In order to advance women’s and LBTIQ rights and gender equality in the Caribbean region, the Women’s Voice and Leadership - Caribbean (WVL-Caribbean) initiative—implemented by the Equality Fund in partnership with the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice (Astraea) with the support of the Government of Canada—will support the capacity, leadership, and agendas of grassroots women’s rights organizations (WROs) and lesbian, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer (LBTIQ) groups that advance their own solutions to improve women’s and LBTIQ rights and gender equality in their own contexts.

WVL-Caribbean has established a Multi-Year Funding Mechanism to support the work of WROs and LBTIQ groups in the Caribbean region. Selected organizations must be based and/or working in one of the following Official Development Assistance (ODA) eligible countries in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM): Jamaica, Belize, Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, or Suriname.

The project will provide approximately 20 multi-year grants ranging from CAD $10,000 to CAD $20,000 (USD $7,000 to USD $15,000) per year over a period of three (3) years, to provide core funding to WROs and LBTIQ groups to enable them to implement their own programs and advocacy based on their own agendas and priorities. The project will prioritize groups and organizations working directly and at the intersections of the following broad thematic areas of focus:

  • Economic Justice;
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights;
  • Feminist Leadership and Movement-Building;
  • Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Rights; and
  • Climate Change.

Application Process

Organizations will submit their applications to either the Equality Fund OR Astraea (depending on their thematic areas of work and governance structures), through ONE of the following streams:

For more information about the eligibility criteria and application process, please download our Information Sheet.

Deadline: Friday, February 14th, 2020


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 International Women’s Fund) and Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice 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.


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.


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 the organization’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.


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.

Program information

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.


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Funded by the Government of Canada