A Letter from PeiYao: Announcing #InMotion, our new strategic plan
It’s my great privilege to write to you as Global Fund for Women’s new President and CEO. It’s an honor to lead this amazing organization, and to follow the footsteps of four incredible leaders—Anne Firth Murray, Kavita Ramdas, Musimbi Kanyoro, and Latanya Mapp Frett—who have shaped Global Fund for Women into who we are today.
I wanted to take a moment to reintroduce myself and share why I do what I do. My passion for social movements runs deep.
Movements Have Been the Cornerstone of My Work
I was born and raised in Taiwan, and two major events took place during my high school years that left a lasting impression on me about the power of social movements. The first was the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing in 1989, when a student movement in China demanded greater political freedom from the Communist regime, which ended in a devastating military crackdown and hundreds of civilians killed. The other event is less well-known, but closer to home for me—the Wild Lily student movement in Taiwan in 1990, where protestors demanded direct election of the President. This movement was successful and paved the way for Taiwan’s peaceful transition to democracy. These moments—examples of how movements can succeed, and how they can be repressed—have stayed with me and inspired my work ever since.
I joined Global Fund for Women over ten years ago as its first Director of Learning, Evaluation, and Impact. I was inspired by the organization’s approach to supporting grassroots feminist organizations with flexible funding, no strings attached, because these grassroots organizations have the solutions to create the change they want to see in their communities. I was also inspired by the organization’s ambition to become a learning organization and to use data to improve how we do our work. These same ideas continue to drive me today!
Data Shows That Feminist Movements Drive Change
When I joined Global Fund for Women, a groundbreaking study by Laurel Weldon and Mala Htun had just been published that made big waves in the gender justice field: Using data from 70 countries over three decades, they found that the most important factor driving progressive policy change on violence against women is autonomous feminist movements. This is more important than national wealth, the number of women legislators, or left-wing parties. This began Global Fund for Women’s journey to more intentionally support social movements—a journey I am honored to have been deeply embedded in. For the past 10 years, I have worked extensively with our leaders and partners to refine our efforts to center movements and shift power.
Today, I am thrilled to share with you the result of these many years of learning and refinement – our new FY24-26 Strategic Plan, #InMotion. This strategy reflects the our many lessons learned in supporting movements; our continued commitment to our core principles of trusting and providing flexible funding to support grassroots feminist activism; and our vision for the future, where gender justice movements have transformed power and privilege for a few into equity and equality for all. #InMotion means that Global Fund for Women will support feminist movements with the trust, power, and resources they need to win large-scale change for everyone.
This work could not be more urgent. Just a few weeks ago, Taiwan held an election with a 72% voter turnout rate, affirming the country’s democracy—a path that began almost 35 years ago with that student movement. Taiwan’s election is just one of hundreds of crucial elections in 2024—the biggest election year in history—at a time when opposition forces are regularly attacking the rights of women, girls, and marginalized people. Movements are on the front-lines of this struggle, and it is Global Fund for Women’s mission to ensure those movements have the resources, trust, and partnership they need to succeed.
I invite you to check out #InMotion, learn more about our strategy, and join us as we continue our learning journey to center movements. I hope to be in conversation with all of you, our community of partners, activists, and supporters, and in the months ahead I will also continue to share learnings and reflections on our work.
Let’s set the world #InMotion together.
President & CEO
Global Fund for Women