We work to make sure that both new and established feminist groups in the MENA region have access to more and better funding to continue and develop their work, articulate their own priorities and produce local knowledge.
Feminists groups in the MENA region are courageously leading the fight to advance the rights of women & LGBTQ+ groups and to ensure that they are able to lead safe, healthy and happy lives. They are harnessing their power to create feminist and just realities and to make sure that their independent voices are heard loud and clear, despite being the targets of social and political backlash. However, as a fund created by and for the feminists of the region, we know that feminist groups in the MENA region - especially nascent ones - face hardship when it comes to securing funding for their important work. These groups have the best in-depth knowledge of their contexts and the closest connections to women and LGBTQ+ groups in their communities, but they often fall through the cracks of international funding and are forced to stop their work due to the lack of resources.
New feminist groups with fresh ideas are appearing in the region every day; they are asking new questions, engaging with new tools, and challenging older paradigms of feminist activism in the region to advance the rights of women & LGBTQ+ groups. These groups are often bold and generate dynamics that constantly come forth with new solutions and concepts to create and catalyze change for women and LGBTQ+ groups in their communities. Yet, they are consistently underfunded, due to several challenges including language gaps, poor IT connectivity, lack of familiarity with verbiage used in proposal writing, no bank accounts, difficult reporting requirements, minimal to no personal connections with donors and limited availability of funds that support movement building rather than activities.
Established feminist groups in the region are struggling to continue their work and to expand its scope given the constraining and controlling contexts in which they operate, in addition to the lack of funds necessary to support their work. Moreover, knowledge is often produced “on” the region’s feminist movement with activists being seen as surrogates of local knowledge/information, but rarely are the local feminists and engaged scholars working to catalyze change in their countries able to produce knowledge about their own work or create their own narratives.
We work to make sure that these groups have access to more and better funding to continue and develop their work, articulate their own priorities and produce local knowledge through our 3 grantmaking programs:
As part of our holistic approach to supporting the feminist movement in the region and ensuring that they have access to the tools they need to develop and sustain their work, we tailored an Accompaniment program to offer our grantee-partners opportunities to build networks, develop skills and fund management capacity, create alliances and exchange knowledge with fellow feminist groups in the region.