Global Fund for Women Awards $2 million to 138 International Grassroots Women's Rights Organizations

The Global Fund for Women, the world’s largest foundation exclusively dedicated to the advancement of women’s human rights, announced their June 2008 grant docket today of almost $2 million to 138 grassroots women’s groups in 68 different countries such as Bahrain, Sierra Leone and Mexico.  The grants, ranging from $2,000 to $85,000, will go towards ending gender-based violence, building peace, expanding political and civic participation, advancing sexual and reproductive rights and ensuring economic and environmental justice.

“In this, our 20th year, distributing grants is as rewarding as it was on day one. Whether the amount is $5,000 or $80,000, women’s groups use these funds strategically to fight for their rights and improve the conditions of their communities,” said Shalini Nataraj, Vice President of Programs.

By region, grant allotments are as follows: Africa (not including Northern Africa), $297,500 to 31 groups; the Americas, $457,000 to 27 groups; Asia/Oceania, $556,400 to 32 groups; Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, $261,100 to 22 groups; and Middle East/North Africa, $379,600 to 26 groups. 

This docket’s grantees include:

MARWOPNET (Mano River Women’s Peace Network), which represents 100 organizations in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Following upon its success in helping to secure the 2003 peace accord between the Liberian government and the armed opposition, the group now strives to prevent devastating conflicts before they start. The group works through chapters at the local, provincial and national levels to ensure that conflict prevention and resolution start where women live and then are reinforced through linking their efforts throughout the entire Mano Region.

Based in St. Petersburg, Russia, the House for Peace and Nonviolence works with women in Chechnya and other regions of Russia to create interethnic solidarity and dialogue. Post-Soviet Union, there is growing intolerance in Russia, as reflected in the increased number of hate crimes, especially against people from former Soviet republics such as Chechnya. This makes all the more critical the group’s work to provide women and children with effective tools of nonviolence and conflict resolution.

Colectiva Mujer y Salud (Women and Health Collective) in the Dominican Republic, a coalition of women’s organizations, lobbies Congress to counter pressure from the Catholic Church against legalizing therapeutic abortion.  The group will launch a national campaign to decriminalize abortion and teach young women to participate in public debates.

To combat the discriminatory law that prevents women from passing their citizenship on to their spouses or children, the Bahrain Women Association for Human Development mounted a Nationality Campaign in 2003. To date, the campaign has garnered widespread popular support and been covered by local and regional media.

Other 2008 grants include organizations working to:
•    Create a forum for intellectual exchange by women scholars and researchers in Lebanon;
•    Raise public awareness about the rights of sex workers in Hong Kong;
•    Reduce HIV transmission from sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo;
•    Promote social responsibility and ecological sustainability in Malaysia;
•    Advocate for the rights of women migrant workers in the Philippines;
•    Build leadership and economic skills for women in Moldova;
•    Promote roles of women in the peace-building process between Georgia and Abkhazia;

About the Global Fund for Women
The Global Fund for Women is the largest grantmaking foundation in the world that focuses exclusively on advancing international women's rights. Grants made by the Global Fund 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 over $64 million to seed, strengthen and link more than 3500 groups in 167 countries. More information is available in six languages at www.globalfundforwomen.org

* Docket list, interviews and photos of grantees available upon request.


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For more information, please contact: Sarah Bacon of Fenton Communications
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