Open Society Foundations Commit $100 Million to Support Feminist Political Mobilization and Leadership
NEW YORK—The Open Society Foundations will invest more than $100 million over the next five years in strengthening a range of feminist-led movements and increasing their leadership across a broad range of sectors, from politics and the private sector to civil society and government.
The majority of the funding will help strengthen feminist organizations and funds around the world. Open Society is focused on growing transformative feminist political leadership through explicit investments in initiatives that support more women, transgender, and gender non-conforming people in positions of leadership in politics and governance. This includes support for expanding progressive multilateralism and feminist leadership in peace and security.
The investments will also boost efforts to ensure that women, girls, transgender, and gender non-conforming communities can make their own decisions about issues affecting their bodies and reproductive health care.
“Increased feminist leadership in all areas of public life is needed to ensure we build inclusive, peaceful, and open societies. That is why we are proud to announce a $100 million commitment to help expand such opportunities,” said Mark Malloch-Brown, president of the Open Society Foundations. “Philanthropy sits in a unique position to create a basis for women and girls to take on leadership responsibilities and mobilize their communities for progressive political change.”
Open Society will invest across several gender justice initiatives, including:
- Developing and sustaining transformative feminist leaders in politics and governance, with a focus on leaders of minority identities
- Strengthening feminist movements globally, particularly to combat rising authoritarianism
- Strengthening feminist leadership in peace and security, with a priority on women under threat of political conflict, such as in Afghanistan
- Improving access, rights, resources, and agency to make decisions about bodies and reproductive health care
- Advancing economic justice and rights for women across the board by supporting their rights as workers and providers of care
- Reshaping digital platforms to stop the targeted harassment of feminist activism online
Open Society announced the funding at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris. The forum is a global gathering for gender equality convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France, in partnership with youth and civil society. Open Society serves as the lead philanthropic actor of the Action Coalition on Feminist Movements and Leadership, which aims to strengthen women’s rights, voice, and agency across the globe.
“From the challenges brought by COVID-19 to women and girls in the United States, to the changing peace and security circumstances in several countries, to the new opportunities in Chile and Argentina, and the new generation of emerging leaders in the African continent—we are experiencing unprecedented developments around the world,” said Kavita N. Ramdas, director of the Open Society Women’s Rights Program. “Open Society’s groundbreaking $100 million investment in feminist organizing and leadership will help ensure that more women, girls, transgender, and gender non-conforming people are able to fully engage and participate in the decision-making that affects their lives—from their homes and schools, to their workplaces and communities, to shaping constitutions and governments.”
Inside Open Society
Striving to Safeguard Democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean
Growing up under a dictatorship in Brazil, Pedro Abramovay learned the value of democracy—and the cost of fighting to preserve it. Here’s how Open Society fights for rights, justice, and equality in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Tackling a “Shadow Pandemic” of Gender-Based Violence
Gender-based violence spiked globally during the pandemic. In the Middle East and North Africa, feminist groups stepped up to aid women under threat.
Q&A: A Step Toward Justice for Roma Women
In November, the Slovak Republic formally apologized to Roma women for a program of forced sterilizations that stretched out for decades. How a Slovak human rights group helped hold the government accountable.