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Where is the Money for Women's Rights?

Recognizing that financial resources are often necessary to make change happen and that many women’s rights organizations are significantly underfunded, AWID launched the Where is the Money (WITM) Strategic Initiative in 2005. This initiative unites research with advocacy to respond to the urgent need to increase the amount and quality of funding for women’s rights work.

Global debates and
agenda-setting spaces
Global debates and
agenda-setting spaces
Preliminary 2011 Research Results
Preliminary 2011 Research Results
Influencing debate at the 2012 UN Commission
on the Status of Women (CSW 56th)
Influencing debate at the 2012 UN Commission
on the Status of Women (CSW 56th)
FRIDA | The Young
Feminist Fund
FRIDA | The Young
Feminist Fund
 
AWID contributed to global debates in the news around crowd funding, philanthropy, girls' rights and feminist resource mobilization.

AWID was invited for the first time to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative, which is increasingly positioned as an important agenda-setting space for funders on women and girls.

Photo Courtesy of Clinton Global Initiative
Amina Doherty, Lydía Alpízar Durán & Chelsea Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting


The creation of the online crowd-funding platform for women and girls ‘’, among others, was inspired and based on AWID’s WITM research.

Where is the Money for Women’s Rights? Preliminary 2011 Research Results were presented at the AWID 2012 Forum Evening Plenary session and the Forum Resource Mobilization Hub. We would like to thank the 1,119 organizations that participated in the survey, making it possible for us to analyze the funding situation and sustainability of women’s organizations around the world. This was the largest survey done to date and was conducted in four languages. Check out our new report Watering the Leaves, Starving the Roots based on the survey results.

Multiple actors have used the preliminary results of our 2011-2012 global WITM research for advocacy. To build knowledge in their particular context or region some have adapted AWID’s research methodology.

Fundo Elas in Brazil is currently advancing research on the situation of funding for feminist and women’s rights organizations in Brazil. They adapted the WITM methodology as part of a larger project to look at the state of women’s rights organizing in Brazil.

AWID's Where is the Money for Women's Rights research influenced debate at the 2012 UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 56th) review of implementation of previously-agreed conclusions on the theme “Financing for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women”. Lydia Alpizar, AWID’s Executive Director, was a panelist at the session reviewing “Progress in financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women from the perspective of international organizations and multilateral development partners”. AWID’s contributions were recorded in the moderator’s summary report.

The Secretary General’s Report on this theme agrees that: “Increasing financing for gender equality is essential for delivering results for women and girls” and substantiates this through reference to AWID’s research: “Women’s organizations and non-governmental organizations considerably contribute to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment. Increased funding for women’s organizations has been recognized as an essential measure for sustaining a vibrant women’s movement.

Research carried out by the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) points to a number of positive changes, as well new and persistent challenges, including that for many women’s organizations with relatively small budgets and limited access to international funders, available funding remains limited and at times inaccessible.”
(Issues Paper of Review Panel, pages 3-5, Feb 6, 2012)

In collaboration with the Central American Women’s Fund, we successfully supported the finalization of the first grant making round of FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund and ensured the participation of most FRIDA grantees to the 2012 Forum. Innovation generated with the creation of FRIDA has already shown very positive results, both in terms of making resources available to groups that have limited or no access to such funding, but are doing crucial work; as well as a tools to build capacity and mobilize resources and support young feminist organizing around the world. Since its launch in late 2011, FRIDA has managed to mobilize a total of USD 988,000.

On FRIDA 1st year report: “The list of the first grantees is fantastic -- I feel like I'm getting a glimpse of the future of the global women's movement when I read what they are working on! It is truly inspirational to hear about these groups getting off the ground and working in sometimes difficult contexts with creativity and courage.”
-Katrin Wilde, USA. Director, Channel Foundation, FRIDA donor.

"In my opinion, FRIDA has been a very active donor, and I really, really appreciate that, because it means that you understand that we have this big circle, and for us to get in, it’s so hard. You all have allowed us with an opening to get in, not only with money, but with capacity building and networking and by just an email to introduce us to other organizations, that means a lot, because that means that we could extend our alliances for years and that’s something that I believe in and something that I’m really appreciative of.”
- Shanique Campbell, I’m Glad I’m A Girl, Jamaica

“With support from FRIDA the group could operate and implement its activities, has become more experienced and can be considered reliable for other potential donor organizations. This gave our group the confidence to establish new contacts with other local and international organizations and apply for financial support.”
- Marianna Gasparyan, Program Coordinator, Equal Rights, Armenia