Violence against girls and women is one of the most devastating human rights violations, affecting one-third of women globally. COVID-19 is exacerbating this global crisis. 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 during the pandemic. 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.
In partnership with the Spotlight Initiative, and as part of a commitment made during the Generation Equality Forum, the UN Foundation has established a funding vehicle – the WithHer Fund – to provide flexible funds to local, high-impact, frontline, grassroots women’s rights organizations who have been tackling gender-based violence (GBV)—particularly violence against women and girls (VAWG)—in their communities, especially as they navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 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 have selected the following first cohort of Fund grantees based on a criteria and track record of GBV and VAWG work, grassroots women’s and feminist leadership, regional diversity, urgency of resourcing needs, and those experiencing 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. This process will enable them to access information so that they can make autonomous decisions about their lives. Their work includes violence prevention in the Deaf community and promoting access to sexual and reproductive health. Learn More >>
The WithHer Fund supports Sordas sin Violencia’s core organizational costs, including salaries/honorariums to facilitators, intercultural mediators, gender-based violence specialists, and sign language interpreters to strengthen outreach programs.
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 cost. In addition, Haven House provides women referrals to counseling, assists them in job preparation, and provides them a safe space until a transitional living space free of violence is arranged. Learn More >>
The WithHer Fund supports Haven House by increasing the capacity of the shelter’s resources to provide a wider range of protection and support services to women at risk of violence, including covering core operational and maintenance expenses of the shelter.
Founded in 1990, CEMUJER is a feminist human rights institution that contributes to the development of strategies and spaces for consultation and discussion to promote joint actions aimed at strengthening the rule of law and access to justice for women.
CEMUJER seeks to offer proposals and integral and viable alternatives to the situation of discrimination and violence that women face in various areas of their lives. In doing so, CEMUJER advocates for laws that protect women, engages public officials and NGOs, diagnoses and analyzes the condition and position of women, uses media campaigns to raise awareness, develops educational materials, and provides psychological, medical, and legal advice to women and children who are victims of violence. Learn More >>
The WithHer Fund supports CEMUJER’s core organizational costs, which includes purchasing new accounting software, hiring an administration and financial specialist, and staff training in organizational management/administration in an effort to strengthen CEMUJER’s organizational capacity.
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 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 WASH. Learn More >>
The WithHer Fund supports FOCESEs’s programmatic effort toward eliminating gender-based violence through sexual and reproductive health education and community engagement for girls and young women in Malawi. In addition, the Fund supports their core organizational costs such as office expenses, travel, and personnel.
Founded in 1998, ONG Tagnè works in the field of reproductive health, GBV and harmful practices (female genital mutilation and forced/early marriage). Tagnè is a member of the Malian Network to Combat Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). It pursues the following objectives: improve the health status of women and children, promote the socio-economic development of women, educate for the elimination of FGM practices, raise awareness on family planning practices, fight against HIV/AIDS, defend the rights of women and children, support malnourished children. Learn More >>
The WithHer Fund supports ONG Tagnè’s core organizational costs, including repairing vehicles, buying printers, updating administrative and financial manuals, and providing per diems to training participants. In addition, the Fund supports ONG Tagnè’s programmatic work towards promoting gender-equitable norms, attitudes, and behaviors, including prevention and response for increased risks to gender-based violence in the COVID-19 context.
Founded in 2016, the NiNa program provides life skills, financial literacy, entrepreneurial skills, and tools to build self-value in young women within the state care system. 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. The Program also has strengthened its transition program for the young ladies who have to leave the state care at the age of 18 to successfully reintegrate them back into mainstream society. Learn More >>
The WithHer Fund supports the NiNa program with resources to strengthen the transition program through increased access to therapy, providing temporary shelter for girls in transition, updating their G.I.R.L.S app with new informational features that support the girls in transition, and increased visibility of the program.
Please donate to the WithHer Fund and help us fund the grassroots to continue their important work tackling gender-based violence while navigating COVID-19 recovery. We appreciate your partnership in this essential effort!
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.
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.
Seed funding for the first cohort of the WithHer Fund was made possible with initial support from the UN Foundation, as well as from The Estée Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation and the H&M Foundation to advance the UN Foundation’s core gender equality work. The UN Foundation will continue resource mobilization to the WithHer Fund with individual philanthropists, corporate foundations, private sector companies, the general public, and other potential donors.