I joined Global Fund for Women as President and CEO one year ago. Since then, the world has changed beyond what I could have imagined. Today, I am proud to announce our new strategic plan which charts our way forward including how we are doubling down on supporting intersectional gender justice movements across the globe.
Feminist movements work. From Black Lives Matter to the Marea Verde/Green Wave movement to “Me Too” and Ni Una Menos, people are demanding a more just world through protesting, organizing, marching, and movement-building. Women and other members of historically marginalized communities are often on the frontlines of these revolutionary actions. Over the course of 30+ years, Global Fund for Women has supported many such feminist movements and grassroots organizations to end civil wars, get female Presidents elected, and secure laws giving new protection to millions.
Today, building on historic wins and the latest research, we are supporting gender justice movements globally to shift power and privilege for a few into equity and equality for all. We remain committed to providing core support and flexible funding to partners around the world. And we still prioritize trusting communities to lead the way in their own activism. Under our new strategic plan, Global Fund for Women will support rising people power globally to increase impact and accelerate change.
Our new strategic plan is the culmination of a year of reflection including soliciting input from our advisors, grantee partners, women’s funds, and more. It could not come at a more timely moment. In the U.S., the growing Movement for Black Lives, reignited by the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Tony McDade, and many more by the U.S. police, has inspired a deep racial reckoning. People in over 50 countries are protesting against racist violence using the powerful Black Lives Matter slogan coined by Black feminist organizers in 2013. This kind of transnational solidarity indicates not only the common problems communities face worldwide, but also the interconnected solutions.
Broad-based, intersectional movements are one of the most effective mechanisms to create and sustain long-term social transformation. But movements need funding and resources to fuel their powerful grassroots organizing. Often, it is the same multi-faceted and interconnected network that makes them so effective that has rendered them challenging for donors and allies to reach with funds and support.
Global Fund for Women’s movement-led approach will allow for movements to determine their own needs and allocate funding accordingly through locally-led Movement Committees, a type of participatory grantmaking. The approach will support shifting power and resources into the hands of feminist community leaders, many in the Global South and East, who are most impacted by the issues they seek to address.
Transitioning to this movement-led approach will not happen overnight. In the next three years, we are committed to an iterative process where we continue to test, learn, and adapt our approach in partnership with movement actors. The new approach calls for a shift in how we define and measure progress. Instead of focusing on individual organizations and measuring their accomplishments, we will support movements to develop and implement a collective learning process to define what success looks like on their own terms. To our grantee partners, we are committed to transparency around this process and look forward to being in conversation with you.
We are in a time of change and great possibility, globally, and I am hopeful. I’m certain that shifting power to drive equity, equality, and justice for all is not only possible but inevitable. I hope you will join us.