The Future Is Ours: Young Women Leaders

Caption Lorem ipsum dolor set | Photo by Lorem ipsum

Imagine a new world—one created by bold young women, coming together to decide their own futures and shaping the decisions that affect not only their lives, but their communities, their societies, and the world.

Global Fund for Women has supported women and girl’s human rights and movements for decades. We believe that strengthening young women’s leadership is critical to the sustainability and resiliency of women’s movements and long-term social transformation.

That’s why Global Fund for Women, in partnership with CREA, a long-time grantee partner and feminist human rights organization based in India, and the Kendeda Fund, a private family foundation that focuses on community-driven solutions, launched the Young Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Initiative. First piloted in South Asia and subsequently expanded to East Africa, the initiative supports young women from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Kenya, and Tanzania as strategic visionaries and leaders who build strong movements that effectively address challenges facing women and girls in these geographies. Through an innovative model of feminist mentorship and peer learning, these young women build their own leadership as well as that of other young activists in their communities.

When empowered young women rise up together, they break isolation, build solidarity, and strengthen movements that challenge the prevalent social, economic, and political barriers to their vision, voice, and agency. As Bishnu Maya Gharti, a young leader from Nepal, says, “The women I work with are what inspire me to fight for women’s rights. I have seen women living through the worst, the best, and the hardest conditions. Their courage to work, their confidence, and their willingness to fight—that keeps me going.”

When we rise with Bishnu, and her young peers working for the rights of women and girls, we help them realize a better future—for them, and for all of us.

Campaign in Depth

Meet Manika: Working to End the Stigma Around Menstruation in Kathmandu’s Slums

Name: Manika Shrestha Organization: Nepal Mahila Ekata Samaj Country: Nepal “When we started to discuss the issues in the communities, we all agreed we need to talk about menstruation. Our parents said, ‘we don’t touch these things—menstruation or periods; we don’t go there.’ They stop us from bringing it up. So we realized we have…

Learn More
Indian Artivist Jasmeen Patheja on the Magic of Mentorship

Artist, performer, and mentor Jasmeen Patheja has a few things to say about the power of creativity and shared learning to create change. Jasmeen is the founder-director of Blank Noise, a community of individuals called ‘Action Heroes’ across India and beyond, united to eradicate gender-based violence. Through art installations and performances, Blank Noise explores the…

Meet Bishnu: Fighting for Property Rights in Nepal

Name: Bishnu Maya Gharti Age: 25 years old Organization: Nagarik Aawaz Country: Nepal “When I was in seventh grade, my mom took my sister and me to a rally because we were conflict-affected and our demands and our needs were not being met. Some women stood in the front shouting the slogans and we were…

Meet the Future: East Africa’s Young Women Leaders

With funding support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we have expanded the Young Women’s Leadership Initiative to East Africa–in Kenya and Tanzania. Global Fund for Women is working with 40 young women from 20 women’s rights organizations across Kenya and Tanzania, to strengthen their leadership and support them as they create and implement…

How It Started: When Need Becomes Opportunity

By Sangeeta Chowdhry, Senior Program Director for Economic Justice and head of the Young Women’s Leadership Initiative Sustaining women’s movements requires amplifying the leadership of a new generation of activists. This sentiment was echoed loudly by feminist activists from India, Bangladesh, and Nepal in a convening Global Fund for Women organized in Sri Lanka nearly…

Solutions of Their Own: Learn About the YWL’s Projects

The young women participating in Global Fund for Women’s Young Women’s Leadership Initiative work with their mentors to design and implement projects that address a social justice issue in their communities. The projects designed by the young women leaders in Nepal, Bangladesh, and India are already under way, while in the newly launched branches of…