The Global Fund for Women (GFW) is a global champion for the human rights of women and girls. They use their powerful networks to find, fund, and amplify the courageous work of women who are building social movements and challenging the status quo. By shining a spotlight on critical issues, they rally communities of advocates who take action and invest money to empower women.
2012-2018: Channel has made annual grants to The Global Fund for Women (GFW) to support women-led initiatives to advance women’s human rights in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by grant making to women’s groups, capacity building, technical assistance, and through convenings and advocacy.
In the coming year, funds will also be used to support GFW’s Syrian Women’s Leadership initiative whereby they support Syrian women’s groups inside and outside the country via grants and convenings. GFW support will provide Syrian women with the resources and safe spaces they need to mobilize for their rights, both inside Syria and more broadly in the MENA region.
2010 & 2011: Channel supported GFW’s Women Dismantling Militarism Initiative which brought increased attention and resources to women’s groups fighting the effects of militarism around the globe.
2010: Channel supported women’s groups in Haiti engaged in rebuilding their organizations, movements, and country after the January 2010 earthquake through GFW’s Haiti Crisis Fund.
2004 –2009: Channel supported the GFW MENA Field of Interest Fund which provided grants to women’s groups in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region, developed an advisory network there and placed a Middle East activist-in-residence at GFW.
2008: Channel made a grant to the Women’s Media & Technology Fund of the Global Fund for Women in order to support their grants to women-led organizations using media strategies to advance women’s rights.
2005: Channel supported post-tsunami recovery for GFW’s NGO partners in Asia.
2002 & 2003: Channel provided support for GFW’s Donor Circle, Keeping the Faith: Women’s Rights and Traditional Practices, which focused on women’s rights in the context of their religious and cultural traditions. Lectures, readings, documentaries and discussions concentrated heavily on the rights and status of women in Islamic societies of the MENA region, and laid the groundwork for GFW’s 2005 MENA outreach trip to meet with women’s organizations doing rights-based work in nine countries.
2000: Channel supported GFW’s Economic Opportunity Initiative to support women’s groups in various regions around the globe employing poverty alleviation strategies, including business and financial training, organizing for labor rights, creation of lending cooperatives, and girls’ education.
A group of independent experts ranked GFW as the top rated organization working in the field of ending violence against women internationally on Philanthropedia, a division of Guidestar.
In addition to grants, GFW convenes and collaborates. For example, in March 2008, GFW convened a meeting with the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) in Marrakech, Morocco on mobilizing resources for women’s rights work in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The conference explored key challenges in relation to movement building faced by young women in the region and assisted them to gain new skills in resource mobilization. In addition, the conference built networks and opportunities for collaboration between diverse women’s organizations across the region.
After the conference, Channel accompanied GFW and other donors on site visits to several grantees including the Association El Amane pour le Developpement de la Femme which took the delegation to a training on women’s rights in a village outside Marrakech. Most of the women in the village were illiterate and the village had no school. The trainers brought together an inter-generational group of women once a week to discuss various topics about women’s lives. This discussion concerned the age of marriage and free choice in marriage, topics of vital concern in Morocco. Women’s rights groups succeeded in getting the Family Code Law (Moudawana) changed in 2004 and yet the challenge remains to make women aware of these changes and about how to claim their rights.
Based on GFW’s research and long experience in supporting women’s rights movements globally, they also continue to innovate approaches to resourcing and strengthening effective women rights movements. Starting in 2017, GFW piloted a Movement Capacity Assessment Tool designed to help movement actors to collectively assess the capacity of their movement, to spark discussion on how to address challenges and to plan next steps. GFW describes the Tool in an introductory video, available in five languages and details some of their learnings from piloting the tool in the context of five national movements and one regional movement.