Mission & History

Our Vision

We envision a world where movements for gender justice have transformed power and privilege for a few into equity and equality for all.

Our Mission

We fund bold, ambitious, and expansive gender justice movements to create meaningful change that will last beyond our lifetimes.

History

Global Fund for Women was founded in 1987 in Palo Alto, California, by four bold women: Anne Firth Murray, Frances Kissling, Laura Lederer, and Nita Barrow. They were convinced that women’s human rights were essential to social, economic, and political change around the world, for the benefit of us all. Frustrated by a lack of interest in funding women’s human rights, they founded an organization to fund grass-roots women-led movements directly. Our founders knew that trusting local partners to drive solutions in their own communities would lead to meaningful, lasting change. They were right.

Over the course of 30+ years, Global Fund for Women has supported feminist movements and grassroots organizers 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 doubling down on supporting movements. By shifting towards a movement-led approach, Global Fund for Women will harness and fuel rising people-power globally to increase their impact and accelerate change.

About our Leaders

Latanya Mapp Frett joined Global Fund for Women as President and CEO in July 2019. Read her bio here.

Founding member Anne Firth Murray served as our Founding President from 1986 to 1996. Anne established Global Fund for Women as a leader in women’s rights funding and expertise.

Kavita Ramdas became CEO in 1996, serving until 2010. Under Kavita’s leadership, Global Fund for Women experienced unprecedented growth, with assets increasing from $6 million to $21 million. Her powerful advocacy and thought leadership won hearts and minds, and mobilized resources and attention for women’s rights.

Musimbi Kanyoro joined the organization in 2011, serving as President and CEO until 2019. Under her leadership, Global Fund for Women celebrated a major milestone – surpassing $140 million in total grantmaking. Musimbi focused the organization’s program areas and added more comprehensive learning, monitoring, and evaluation.

In March 2014, Global Fund for Women and the International Museum of Women (IMOW) merged. The merger brought together Global Fund for Women’s powerful grantmaking and advocacy expertise with IMOW’s skills in awareness raising, online campaigns, and digital storytelling.

IMOW was founded in 1997, led by Founding President Elizabeth Colton, and evolved into an innovative online museum inspiring creativity, awareness, and action on vital global issues for women. Elizabeth joins the lineage of founders of the merged organization.

Photo by Bowerbird Photography.