Report Released on Supporting Women Environmental Defenders

Global Greengrants Fund, a former Channel grantee partner, in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA) and Strengthening Accountability in the Global Economy (SAGE) Fund released a new report on Oct. 24, 2023 called “Women on the Frontlines of Extractivism: How funders can support women environmental defenders”.

The report, supported by the Ford Foundation through the “Resilient Women and Natural Resources Initiative”, draws on and synthesizes research conducting by the three organizations. GAGGA conducted a study in 2021 to “find out how women and girl environmental defender (WGED) collectives, organizations and groups worldwide define structural violence; what kinds of structural violence they are facing in their contexts; and what they strategies are to prevent and respond to it.” The study focused on 182 WGED-led groups in various locations including Asia, Africa, and Latin America as well as interviews and surveys with WGEDs in GAGGA’s network. Global Greengrants conducted analysis of grants awarded by foundations “at the nexus of the environment, women, and gender-based violence” and collected information through interviews with individuals at philanthropic institutions. SAGE conducted almost 100 interviews with women defenders and social movement leaders in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Through this analysis, the report aims “to expose how natural resource extraction both fuels and reinforces structural violence, with particular attention to the impacts on women and girls.” One finding states that funding to address gender-based violence against WGEDs represents only 0.05% of total funding for the environment. Additionally, the report highlights the gaps in addressing this issue, particularly the lack of understanding of how problems such as climate change and gender-based violence intersect.

To address these issues, the report provides five recommendations for addressing this gap. These recommendations include:

  1. Creating learning opportunities to expand knowledge on extractivism and supporting women
  2. Funding women-led groups and strategies addressing extractivism
  3. Incorporating a holistic security approach to grantmaking
  4. Learning from and collaborating with intermediary funders to eliminate barriers to funding
  5. Recognizing that systemic problems require systemic solutions