Equality Fund + AWDF

Deepening a dynamic partnership to support feminist movements

The Equality Fund is a new model for sustainable investment in women’s movements across the globe. Backed by a $300 million CAD contribution from the Government of Canada, and inspired by the radical ambition of feminist movements, the Equality Fund is building one of the largest self-sustaining funds for gender equality in the world. Shaped by leaders from every sector, this new funding model combines gender-lens investingbold public funding, and powerful, multi-sector philanthropy in service of one vision: shifting power and resources to local women’s rights organizations and leaders at the forefront of change. 

Partnership is essential to the realization of the Equality Fund’s vision, and a diverse collective of organizations, including the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), has come together since 2019 to lend their unique expertise, skills, and perspective to the ongoing design and development of this groundbreaking effort.

As this collaborative work continues, AWDF and the Equality Fund have identified an opportunity to take their longstanding partnership even deeper, capitalizing on a chance to advance shared values and goals. At its core, the Equality Fund’s purpose is to provide support for women’s organizations and feminist movements, something for which the AWDF has built a renowned reputation, rich history, nuanced knowledge, and a long track record of success. By working together, both organizations can advance their deep belief and trust in local feminist leadership, while bringing Equality Fund’s grantmaking and other support even closer to the communities it is designed to serve.

Moving forward, AWDF has agreed to act as the Equality Fund’s lead partner on resourcing women’s rights organizations in Africa through grants, capacity building, knowledge production, and network and solidarity building. In this role, AWDF will advance its strategic vision for Africa and increase its funding to women’s rights organizations working across key themes: Body and Health Rights; Economic Security and Justice; and Leadership, Participation and Peace. AWDF will also be engaged in key aspects of the Equality Fund’s “Design and Build” phase, including in the overall design of the Equality Fund’s global grantmaking program, feminist philanthropy and investment strategies, and participation in its governance model.

While maintaining distinct strategies structures and identities, this new partnership will make it possible for AWDF and the Equality Fund to multiply their shared impactreach organizations that often have limited access to mainstream funding, and deliver even deeper momentum for feminist movements across the African continent and around the world.

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