Location: Oakland, CA, USA
Grant Work: Asia, Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Eastern Europe, North America
Channel Focus Areas: Ending Violence Against Women and Protecting Women Human Rights Defenders, Strengthening the Women’s Funding Movement
Watch: Urgent Action Fund YouTube; Urgent Action Fund Vimeo
Urgent Action Fund for Feminist Activism (UAF, formerly known as Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights) partners with women’s movements worldwide to support women’s human rights defenders striving to create cultures of justice, equality and peace. UAF is a global women’s fund that protects, strengthens and sustains women and transgender human rights defenders at critical moments. UAF intervenes quickly when activists are poised to make great gains or face serious threats to their lives and work. UAF uses online, text and mobile funding applications to respond to requests from women’s human rights defenders within 72 hours and have funds on the ground within 1-7 days.
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2021-24: Channel made a three year general operating grant to Urgent Action Fund (UAF, formerly known as Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights), to continue supporting their work partnering with women’s movements worldwide to support women’s human rights defenders striving to create cultures of justice, equality and peace.
In addition to making rapid security and protection grants and rapid advocacy and opportunity grants to support the resiliency of women human rights and gender non-conforming defenders, UAF continues to connect and bridge grassroots feminist movements, global philanthropy, and the international human rights community, developing partnerships and alliances that increase the accessibility of resources, protection mechanisms, and advocacy platforms to feminist activists.
2020: Channel made a general operating support grant to UAF for its ongoing work promoting women’s and LBTQI human rights defenders in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region via rapid response grantmaking, outreach, convenings and trainings.
2017-2019: Channel made a two year grant to UAF to support and help promote women’s and LBTQI human rights defenders in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region via rapid response grantmaking, outreach, regional convenings and trainings.
2010–16: Channel made annual grants to UAF to support grassroots women’s groups working for peace, justice and women’s human rights in Asia via their Rapid Response Grantmaking program. The grants also helped support and strengthen UAF’s regional advisory network in Asia which eventually led to the creation of UAF Asia & Pacific whose launch Channel has supported.
2008: Channel made a grant to UAF to support the integrated and comprehensive implementation of the next phase of the Sustaining Activism Initiative and also made a grant to support UAF’s Rapid Response Grantmaking in Afghanistan and Iraq.
2007: Channel made a grant to continue supporting UAF’s action research project Protecting and Sustaining Activism of Women Human Rights Defenders.
2006: Channel made a grant to the Urgent Action Fund to support an action research project on Sustaining Activism of Women Human Rights Defenders and also made a grant to support UAF’s Rapid Response Grantmaking in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Two books about UAF’s Sustaining Activism Initiative, “What’s the Point of Revolution if We Can’t Dance?” (2007) by Jane Barry with Jelena Dordevic, and “Insiste, Persiste, Resiste, Existe: Women’s Human Rights Defenders’ Security Strategies (Resiste)” (2008) by Jane Barry and Vahida Nainar, are available on UAF’s website in multiple languages.
Resiste is a tool that improves activists’ own ability to proactively mitigate threats, and that helps the funding community to understand ‘security’ from the vantage point of women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in the field. Resiste is the product of a joint partnership between UAF, another Channel grantee partner Front Line Defenders, and Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation.
In December 2017 Charity Navigator highlighted the work of the most effective organizations focusing on human rights. Urgent Action Fund was listed as one of four top-rated charities in the human rights sectors, alongside the Equal Justice Initiative, American Civil Liberties Union, and Human Rights Watch. This recognition came with a four-star rating, emphasizing UAF’s strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency.
UAF is also included in Charity Navigator’s curated list of highly-rated charities working to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UAF is listed under Goal 5, which aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.