Dignitaries gather in San Francisco to support fund that addresses urgent challenges to women's rights globally
SAN FRANCISCO – International women's rights leaders join the Global Fund for Women, the only US-based foundation that exclusively funds women's right's groups overseas, to announce today the Investing in Women Campaign. The Investing in Women Campaign is a groundbreaking effort to provide a significant infusion of money to respond to the urgent challenges confronting women around the world.
Featured guests at the gala event to be held at the San Francisco Ritz-Carlton include Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan; Nancy Pelosi, Democratic House Leader; Iman Bibars, Chair of the Egypt Association for the Development and Enhancement of Women; Frances Kissling, President of Catholics for a Free Choice; Navi Pillay, Judge of International Criminal Court in The Hague; and Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and President of Ireland. The $20 million Investing in Women Campaign is comprised of two strategic, complementary funds—a fund for immediate action and the first-ever endowment for the world's women.
"Women of the world are currently facing an unprecedented attack on their human rights, safety, and dignity," said Kavita N. Ramdas, president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, "The rapid decline in access to reproductive health puts women's lives at increasing risk. Mass assaults on women's bodies have become central to modern warfare. Religious extremism is on the rise, and women are its prime targets. If left unchallenged, these actions have the potential to undo the most significant achievements and accomplishments in human rights of the past few decades."
The Now or Never Fund is a breakthrough, one-year effort to raise $10 million. The fund will be aggressively spent over 3 to 5 years to help women survive the intensifying attacks on their lives and human rights. The Now or Never Fund will directly address:
Protecting Reproductive Health and Rights—Providing critical family planning and HIV/AIDS services in the 59 countries where USAID funding has been cut off.
Advocating Peace and Conflict Resolution—Helping women's groups in post-war societies or conflict areas, such as Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Rwanda to build schools, health clinics and economic development programs for women and girls.
Challenging Religious Extremism and Harmful Cultural Traditions—Providing support to women working to challenge practices such as female genital mutilation, honor killings and dowry deaths.
The Legacy Fund is a $10 million endowment that will ensure the Global Fund's ability to support women's rights around the world for years to come. The work of The Legacy Fund will include:
Sustaining Women's Organizations—Protecting thousands of women's organizations against swings in the political climate and fluctuations in annual giving.
Expanding Grantmaking—Supporting 50 additional women's projects a year, every year.
Mentoring Women Grantmakers—Seeding and sustaining indigenous funds run by women who have a deep knowledge of local issues.
Continuing Innovation—Empowering the Global Fund to initiate new programs and expand grantmaking into countries and rural areas where local expert networks have not yet developed.
About the Global Fund for Women
The Global Fund for Women is the largest grantmaking foundation in the world that focuses exclusively on advancing women's rights internationally. Grants made by the Global Fund expand the choices available to women, empowering them to become respected leaders of social change in their communities. Since 1987, the Global Fund has awarded $32 million to seed, strengthen and link more than 2,300 groups in 160 countries. More information is available in 6 languages at www.globalfundforwomen.org .