Feminist movements have historically received pennies on the dollar from private philanthropy and government giving, especially in the Global South and East. Yet, in every corner of the world, women, girls, and trans people are full of power. The power to create. The power to reveal and reinvent. The power to grow, nourish, and heal. Worldwide, women’s rights organizations and feminist movements are leading the charge on solutions to our most urgent social and political problems. That is why one of the core pillars of our work here at the Equality Fund is our global grantmaking. We robustly resource women’s rights organizations and feminist movements worldwide.
Our goal? To deliver flexible, reliable support for feminist work in all the diverse and powerful ways it takes root across the world.
We celebrate that we are one part of a growing ecosystem of feminist funders. Our goal is to complement and accelerate the vibrant expansion of this space, exponentially increasing investment in women’s rights organizations and feminist movements working from the grassroots level to the regional and global stage. We have four grantmaking streams to support such organizations and movements:
Catalyze grants provide flexible, multi-year, core funding to women’s rights and feminist organizations allowing them to stabilize, sustain, and/or grow their work. Our Catalyze stream launched in 2020 and in early 2021 we awarded grants to 30 partners focused on advancing intersectional agendas, responding to crackdowns on rights, supporting women and LGBTQI+ human rights defenders, addressing violence at multiple levels, and working on economic justice.
This year we welcomed 34 new grantee partners under this stream, distributing $4.9 million in grants to women’s rights and feminist organizations advancing critical work on gender justice.
Our second cohort of grantee partners under this stream expands the scope of the Equality Fund in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and in particularly underfunded regions like the Caribbean. We have welcomed grantee partners from 23 countries, including 13 countries for the first time: Armenia, Croatia, Peru, Palestine, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.
For feminist organizations on the African continent, we continue our support through our strategic partnership with the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF). AWDF has been instrumental in leading Equality Fund’s efforts to resource feminist organizations in Africa and are working on an expanded program strategy for the region. We also have six partnerships through our Activate stream with sister funds in Africa who also fund and resource feminist organizations.
We support and trust self-led efforts by communities whose activism is rooted in personal experiences and who are channelling their agency in decisions that affect their lives.
A key part of what makes our partners’ work so impactful is how they address multiple and intersecting barriers to gender justice. Many of our Catalyze grantee partners take an intersectional approach to addressing issues that impact women, girls, and trans people, such as gender-based violence, development of feminist leadership capacity, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. We also welcome many new partners who are focused on racial justice, rights of Afro-descendant women and feminists in Latin America, disability rights, migrant rights, and land rights/ownership.
As part of our foundational approach to grantmaking, we will continue to work alongside our grantee partners to co-create and enhance accompaniment that meets the self-identified needs of partners. This could include well-being supports for staff, institutional strengthening, as well as connecting organizations with one another for peer learning opportunities, networking, and alliance building.
We are thrilled to welcome our new cohort of Catalyze grantee partners– and share the powerful work they’re doing. Keep an eye on our social media channels for updates and features in the months to come and visit our website to learn more about our grantmaking. Our mission is to shift money and power to women’s rights organizations and feminist movements worldwide. They are fundamental to a more just, peaceful, and sustainable future. With each step forward our community is building a path to full equality, together. We know that when we move together, we move the world.