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November 1, 2011 / charityprofiles

Investing in Women’s Rights: The Global Fund for Women

In many countries around the world, women and men are given equal rights.  However, there are still some who view women as commodities, especially in developing countries. Abuse and unequal opportunities are just some of the issues women have to endure every day. What leverage do they have over tradition, culture and religion?

Since 1987, the Global Fund for Women (GFW) has been trying to cure the world of this mindset. The organization was established by three extraordinary women who were convinced that the advancement of women’s rights were the key to global changes. Anne Firth Murray, Frances Kissling and Laura Lederer were the first contributors to equality and social justice from the Global Fund for Women. From three members, the GFW built a network of catalysts located all over the world.

Since 1987, GFW has collected nearly $85 million dollars from 20,000 individuals to provide grants to women’s organizations in over 171 countries. Its success stories show how women can become a force to be reckoned with. Through GFW’s funding, women’s groups in Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, North Africa, Europe, Asia, Oceania, the Americas and                 United States became more equipped in defending their rights and securing their place in the society.

Some of GFW’s successes include basic labor protection to millions of women employed as domestic helpers. In 2010, the UN General Assembly of UN Women was also created – the result of a four-year struggle by the GFW and other women’s groups. In the Philippines, women also won a historic legal battle with the use of CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) to appeal a rape case.

With their pledge to protect women’s economic security, health, education and leadership, the Global Fund for Women is one of the pillars in the advancement of women’s human rights globally.


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