$20 Million Fund Addresses AIDS, Trafficking, Post-Disaster Recovery, Other Critical Threats Investing in Women Key to Ending Violence, Promoting Democracy
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Today the Global Fund for Women announced the successful completion of its $20 million Investing in Women Campaign, which includes the largest endowment ever supporting women's programs around the world. The Campaign's distinctive approach drew donations from all over the world ranging from $5.00 to $3.8 million.
"The Global Fund for Women's campaign has expanded what it really means to invest in women in a world where women are still at risk every single day, simply because they are female. These funds enable women to lead responses to major global crises, from AIDS to human trafficking to war and ethnic conflict," said Kavita N. Ramdas, President & CEO of the Global Fund for Women. "Our supporters have taken a bold step in demanding the health, safety, opportunity and dignity of the world's women."
The campaign has created two vehicles that transform women's lives. The $10 million Legacy Fund is now the largest endowment in the world dedicated exclusively to women's rights internationally. The $10 million Now or Never Fund is an emergency fund designed to address women's urgent needs, strengthen the women's movement and safeguard the international consensus around women's human rights.
"As co-chair of the Investing in Women campaign I see donors at all income levels who are transferring income from a country that has plenty to women in countries that live with very little. We are, in the short-term, filling the gaps that were once filled by governments. I am honored that American women and others from around the world reached deep into their pockets to make the largest endowment for women a possibility and a reality," said Laurene Powell-Jobs, co-chair, Investing in Women Campaign, Global Fund for Woman. "We are building a global community that recognizes the world's problems can best be solved by investing in women."
The funds go to groups that address issues ranging from trafficking of women in the sex trade in southeast Asia, to the hardship and risks that confront the women in war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan, to the threats that women face in the wake of natural disasters like the earthquake in Kashmir and the floods in Central America.
"The Global Fund for Women models how getting money to successful organizations working in communities in Latin America, Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East — wherever women's rights are threatened — maximizes the impact of a U.S- based philanthropy. When more resources are available, community activists have a greater ability to implement solutions that improve their lives," said Sakena Yacoobi, board member (Afghanistan), Global Fund for Women.
Through the Now or Never Fund, the Global Fund for Women has already granted $2.3 million to support 52 major women's rights initiatives in every region of the world. Examples include:
Mano River Women's Peace Network (MARWOPNET) $40,000 Now or Never Grant — MARWOPNET represents 100 predominantly women-led organizations from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, and was established in 2000 to ensure that women, the primary victims of war, were central to peace negotiations and strategies to maintain long-term security in a region plagued by more than 10 years of civil and sub-regional conflict. MARWOPNET played a critical role in securing the peace accord between the Liberian government and the rebels, following failed attempts by both sides to maintain a cease-fire, and is currently engaged in coordinating peace talks in neighboring Ivory Coast and promoting peace building at the sub-regional level.
Center for Egyptian Women's Legal Assistance (CEWLA), Cairo, Egypt — working primarily with poor rural women, CEWLA raises legal awareness of women's rights, and campaigns to change discriminatory laws. CEWLA's initial work on female circumcision led to work on other forms of violence against women, such as honor killings. With a $40,000+ grant, CEWLA is now working to raise awareness among civil society organizations, journalists, lawyers, and the general public about the various forms of violence against women.
About the Global Fund for Women
The Global Fund for Women is the largest foundation in the world that focuses exclusively on international women's rights. Global Fund grants expand the choices available to women and girls, securing their efforts to strengthen economic independence, increase access to education and prevent violence. Since 1987, the Global Fund has awarded more than $44 million to seed, strengthen and link 3,000 groups in 162 countries.
The Legacy Fund
The Legacy Fund is the largest endowment in the world dedicated exclusively to women's rights internationally. The Legacy Fund will ensure the Global Fund's ability to support women's groups for decades to come.
The Now or Never Fund
The Now or Never Fund is a unique initiative enabling the Global Fund to respond to intensifying attacks on women's lives and human rights around the world. Beginning in 2004 and continuing through 2009, the Global Fund for Women is infusing $2 million each year into the international women's rights movement with strategic grants in addition to annual grantmaking of $5.7 million.