What we do | ActionAid UK

ActionAid is changing the lives of the poorest, most disadvantaged women and girls in the world – for good.

Not accepting survival as enough. Empowering them to understand their rights and the power they have to change their own lives.

We change lives for good by focusing on five key areas of work:

  • Defending women's rights
  • Food, hunger and sustainable livelihoods
  • Education 
  • Humanitarian and emergency response
  • Tackling injustice 

Find out more below about what the problems are and how we’re working with communities to build long-term solutions.

Defending women’s rights

We believe in equal rights for women. We support women to understand their rights and power. That might mean challenging laws which prevent women from owning land, or ending harmful practices like female genital mutilation which violate girls’ rights and stop them from going to school.

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Emergencies, disasters and our humanitarian response

When a country is hit by disaster, those living in extreme poverty often suffer most. Girls and women are particularly vulnerable.

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Kariah Sherrif (L), Mary Koroma (Second on left), Zainab Sesay (Second on right) & Millicent Kamara (R) in the kindergarten at Kola Tree Community School, Western Area, Sierra Leone


Education isn’t a privilege — it’s a right. Over 58 million children, mostly girls, are still missing out on school. We’re working to change that.

Food, hunger and sustainable livelihoods

ActionAid helps women in the world’s poorest countries to feed their families. There are lots of reasons they can’t provide: some are prevented from owning land, others cannot afford the tools, and some find it difficult to grow crops in harsh or unpredictable weather, thanks to climate change.

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ActionAid campaigners hosting a Tax Power Festival in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya

Tackling injustice

Global injustice keeps people poor. It means that those in poorest places — especially women and girls — don’t enjoy a level playing field, or the same opportunities to change their situations.