Feminist Funds for Feminist Futures: A Call to Action for the Generation Equality Forum

  •  March 23, 2021

About Prospera – International Network of Women’s Funds

Prospera – INWF brings together 44 autonomous and independent women’s funds. Women’s funds are led by and for women, girls, trans, intersex, and gender non-binary people in all their diversity. As women’s funds, our core values are feminist and rooted in justice, equality, respect, and accountability; these values are expressed through an intersectional approach towards issues and constituencies, mutual empowerment, solidarity, collaboration, and trust.

We provide grants to organizations and activist initiatives led by women, girls, trans, intersex and gender non-binary people in 178 countries working at local, national, regional, and global levels. We support efforts that address key gender equality issues identified as critical areas of concern by the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, including: environment, power, bodily autonomy, economic resilience, violence, education, health, media, technology, and armed conflict, among others.

Despite the Beijing Conference being a landmark event in recognizing key barriers to achieving gender equality and critical actions to enable these, related financial commitments have been vastly inadequate. Ninety-nine per cent of gender-related international aid fails to reach women’s and feminist organisations directly (AWID, 2019). Twenty six years later, it is time to deliver on the promises of the Beijing Platform for Action and to create systemic change. These efforts are especially critical given that the COVID-19 pandemic is compounding and amplifying deep-seated gender inequities and injustices.

Prospera INWF calls on Generation Equality Forum participants to commit at least 50% of all funding pledges to fund directly autonomous, women-, girls-, and trans-led feminist organizations and movements and when not possible, indirectly through intermediaries that center the leadership of these movements, i.e. women’s funds.

The Generation Equality Forum is a critical moment for donors resourcing gender equality efforts to radically shift funding to women’s and feminist organizations and movements, including: new and additional long-term, core, and flexible funding; rapid response granting mechanisms, democratic governance and participatory grantmaking; and new forms of partnerships.

Prospera INWF is dedicated to strengthening our crucial role in the feminist funding ecosystem. As feminist funders committed to distributing more and better resources to women’s and feminist organizations and movements, we pledge to:
• Continue to provide long-term, core, and flexible funding directly to women’s and feminist organizations and movements.
• Fund the full range of feminist organizing and prioritize support for activists, including young women and girl activists, who are:
• Racialized, Indigenous, and from other marginalized ethnic and religious groups;
• Environmental and land rights defenders;
• Disability rights defenders;
• Lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, gender non-conforming, nonbinary, and other gender diverse defenders;
• Sex worker and informal, domestic, and low-wage worker rights defenders; and
• Migrant, displaced, refugee, or stateless defenders and those affected by conflict and occupation.
• Increase support to women’s funds as key to reaching local, national, and regional women’s and feminist organizations and movements.
• Support other funders to channel resources to women’s and feminist organizations, to whom they may not have access without partnering with women’s funds.
• Democratize philanthropy and other funding flows to increase accountability to women’s and feminist organizations and movements.
• Contribute to a body of knowledge on the effectiveness of funding women’s and feminist organizations and movements to achieve gender equality by: tracking and analyzing our results (using feminist monitoring and evaluation principles); and sharing lessons learned and best practices.

Photo: Scene from the event, “Gender equality: From the Biarritz Partnership to the Beijing+25 Generation Equality Forum”, hosted by France and Mexico ahead of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, 2019. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown.

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