vendredi 25 octobre 2019, 12:34
WOMEN’S VOICE AND LEADERSHIP
In June 2017, the Government of Canada launched the Women’s Voice and Leadership (WVL) Program—as part of its Feminist International Assistance Policy—to provide women’s rights organizations and movements in developing countries with direct funding to advance gender equality. Canada has partnered with 19 organizations for 30 projects in 29 developing countries and/or regions. These projects respond to the needs of women’s rights organizations and put women at the centre of decision-making.
In September 2018, the Equality Fund (formerly The MATCH Internation Women’s Fund) and Astraea Lesbian Foundation began a partnership for WVL’s project in the Caribbean—a five-year, $4.8 million initiative to build sustainable and well-resourced feminist movements in the region.
WHY THE CARIBBEAN?
In most Caribbean countries, poverty is higher among women, especially in women-headed households. LBTIQ women in the Caribbean also face discrimination and stigma. Caribbean women’s organizations and LBTIQ groups face many challenges while addressing these issues and more—including a lack of sustainable funding and a reliance on volunteer work.
BACK TO OUR ROOTS: SUPPORTING WOMEN IN THE CARIBBEAN
In the late 70s, The MATCH Fund (known at the time as MATCH International Centre) began funding women in the Caribbean. Sadly, when MATCH lost its government funding in 2010, much of MATCH’s support for grassroots work in the region came to an end.
With WVL-Caribbean, the Equality Fund (just as MATCH did in the past) supports Caribbean women’s and LBTIQ movements working to improve the lives of women and girls. We can now return to these roots, establish new and exciting partnerships, and leave a lasting legacy.
In 1984-85, MATCH supported projects like the Grenada Fruit Cooperative which worked to increase women’s access to training and income.
EQUALITY FUND AND ASTRAEA AS LEADING PARTNERS
The Equality Fund—a groundbreaking partnership combining feminist philanthropy, grantmaking and investing—and Astraea—the only philanthropic organization working exclusively to advance LBTIQ human rights around the world—share a rich history deeply embedded in feminist movements globally. For forty years, both organizations have been exclusively investing in grassroots organizations improving women’s human rights with innovative solutions.
What will we do?
The Equality Fund and Astraea will be co-leading the WVL–Caribbean project, working together to support the women at the frontlines of discrimination, poverty and violence in the Caribbean.
WVL–Caribbean will improve women and LBTIQ groups’ access to key resources such as funding, capacity-building, and networks.
How will we do it?
WVL–Caribbean will provide both multi-year and responsive funding to women’s rights organizations and LBTIQ groups working in ODA eligible countries across the region. Grantmaking is expected to start in early 2020.
Co-designed by and for women’s rights organizations and LBTIQ groups
This initiative is uniquely co-designed by and for women’s rights organizations and LBTIQ groups in the Caribbean. In the spirit of shared building, we are conducting research and consultations to design the project while including diverse voices and perspectives throughout.
In June 2019, the Equality Fund (then The MATCH Fund) and Astraea hosted a consultation meeting in Antigua, bringing together a wide range of partners and representatives from around the region.
This highly participatory consultation and validation meeting allowed groups to discuss how WVL–Caribbean can best respond to their priorities. It also provided an opportunity to examine the funding landscape of the Caribbean. The report from the Convening can be accessed here.
Funded by the Government of Canada