Breaking Through: Gender equality in Asia & the Pacific

In 2008, Global Fund for Women launched the Breakthrough Project – a three-year, $2.2 million investment to catalyze strategic, breakthrough actions to advance gender equality in Asia and the Pacific. A new, independent evaluation of the project documents impact and captures learning.

What injustices do women and girls in Asia and the Pacific face?

2.6 million

Girls and women in Asia each year who are never born due to prenatal sex selection or who die prematurely from abuse or maternal mortality.


Of judges in India believe it is justifiable for a man to beat his wife. (Despite existing laws criminalizing domestic violence.)


The number of days off per week that most women domestic workers (i.e., live-in maids, cooks, nannies) are permitted.

How did Global Fund for Women catalyze change?


  • Over $2.2 million in flexible funding
  • Long-term partnerships
  • Support for networking, knowledge sharing, and collaboration
  • 58% of grants to rural communities
  • Over 1/3 of funding for adolescent girls


  • Benefited 554,299 girls and women, men and boys
  • New laws against domestic violence passed in 3 countries
  • Increased women’s participation in local government in Nepal and India
  • Rural women increased access to land and financial services
  • Domestic workers secured basic rights at the ILO

Read the Report

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Read the External Evaluation

Breakthrough Evaluation: An External Rights-Based Evaluation of Grantmaking for Gender Equality by Brooke Ackerly