In order to make feminist futures a reality, the feminist movement needs to be relentless in the struggle for women’s rights. Smashing the patriarchy requires systemic change, which takes time and resources. Yet data from the Association of Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) shows that just a trickle of funding allocated to gender equality reaches women’s rights organizations which focus on transforming the structures and institutions of power that marginalize women, girls, and trans* people and the LGBTQI communities.
AWID’s 2020 analysis shows that out of $99 billion USD in grants awarded by private foundations in 2017, only $422.3 million USD — or 0.42% — went to women’s rights organizations.
When we look at funding from governments, the situation is no different. Out of the $153 billion USD of international development funding from multilateral and bilateral donors in 2018, only $198 million USD — or 0.13% — went to women’s rights organizations.
For less than 1% of funding to go to gender equality is startling, yet unsurprising. Women, girls, and trans* people have to fight hard for every gain they make in society, and that includes access to resources.
The time for feminist movements to have more and better resources is long overdue. Drastically increasing the percentage of funding reaching women’s rights organizations and giving them the flexibility to allocate that funding to their top priorities is imperative for the future of gender equality. Importantly, multiyear grants will give them the stability to develop strategies with a long-term view.
It is also important that women’s funds should be equal partners in making decisions about who and what to fund. Funding should be channeled through organizations that deliver resources directly to activists and movements.
Imagine how much more could be achieved if gender equality was abundantly resourced?
For more information, check out Where is the money for feminist organizing?