Too visible, yet not fully seen
With support from the Ecstra Foundation, WIRE conducted the COVID-19 Financial ...
WIRE has been working in the gendered financial wellbeing and capability space for over 15 years. In that time, a lot has changed: we have moved from a feminist approach to an intersectional feminist approach which names the multiple systems that create barriers to financial wellbeing and privileges different cohorts within Australia.
With this more nuanced and evidence-informed understanding, during 2021 and the beginning of 2022 we re-explored our past work and created a knowledge paper that maps WIRE’s work and contribution to the financial wellbeing and capability space since 2007. Utilising our existing knowledge, the knowledge of people with lived experience of financial exclusion and hardship, and an academic lead external to WIRE, we are now in a position to proudly launch WIRE’s approach to financial capability and financial wellbeing – our theory of change and our knowledge paper.
In this paper, we trace the evolution of WIRE’s financial capability research, projects and services — from our early focus on individual financial literacy, to our current intersectional approach to financial capability and financial wellness, our work on financial abuse, and our in-depth projects. This theory of change provides a concentrated way for WIRE to map and evaluate our work ensuring that our interventions are evidenced-based, values-driven and created in a way to maximise impact. It strived to create an Australia in which the most marginalised women, non-binary and gender diverse people have fairer and more equitable access to income, social services and infrastructure support, and are empowered to control their financial lives.
We hope that this paper provides an opportunity for WIRE to work with a wide range of partners, including lived experience advocates and community members. We also intend to inspire utility, finance, banking and community organisations to adopt a similar approach to their services: valuing people’s strengths, enabling them to navigate existing systems, and acting to change the systemic causes of their financial marginalisation.