Violence against girls and women is one of the most devastating and persistent human rights violations, affecting one-third of women globally. At the same time, critical and historically under-resourced frontline women’s groups and responders are facing challenges as funding gets diverted to other crises. To end violence against girls and women, it is essential that funds be directed to the experts: women’s organizations and grassroots groups. Mobilizing support to these organizations is urgent.
The United Nations Foundation, in partnership with the Spotlight Initiative, and as part of a commitment made during the Generation Equality Forum, has established a funding vehicle—the WithHer Fund—to provide flexible funds to local, high-impact, frontline, grassroots women’s rights organizations that have been tackling gender-based violence (GBV)—particularly violence against women and girls (VAWG)—in their communities. The Fund operates under feminist grantmaking principles based on flexibility, trust, and transparency throughout the grant period.
For more information about the WithHer Fund, please see our FAQ below.
The UN Foundation and Spotlight Initiative selected the first cohort of Fund grantees based on their track record of GBV and VAWG work, grassroots women’s and feminist leadership, regional diversity, urgency of resourcing needs, and their experience of historic barriers in accessing funding of this kind.
Founded in 2016 and housed at Enlaces Territoriales, a non-profit organization in Argentina focused on gender equity and human rights, Sordas sin Violencia (Deaf Women Without Violence Programme) is the only initiative in Argentina that exclusively works on providing accessible information and support to deaf and hard-of-hearing women and their children who are experiencing violence and discrimination. With support from the WithHer Fund, Sordas sin Violencia has covered core organizational costs, including salaries/honorariums for facilitators, intercultural mediators, gender-based violence specialists, and sign language interpreters, effectively strengthening and expanding their outreach programs across the country. Their work includes violence prevention in the Deaf community and promoting access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. Learn More >>
Established in 1993, Haven House is the only shelter in Belize City providing temporary relief for women and their children experiencing domestic violence. While at the shelter, all basic needs are met free of charge. In addition, Haven House provides women referrals to counseling, assists them in job application preparation, and provides them a safe space until a transitional living space free of violence is arranged. With support from the WithHer Fund, Haven House has covered core operational and maintenance costs for the shelter, including groceries, emergency financial assistance for participants, and the construction of a new driveway and fence for increased security and anonymity. Learn More >>
Founded in 1990, CEMUJER is a feminist human rights institution that engages in advocacy and offers information and services to help women address the discrimination and violence they face in various areas of their lives. CEMUJER advocates for laws that protect women, engages public officials and NGOs, develops educational materials, and provides psychological, medical, and legal advice to women and children who are victims of violence.
Support from the WithHer Fund has enabled CEMUJER to cover core expenses to strengthen their operations and capacity, expenses including purchasing new accounting software, hiring an administrative and financial specialist, and providing staff training in organizational/administrative management. CEMUJER advocates to end femicide and GBV by planning, organizing, and executing awareness-raising and government accountability campaigns in public squares and spaces, while meeting the needs of women and their families, by forming family and community support networks for survivors of violence. Learn More >>
Founded in 2012 by young women who are survivors of child marriage, teen motherhood, and HIV, FOCESE works to ensure young people in Malawi, particularly adolescent girls and young women are active participants and informed decision-makers of their own lives. FOCESE focuses its work on advocacy around sexual and reproductive health and rights (including HIV/AIDS and safe abortion), sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), girls’ education, young women’s economic empowerment, youth participation and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
The WithHer Fund supports FOCESE’s programs, including dance, sports and drama programs which engage adolescent girls and their communities in discussions about reproductive health and rights, and FOCESE’s mobile HIV testing and family planning services. The Fund also supports their core organizational costs such as personnel salaries, office expenses, and travel. Learn More >>
Founded in 1998, ONG Tagnè works in the field of reproductive health, GBV and harmful practices (female genital mutilation and forced/early marriage), and is a member of the Malian Network to Combat Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). ONG Tagnè is dedicated to improving the health status of women and children, promoting women’s socio-economic rights, eliminating FGM practices, raising awareness of family planning practices and methods, supporting people living with HIV/AIDS and defending the rights of women and children.
With support from the WithHer Fund, ONG Tagnè has repaired vehicles, enhancing their ability to reach rural communities, bought printers, updated administrative and financial manuals, and provided per diems to training participants, including mothers and grandmothers. In addition, the Fund supports ONG Tagnè’s programs to establish and strengthen gender-equitable norms, attitudes, and behaviors. By supporting ONG Tagnè to cover its core organizational expenses, the WithHer Fund is helping to strengthen the organization’s capacity and sustainability. Learn More >>
Founded in 2016, the NiNa program welcomes young women transitioning from the state care system into spaces for healing and growth through yoga, meditation, and workshops on financial literacy and entrepreneurship. For the past few years, the NiNa program has worked with girls from the St. Jude’s Home for Girls to help them develop coping skills to manage their past sexual abuse and emotional trauma and develop entrepreneurial skills so they can be independent.
With support from the WithHer Fund, the NiNa program has strengthened the transition program with increased access to therapy services, provision of temporary shelter, and updates to the G.I.R.L.S support app (a space for connection, sharing positive coping mechanisms and survival stories). They have also developed materials and events to increase the visibility of the program among girls and potential supporters. Learn More >>
The WithHer Fund, a partnership between the UN Foundation and the Spotlight Initiative, aims to equip small, high-impact grassroots women’s organizations on the frontlines of ending gender-based violence (GBV) and violence against women and girls (VAWG) with the resources they need to continue their critical work.
Smaller grassroots and local women’s organizations at the frontlines of GBV face challenges to accessing funds due to large grant sizes, extensive reporting requirements, and the resource-heavy grant application procedures of traditional donors. The WithHer Fund aims to support smaller organizations through a feminist grantmaking approach, which include a collaborative and partnership-oriented model of core grantmaking based on unrestricted funding, flexibility, and trust throughout the entire grant process. The Fund also aims to complement existing women’s funds by raising money from new or untapped sources, such as private sector entities.
The WithHer Fund was made possible with initial support from the UN Foundation, The Estée Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation and the H&M Foundation. In 2022, Liberty Latin America and Target Foundation joined as partners in support of the WithHer Fund.
This Fund is designed to strengthen the organization’s capacity by supporting their core operational needs (ex. rent, salaries, administration etc.) as well as any programmatic work related to VAWG. Thus, the grantees have the flexibility to apply the grant fund towards their needs as they see fit.
The grantees selected by the WithHer Fund for the pilot phase of the project were recommended by the Spotlight Initiative. Currently, the Fund is not accepting applications. We will update this section of the webpage if this changes.
Funds raised through the WithHer Fund are equitably distributed across its grantees.
Yes. Our aim to secure additional funding and expand to more countries and with different marginalized group focuses.