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Women’s Rights Program

The Women’s Rights Program invests in social movements that advance the power of women, LGBTQI, and gender nonconforming people to have voice and agency in all aspects of their lives.

The Women’s Rights Program recognizes that, in countries throughout the world, open and democratic societies are simply unachievable if structural gender bias excludes a majority of the world’s population.

We use grants and advocacy to challenge dominant gender narratives and counter structures of discrimination. In particular, we seek to identify and share best practices, support innovation, develop the next generation of leaders, and ensure that people at the margins are able to lead. As a relatively small but global program, we work collaboratively with other Open Society programs, foundations, and offices to incorporate gender issues into their strategies and activities.

We work in the following thematic areas:

  • sustaining and strengthening organizations led by women and gender nonconforming individuals, including LGBTQI and women’s funds that advance and defend human rights
  • investing in feminist alternatives to the current economic system, with a particular focus on the 21st century’s care economy
  • supporting cutting-edge work in reproductive justice that counters coercion; ensuring access to safe and legal abortion; and resisting surveillance, criminalization, and the punishment of sexuality

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