The founder of the Doria Fund for Women, Mozn Hassan, had established an independent feminist organisation in Egypt called Nazra for Feminist Studies. Over the years, Nazra contributed extensively to shaping and broadening the feminist discourse in the region essentially through indigenous local research and knowledge production as well as mentoring new and nascent feminist organisations who were created organically in remote parts of Egypt as women and girls got together to address various forms of discrimination and oppression they faced on a day to day level. Thus, the idea of the Doria Feminist Fund was born as a way to reach out to feminist activists who may not fit the description of the suave and well-connected feminists in the region. With the increasing difficulties that these groups were facing in accessing resources to sustain their work, the idea of Doria materialized further to encompass the MENA region. Around that same period, Nazra and Mozn received the RLA award and the decision was made to allocate the totality of this award for the creation of the Doria Feminist Fund.

The shaping and construction of the Doria Feminist Fund was guided and informed by a number of researches and studies conducted on existing women’s funds, their criteria, availability for the region and their accessibility. Furthermore, intensive and in-depth discussions and consultations were conducted with key feminists activists, regionally and globally, sister feminist funds and feminist groups to discuss the timing, relevance and strategic direction of Doria.

The above participatory and learning-oriented process has helped shape the Doria Feminist Fund as a homegrown fund which combines the key objectives of small grant-making, coaching and mentoring as well knowledge dissemination