Big Issues, Big Impact

Global Fund for Women works for freedom from violence, economic and political empowerment, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. These are the most critical building blocks for women’s human rights. When a woman has these rights, she can be strong, safe, powerful, and heard. Here are just a few examples of how our grantmaking in Fiscal Year 2016 made a big impact in these three critical areas.


  • Croatia: passed a law recognizing rape as a war crime, a major step toward justice for women survivors of sexual violence during the Yugoslav wars. Center for Women War Victims ROSA
  • Morocco: repealed Article 475, the “rape marriage law”, which allowed a rapist to escape prosecution if he married the girl or woman he raped. In early 2015, Jordan repealed a similar law from its penal code. Several grantee partners, including the Association Democratique des Femmes du Maroc
  • Guatemala: helped 15 indigenous q´qchís women survivors of sex and domestic slavery win a landmark case which sentenced two former soldiers to 360 years in prison. Unión de Mujeres Guatemaltecas
  • India: mobilized more than 700 marginalized Muslim women in Gujarat, led leadership trainings for women and girls, and increased local access to legal assistance for women seeking help in divorce and child custody cases. Social Action Forum Against Repression (SAFAR)
  • Brazil: organized a march across Brazil with more than 50,000 women protesting racial and gender inequality, drawing international attention to Brazil’s black women’s movements, and leading to the formation of several new organizations. Criola and BAMIDELÊ


  • Poland: stopped the adoption of a government-proposed anti-abortion bill that would have limited access to abortion and further restricted women’s reproductive rights. Federation of Women and Family Planning
  • Russia: formed a new trans* person-led group to combat violence and discrimination against LGBTQI persons and groups. T9 NSK
  • Eight countries including Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Tunisia: combined the efforts of over 21 groups to participate in the “One Day One Struggle” campaign, focused on sexual rights in Muslim societies. Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies


  • Burkina Faso, Kenya, and Uganda: concluded Rural Women Striding Forward, a four-year initiative to support rural women’s groups in Sub-Saharan Africa. The initiative worked with small-scale women farmers to promote food security and human rights. More than 18,000 women and men learned agricultural techniques to increase production. Women who participated saw a 30% increase in their incomes, and the majority of households who were involved are now eating three meals a day (compared to just one or sometimes two meals a day previously).
  • Cambodia: helped win a $500,000 compensation settlement for 2,000 factory workers who were unfairly denied wages—part of long-term efforts to build a movement for worker’s rights. United Sisterhood Alliance
  • Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi: raised awareness in village communities about the importance of the United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 1325—an international legal framework that addresses the impact of war on women and highlights the critical role women play in conflict resolution and peace. Solidarité des Femmes Activistes pour la Défense des Droits Humains (SOFAD) in DRC and Développement Agropastoral et Sanitaire (DAGROPASS) in Burundi
  • Honduras: worked to secure justice in the wake of the assassination of Berta Cáceres, one of Honduras’ most influential environmental and women’s rights leaders, and to highlight the escalating violence and repression towards women human rights defenders in the Mesoamerican region. OFRANEH