- African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF)
- Fonds pour les Femmes Congolaises
- Urgent Action Fund-Africa
- Women’s Fund Tanzania
- XOESE, the Francophone Women’s Fund
- Doria Feminist Fund
“Money is a political resource — who gets it and what it funds determines how much closer we get to a gender-just world.”
— Dr. Awino Okech, African Feminist Scholar at the SOAS University of London
In Africa, women’s funds members of the Prospera INWF have pushed for greater recognition that a diverse African feminist movement requires resources for multiple issues and strategies to advance the vision for women’s rights. After years of pushing for more and better resources for its movements, women’s funds still face constraints in accessing funding. Yet the African feminist movement continues to grow and push back against the multiple systems of oppression that face women on the continent. As Valerie Bah and Felogene Anumo noted in their article, You Can't Take Politics Out of the Struggle, “From student-led protests in South Africa, to feminist mobilization against the “Kill the Gays" bill in Uganda, to resisting autocracy in Egypt, fierce feminist leadership is mobilizing across the continent.”
Responding to the diversity of African women’s movements, women’s funds work to secure women's rights from all corners of the continent. These funds allocated resources to support their teams, either through training or salaries, since these costs are often hard to cover due to restricted funding. However, their highest allocation of resources went to building up their financial reserves, which is critical to enhancing their resilience and ability to weather the ups and downs of funding cycles.
Asia and the Pacific
- Women’s Funds Fiji
- Korean Foundation for Women
- Mongolian Women’s Fund (MONES)
- Women’s Fund Asia
“The feminist philanthropy movement in Asia and the Pacific, in addition to mobilizing resources that are guided by feminist principles, engages with resources politically, disrupting power relationship of those that give and those that claim, as well as ensuring that the mystery of resource control is made transparent and visible.”
— Tulika Srivastava, Executive Director of Women’s Fund Asia
Like so many of the other regions, the feminist movement in Asia and the Pacific is diverse and vibrant with feminists of different ages, classes, and genders. Working within and across national boundaries, feminists in Asia and the Pacific continue to push against diverse issues like patriarchal structures, unequal division of care work while they fight for workers’ rights, economic justice, climate justice, safety, and reproductive rights. In response to the growing feminist movement, the first women’s fund in Asia was established in 1995. Since then, the region has seen an increase in the number of women’s funds resourcing feminist movements at national and regional levels. In 2019, they came together in a unique convergence, where they defined a shared vision for feminist funding that is flexible and transformative for the Asia and Pacific region.
In Asia and the Pacific, women's funds members of Prospera INWF work toward realizing their feminist funding manifesto, and are also mindful about how they build their internal capacities. The highest allocation of funding went to supporting staff, with a focus on staff salaries and skills building. A second priority was securing technical support to enhance communications and resource mobilization. They also allocated resources to build up their safety and wellness, resource mobilization, and communications.
“If we can’t gain, we need to hold the ground. If we can’t protest, even in small ways we go out to protest. Being visible is our main goal. We can’t leave the streets to them.”
— Turkish activist
In response to the rise in authoritarianism and illiberal populism in the region, feminist movements in Central and Eastern Europe have responded by mobilizing powerful protests that signal a strong movement to protect the rights of women and LGBTQI people. We know that movements are only as powerful as the work that has been done to mobilize collective power before the moment of protest — that ongoing work requires funding.
Women’s funds are at the forefront of supporting that work. Working across national, regional, and multi-regional levels, Central and Eastern European women’s funds are connected to and embedded within national feminist movements. In order to rise to the challenges of the region, they prioritized funds for staff, including salaries and skills building, and technical support for communications, resource mobilization, and digital security. Women’s funds in this region also allocated funding for buying or servicing vehicles to increase their mobility and securing space as part of collective protection and care for women’s human rights defenders.
“To adequately respond to the ongoing crisis of democracy, we must support care and protection strategies for activists.”
— Tatiana Cordero Velásquez, Executive Director of Urgent Action Fund — Latin America & Caribbean and Mónica Enríquez-Enríquez, Program Officer for Mesoamerica, Foundation for a Just Society
While feminist movements in Latin America have achieved major wins in areas such as reproductive justice — including the legalization of abortion in Argentina — women continue to fight for their rights and their lives. In a region with one of the highest rates of femicide, care and protection is not something nice to have, it’s essential. Women’s funds are at the forefront of thinking about how to fund and support women's human rights defenders in ways that integrate care and protection into their work. In line with this reality, the Latin American women’s funds prioritized funding for the care of their teams by allocating resources for salaries and support for health and wellbeing. They also established crisis funds and directed resources to build digital security and financial resilience.
- Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
- Equality Fund
- FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund
- Global Fund for Women
- International Indigenous Women’s Fund (IIWF-AYNI)
- Mama Cash
- Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights
- Women Win
“The resources that fuel feminist social change come in many forms — financial, political, and in daily acts of resistance, care, survival, and building new feminist realities.”
— AWID, Toward a Feminist Funding Ecosystem
Varied in size, length of operation, and geographic location, the multi-regional women’s funds play an important role in the feminist funding ecosystem. In addition to mobilizing resources, they serve as advocates in both funding spaces and international policy platforms. They also demonstrate that women’s funds have the absorptive capacity required to channel resources to feminist movements.
Multi-regional women’s funds also contribute to building the ecosystem by partnering with, supporting, and investing in emergent women’s funds. At the same time, some channel resources to specific populations within the feminist movement, such as young feminists and Indigenous women. While investing in people was a priority for this group of women’s funds, it fell second to using funding to secure technical support for building up organizational infrastructure. Other priorities included resource mobilization, human resources systems, self-care plans, and grants management systems.