Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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International Women's Development Agency (1985 - )

Legal Status
WDA is an Incorporated Association [Association Number A6018S (Vic)]
Level 1, 250 Queen Street Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 3000


International Women's Development Agency (IWDA) is an Australian based non-government organisation, established in 1985, which undertakes projects in partnership with women from around the world, giving priority to working with women who suffer poverty and oppression.

IWDA addresses economics, power, leadership, safety, security and systemic change to advance women's rights and gender equality in Australia, the region and the world.


The first IWDA meeting was held in 1985 by Ruth Pfanner, Wendy Poussard and Wendy Rose. That same year, the launch of IWDA was officially announced at the NGO Women's Forum of the United Nations Third World Conference on Women in Nairobi. The IWDA office was opened in Melbourne with the support of volunteers and soon after the organisations first program was launched; providing health care training to women in the Philippines.

IWDA became a full member of the Australian Council for Overseas Aid (now the Australian Council for International Development) in 1986.

In 2000, IWDA funded their 300th overseas project.

Since the organisation's inception in 1985, IWDA has worked with 194 program partners across 36 countries and territories.

At the centre of IWDA's development philosophy is the upholding of women's human rights and the promotion of equality. IWDA's projects aim to increase women's skills and their confidence to participate in decision making within their families and communities, both locally and nationally.

Sources used to compile this entry:

Related entries


Archival resources

State Library of Victoria

  • Records and audio tapes, 1985-1996 [International Women's Development Agency], 1985 - 1996, MS 13191; State Library of Victoria. Details

Elle Morrell and Nikki Henningham

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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The Australian Women's Register is published quarterly by the Australian Women's Archives Project
ISSN 2207-3124