VOICE was born from the belief that our world would benefit from more organizations –taking a distinctly feminist approach – to lead work in the prevention of violence against women and girls. Once a little idea to drive big change, VOICE is grounded in local engagement but aims to set a global agenda: make the world a safer, more equal place for women and girls.
Like her mother, Co-Founder and Executive Director Mendy Marsh always knew she would live a life of service. Mendy’s mother was a trailblazer, working in a male-dominated industry in a conservative town, fighting for her rights in the workplace and helping women gain access to services and leadership positions.
Mendy was a fierce young girl living in a patriarchal household, and, probably, she knew already at age seven that she was going to work on addressing violence against women and girls for the rest of her life. Like women and girls all over the world, Mendy had multiple experiences that illustrated to her that the world needed to change in terms of equality between women and men. For the last 20 years, Mendy has been working in conflict and disaster affected situations with women and girls.
Co-Founder Emma Fulu had the same vision. Emma can’t remember a time when she didn’t feel a strong urge to be of service to humanity. As she got older, that urge intensified. As a woman of color, she didn’t always feel accepted growing up in Australia and her awareness of the politics of race, gender and diversity grew out of her lived experience. After completing her degree in Gender and Development, she went to the Maldives where part of her family is from. There, she began working on violence against women, leading the first national prevalence study on women’s health and domestic violence in the country.
Her experience of hearing from thousands of women across the country about the violence that they endured made her want to build a world where men and women are equal, everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and women and girls live up to their greatest potential.
All the work VOICE does is for the women and girls across the globe affected by discrimination, inequality, and violence. It is centered on approaching this epidemic from a different angle.
We start by respecting the experiences of the women and girls in conflict and disaster settings across the globe and forge the path they’ve already laid that leads to a world free of violence.
We make space for refugee, displaced, migrant, and indigenous women and girls to lead the conversation for change themselves. Drawing from and building up local women- and girl-led leaders is what we do. Because it’s the right thing to do and the most effective way to create meaningful change.
Subscribe to stay informed about all things VOICE