The Global Fund for Women, the world’s largest foundation exclusively dedicated to the advancement of women’s human rights, announced their September 2008 grant docket last month of almost $1.7 million to 121 grassroots women’s groups in 60 different countries. The grants, ranging from $2,000 to $75,000, will go towards ending gender-based violence and building peace, and expanding women’s political and civic participation.
“Supporting women’s leadership and full participation in all aspects of the decision-making in their communities is a major priority of the Global Fund,” noted Shalini Nataraj, Vice-President of Programs. “And when women do not have the ability to live their lives free of violence and exploitation, the few options that do exist for them to exert leadership and be full, equal participants in society are taken away. We are proud that in this docket, these two critical areas of women’s empowerment have been the main focus of our grants.”By region, grant allotments in this docket are as follows: Africa (excluding Northern Africa), $436,000 to 34 groups; the Americas, $546,000 to 29 groups; Asia/Oceania, $231,000 to 20 groups; Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, $296,900 to 20 groups; and Middle East/North Africa, $228,000 to 18 groups.
Following are examples of the strategies our grantees use to strengthen women’s rights:
Americas: As a key movement-building strategy, the Global Fund will provide support to the XI Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Encuentro on “Challenging Fundamentalisms: Women’s Political Agenda,” that will be held in Mexico City in March 2009. These Encuentros, or convenings, are critical spaces where feminist activists share information, exchange strategies, and develop a common understanding of the issues facing women’s movements in the Americas. The Encuentro’s Organizing Committee is expecting the participation of more than 2,500 women from across the region.
Africa: The Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation Centre in Ghana has collaborated with six partner organizations to undertake a comprehensive study on gender-based violence in Ghana. Expanding on this collaboration, the group has also developed Anti-Violence Teams in 18 rural communities.
Asia: Isis International, based in the Philippines, uses information and communication technologies and media to strengthen the women’s rights movement. Isis documents key players and events in the feminist movement and enables women to gain greater access to technologies, especially in the developing world.
Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States: In Poland, The Federation for Women and Family Planning, received a three-year grant to strengthen national support for reproductive health and rights, including legalizing abortion. The Federation plans to organize a regional strategic meeting on this issue with women’s organizations across Eastern Europe.
Middle East and North Africa: In Mauritania, the Association des Femmes Chefs de Famille (AFCF) advocates for legal changes and seeks to empower marginalized women, including freed slaves. Slavery in Mauritania is an entrenched phenomenon, in which the descendants of black Africans abducted into slavery now live in Mauritania as "black Moors" or haratin and to varying extents, still serve the "white Moors", or bidhan, as slaves. AFCF also plans to launch a dynamic campaign to transform the national family code and ensure it conforms to international women’s rights conventions.
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 on our web site.
* Docket list, interviews and photos of grantees available upon request.
See the Global Fund for Women video on YouTube
For more information, please contact: Sarah Bacon of Fenton Communications