Founded by three women in 1987, the Global Fund for Women focuses its efforts on providing funding for women in developing countries and on supporting human rights for women. They believe that “investing in women is the single most effective antidote to the world’s pressing problems: war, poverty, disease. Women play a special role in society by contributing not only to family wellbeing, but to community wellbeing as a whole.”
From the Global Fund site, here are some of the ways that contributing to women, contributes to society:
- A World Bank study in Bangladesh showed that when women started small businesses to increase their income, they spent the money on improving the welfare of the family, including education for both girls and boys.
- A study by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) shows that increases in women’s education make the greatest contribution to reducing the rate of child malnutrition.
- The UNFPA has also found that women’s empowerment and girls’ education are the single most effective strategies for reducing population growth.
- According to the United Nations, economies in the developing world grow by three percent for every 10 percent increase in the number of women who receive secondary schooling.
One of Global Fund’s major program areas, there are six (health & sexual rights, peace & gender violence, economic & environmental, civic & political participation, access to education, and social change philanthropy), is to end violence and gender-based violence against women. Global Fund’s goals are to pull out violence at the root. They “look at the root causes and factors that promote a culture of violence in our societies. As such, building peace does not only mean the absence of violence, but ensuring just solutions to the world’s inequalities, the end of gender-based violence, and women and girls’ entitlement to all their human rights.”
The following are ways grantees have used funding to build peace:
Mitigate Physical Violence In Conflict, Wars And In Times Of Unrest
- Diminish, prevent, treat and address the impact of wars, conflicts and sociopolitical unrest on women’s bodies and psychological well being, including bringing perpetrators to justice in local, national and international courts.
Address Human Rights Violations
- Monitor and document human rights violations and disseminate information to advocate for an end to impunity
- Provide human rights awareness-raising, legal aid in redressing violations and training human rights monitors
Engage In Conflict Resolution
- Work on ending conflicts in peaceful ways, particularly addressing structural inequalities, conducting peace education, and promoting a culture of peace.
Participate In Peace Negotiations And Processes
- Initiate, sustain and enforce peace agreements between warring factions/countries, including integrating war tribunals and local justice mechanisms.
Reconstruct Post Conflict Society And Rebuild The State
- Rebuild social and state fabric in post-conflict contexts, including participation in legal reform, government rebuilding and reconciliation dialogues.
Lead Disarmament Campaigns, Including The Sale Of Small Weapons
- Work at the community level to reduce support for weapons and use of force
- Work at the international level to hold governments accountable in regulating small arms flows and implementing disarmament policies
De-Militarize National, State And Local Budgets
- Link the advancement of women’s rights to decrease in defense/military budgets, and decreased investments in the military industrial complex.
Enable Implementation Of International Treaties And Conduct Campaigns
- Advocating for implementation of UN security resolutions related to women’s peace and security, including 1325 and 1820
- Support international campaigns addressing landmine, cluster bombs, and other unlawful weapons.
- Utilize other international mechanisms such as the International Criminal Court to prosecute
Because women are so often the key to family structure, their community and family are most likely to follow their lead. “Women play a special role both within a family structure and in their communities. When women are educated, their children are more likely to attend school. When women increase their income, they are more likely than men to reinvest this money into their family’s wellbeing. When women are given a voice in society, they are more likely than men to speak up on behalf of their family’s needs.” (quoted text from Global Fund for Women by Kristen deRoo Vanderberg)
And so it follows that providing organizations that support women’s human rights with funding will fundamentally change things for everyone.
Learn more about Global Fund for Women
Quoted text and bullet points from Global Fund for Women’s Web site.