In FY2018, Global Fund for Women gave $7,880,319 in grants to women’s groups advancing human rights for women, girls, and trans people.
Every grant we distribute is made strategically, to ensure that the groups we partner with can address systemic change and make the biggest impact for women and girls. For example, 69% of our grants were multi-year—a percentage we’ve steadily increased because we know multi-year funding is especially critical (and hard to obtain) for women’s groups. This means our grantee partners can plan for the long-term, instead of facing financial uncertainty from one year to the next. Our grantmaking intentionally supports new groups, movements, and leaders, as well as groups that might not otherwise receive support due to their size or because they are considered too risky. In FY2018, 12% of our grants went to groups that are five years old or less; 15% of grants were awarded to unregistered groups, a critical way to support younger women’s activism; 25% of our grants went to organizations with budgets smaller than $50,000; and 26% of our grants went to groups that we funded for the first time, because we’re always looking for the next movement leaders.
We made $547,650 in grants to women’s funds—part of our strategy to make sure these local and regional women’s funds (who understand their local contexts and have close community connections) can develop local philanthropy and build women’s movements from the grassroots up.
All of our grants support bold organizations and fearless women leading change around the globe. Successes from this past year include:
- Abortion rights win in Chile. Reproductive health laws have long been influenced by religious and cultural conservatism in Chile, and abortion was illegal without exception. But in 2018 after years of tireless effort, three of our grantee partners (Mujeres en Marcha Chile, Centro Regional de Derechos Humanos y Justicia de Género: Corporación Humanas, and Instituto de la Mujer) helped secure the passage of a law that permits abortion under limited circumstances.
- New protections for women in Belarus. Three out of four women experience domestic violence in Belarus. Our grantee partner Gender Perspectives refused to accept impunity for perpetrators. Using data generated through their domestic violence call line, Gender Perspectives advocated for greater protections and awareness around domestic violence, including providing evidence to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of unprofessional conduct by policemen responding to domestic violence cases. The organization is now part of a working group drafting a law on preventing domestic violence.
- Preventing rollbacks in Turkey. Women’s organizations in Turkey would not stand by as efforts were made to pass a bill that would tacitly sanction underage marriage and endanger girls. When a bill was proposed that would pardon men convicted of sex with underage girls if they were married to the girl, women’s groups—including our grantee partner Filmmor Women’s Cooperative—launched a multi-strategy campaign and successfully prevented its passage.
- Leadership gains in Haiti. Grantee partner FANM YO LA set up an advocacy platform for women’s organizations to collectively demand enforcement of a 2012 constitutional amendment requiring 30% representation of women in local politics. These efforts led the authorities to set up a Provisional Electoral Council, led by women, who are responsible for organizing elections and supporting compliance with the quota.
- Using the courts in Mali. Our grantee partner Association pour le Progrès et la Défense des Droits des Femme (Association for the Progress and Defense of Women’s Rights) successfully argued a case against the Mali government in the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, a regional judicial body. This ruling builds pressure on the government of Mali to revise its personal and family code to increase the legal age of marriage for girls from 16 to 18, or otherwise be in violation of its international commitments. This is the first time the ACHPR has pronounced a violation against the Maputo Protocol.
- Fighting femicide in Uruguay. Grantee partner Mujer Ahora was instrumental in making sure a law against femicide (the killing of a women because of her gender) passed. Then, leaders from the group were also deeply involved in the first-ever conviction for femicide in Uruguay under the law, testifying during the trial as experts on gender violence.
- Peace-building in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In partnership with the Congolese Women’s Fund we have supported the women of Synergie des Femmes Unies pour le Développement de Rutshuru (SYFUDER). Located in an area affected by the presence of rebel groups, ethnic tensions, and refugees from Burundi and Uganda, SYFUDER trained 20 women in conflict resolution and convinced local chiefs to include women in grassroots peacebuilding efforts. These women leaders then convinced rebel groups in the region to talk to their young members about leaving the rebel group—and helped 16 boys peacefully leave the group and re-enter civilian life.
We also supported grantee partner convenings—a key tool in strengthening women’s movements. For example, groups from African countries met in Burkina Faso to discuss movement building and leadership. In Nepal, young women leaders received training in their leadership and mentorship skills, and in Uruguay, we brought together women’s groups throughout Latin America for the Feminist Encuentro—a critical, long-standing forum for women’s rights activists in the region.
And as always, we provided flexible, core-support funding to our grantee partners—an approach that exemplifies Global Fund for Women’s long-standing belief that women themselves understand best the needs of their communities, and know the best way to address the issues facing them.
 69% of the $6,871,201 granted as standard grants were multi-year.
 Including $385,326 in program grants, $134,264 in fiscal sponsorship grants, and $28,060 in partnership grants.