Filice, Mary (2014). 'Women Affirming Women' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, 2-5 September 2014, Athens, Greece.

A. Women Affirming Women's (WAW) mission is—

  • To be a superior program for low income and disadvantaged women that will help improve their quality of life.


  • To provide a service-oriented and safe environment for women to expand their knowledge and to develop into the leaders they are called to be. 


  • To be an all inclusive and non-discriminating community that gently guides women to gain the confidence needed to address life's daily issues and to recognize the real opportunities that are available to them.

B.  Project Summary Statement

Women Affirming Women (WAW) is the result of more than ten years of research into the factors that affect the quality of life of marginalized women.  Relying on the intuitive idea of human dignity, and adhering to the World Health Organization's Report on Human Development, our program developed to improve women's social goals in order to meet a capability threshold that will allow them to gain confidence to address life's daily issues, and recognize real opportunities available to them.


A program that focuses on the main elements of a woman's life has been devised by adopting Martha Nussbaum and Amyrta Sen's philosophy of their Capability Approach as an alternative measurement to the economic-Utilitarian approaches that currently dominate social programs and policies of development, and coupling this with the key principles of Catholic Social Thought.

Building upon a Women's Respite Program founded by female members of St. Stephen's Community House, compassionate and passionate volunteers work together to create a facility that is a welcoming environment for women in need or who desire to belong to a network within a familial atmosphere. With the goal of achieving a truly holistic program, a community collaborative model is envisioned, which brings together services and business providers willing to support our vision and embody genuine ethical standards and concerns that are in line with Women Affirming Women's mission.