (0) 1865 473959

Download the latest progress report (PDF - 1MB)