Seven grants for feminist activists, human rights defenders and women journalists

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We found seven funds supporting individuals and organizations that struggle for gender justice around the world. For activists, young leaders, academic researchers and journalists. Check it out!


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Global Fund for Women’s primary goal is to get resources to organizations led by women, girls, and trans people. Fund supports organizations led by historically marginalized groups who are working to build strong, connected movements for gender equality and human rights. Funders trust women, girls, and trans people to know how best to solve the problems in their communities. Funders’ goal is to provide resources that strengthen the agency, participation, and power of local organizations working directly in their communities.


Global Fund for Women provides flexible, core-support grants for operating and program expenses, give multi-year grants as often as possible, and offer travel and event organizing grants to support knowledge-exchanges and convenings. Global Fund for Women also provides immediate support to organizations who are first responders in times of natural and human-made crises.


Please note that your group MUST meet all the following criteria to be eligible for a grant:

•    Be based in a country outside the United States. Funders do not fund US-based organizations.
•    Have a primary focus on advancing women’s equality and human rights, with these goals clearly reflected in its activities. Please note that groups whose sole purpose is to generate income or to provide charity to individuals are not eligible.
•    Be a group of women, girls, or trans people working together. Funders do not accept requests from individuals and do not fund projects proposed by or for the benefit of individuals (including scholarships).
•    Be governed, directed, and led by women, girls, or trans people, that is they must fill all or most of the leadership roles throughout the various decision-making levels of the group (including but not limited to the most senior decision-making levels).
•    Groups do not need to be registered non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to qualify for funding.


Application process is now online. Fund does not accept proposals sent by email. Application forms are available on Global Fund for Women site in five languages: Arabic, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.


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Urgent Action Fund’s Rapid Response Grants resource the resilience of human rights and gender justice movements by supporting the security and advocacy interventions of activists when a swift response is needed. Specifically, Rapid Response Grants offer quick, flexible funding to respond to security threats or unexpected advocacy opportunities experienced by women, transgender, or gender non-conforming, activists and human rights defenders.


Applicants for security grants can request up to $8000 USD for immediate needs (for use within 3 months).

Applicants for opportunity grants can request up to $8000 USD for activities that will be carried out within the next 6 months.


Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights accepts applications for support from countries in the Middle East, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, the South Caucuses, and from the following countries: Canada, Turkey, United States, and Russia.

If you are based in the Middle East, Eastern or Western Europe, the South Caucuses, Canada, Turkey, the United States, or Russia, please apply to Urgent Action Fund office. 


Urgent Action Fund accepts applications in any language using online, text and mobile funding applications 365 days of the year. The Fund responds to applications within 24 hours of submission. Decisions are usually made within 1-10 business days. (Translation needs may increase the time to decision.) Once a grant is approved, funds can be wired within 24 hours to 10 business days, depending on need.

For more information and to apply, please visit Urgent Action Fund website


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FRIDA provides young leaders – women, girls and trans* youth who are creating the change the world needs – with the resources they need to amplify their voices and bring attention to their work, and the support, flexibility and network to keep their vision and influence alive. 


You can apply for a grant up to $5,000 USD. Grant money is flexible, it can be used over a period of 12 months for general support and/or projects, and are open to renewal.

FRIDA grants are given to organizations and groups that are dedicated to:
•    Improving the lives of young women/trans* and intersex youth at local, national, regional or international levels
•    Inclusive organizing
•    Collective action and feminist movement building


Grantee organizations that FRIDA supports are led by young women and/or trans* and intersex* youth, under the age of 30. At least 70% of your organization’s membership needs to be people under 30 and the leadership in the group needs to be young women and/or trans* and intersex youth under 30.

You do not need to be a legally registered organization to apply.

Priority will be given to:
•    Small, emerging grassroots groups with little or no access to funding from larger donors
•    Groups, networks, or collectives based in Sub Saharan Africa, South, Southeast, East Asia and the Pacific, The Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Central, Southern, Eastern Europe and Central and North Asia)
•    Groups located in remote, underserved areas
•    Groups that are made up of and/or working with socially excluded and disadvantaged young women, trans* and intersex youth, especially: refugees, ethnic, national and caste minorities, rural women, urban disadvantaged, lesbian, bisexual, trans*, women and trans* living with HIV and AIDS, sex workers, women and trans* with disabilities, women and trans* living or working in armed conflicts and post conflict zones, women and trans lead unions, groups working on climate justice, land rights
•    Groups using creative and innovative strategies to further their activism (including art, music, culture, poetry, social media, feminist activist driven research etc.)


FRIDA receives applications online for general grants every year for a period of 4 to 6 weeks. You can apply in any ONE of the following languages: Arabic, English, French, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese OR Mandarin. Don't forget to subscribe to FRIDA’s newsletter or social networks for latest updates on FRIDA's grant cycle!


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Mama Cash supports women, girls, trans people and intersex people who fight for their rights. Activists who tirelessly and fearlessly make their voices heard. Who criticize oppressive or restrictive norms and practices, and lobby for fair laws. Who demand their political and economic rights, and insist on bodily autonomy.


•    Mama Cash offers core support grants, which can also include support for specific programs, projects, or initiatives.
•    Mama Cash gives both single-year and multi-year grants. Each multi-year grant period runs for a maximum of two years. 
•    Mama Cash’s grant size ranges from €5.000 to €50.000 per year. Average grant size is between €20.000 and €30.000 per year.
•    Mama Cash is open to supporting informal, unregistered groups of activists, or networks, or coalitions of organizations.


Mama Cash gives grants to over 130 forward-thinking initiatives led by women, girls, trans people and intersex people around the world annually.


In early 2019, Mama Cash will share the dates for our next application window.
For more information, please check out Mama Cash webpage


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International Women’s Media Foundation works to unleash the power of female journalists to transform the global news media. Approximately $230,000 will be dispersed each year. Grant sizes will depend on the proposal and the inclusion of a detailed budget.


Applicants may apply for one of two different types of funding: reporting projects or professional development opportunities. Reporting projects include journalistic work in any media format, including but not limited to print, digital, video, photography and new media. The Fund for Women Journalists will prioritize reporting projects pitched around underreported stories of global importance. Professional development opportunities can include security training, conferences, workshops and media development initiatives such as technical skills building trainings. 

Please note the average grant size is 10,000 USD. Projects with timelines longer than one year or requesting grants over $10,000 will be considered on a limited basis. Projects pitched for this opportunity need to be completed and published/produced in under a year, and have a suggested budget of no more than $5,000. 


•    Women journalists from anywhere in the world are eligible to apply.
•    Applicants must identify as women.
•    Practicing journalism must be the applicants primary profession.
•    Applicants must have three or more years of post-graduate professional journalism experience.
•    Teams of journalists may apply, however the submission must be from a woman journalist and her team must include at least 50% women.
•    Special consideration will be given to freelance journalists.


There are two funding rounds each year, in January and June; applications take approximately 6 weeks from the end of the application period to process. Please keep this in mind as you design your project timeline.

For more information, please check out IWMF webpage.


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The IWMF’s Reporting Grants for Women’s Stories, sponsored by The Secular Society, is a funding initiative supporting journalism produced by and about women. In an era of increased globalization, the need for varied coverage of gendered topics is critical to a free and representative press. These grants support reporting on untold stories surrounding issues that impact women and girls’ daily lives worldwide.

The Secular Society’s support for gender equity through independent reporting grants highlights the need to provide women journalists with more robust funding opportunities to pursue journalism in the public interest. Journalism funded by the IWMF’s Reporting Grants for Women’s Stories will contribute to the larger conversation about secularism’s role globally and focus on the challenges faced by women in a non-secular world.


These grants provide opportunities for women journalists to pursue gender-sensitive coverage of underreported, internationally important stories.

Grants will average $5,000 USD and be awarded to cover reporting-related costs including travel (flights, ground transportation, drivers), logistics, visa fees, post-production costs, and payment for fixers/translators.

Approximately $100,000 will be dispersed each year. Grant sizes will depend on the project pitched – most grants will average approximately $5,000 USD.


Women journalists from anywhere in the world and who are currently working as journalists can apply for support. Applicants must have three or more years of professional work experience and must currently be working as a journalist with journalism as their primary profession. Teams of journalists may apply, however the submission must be from a woman journalist and your team must include at least 50% women. Staff journalists and teams of staff journalists within news organizations are eligible to apply for funding, but these grants will give special consideration to freelance journalists.


The IWMF will accept applications on a rolling basis with twice-yearly cut offs. Please keep this is mind when creating proposed project timelines. Due to the large influx of applications, the IWMF can no longer consider time sensitive proposals. Please refer to the application close date for each application cycle.
For more information, please visit IWMF site.


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AAUW’s International Fellowship program has been in existence since 1917. One of the world’s largest sources of funding for graduate women, AAUW is providing $3.9 million in funding for fellowships and grants to 250 outstanding women and nonprofit organizations in the 2018–19 academic year. Due to the longstanding, generous contributions of AAUW members, a broader community of women continues to gain access to educational and economic opportunities — breaking through barriers so that all women have a fair chance.

Fellowship and grant recipients perform research in a wide range of disciplines and work to improve their schools and communities. Their intellect, dedication, imagination, and effort promise to forge new paths in scholarship, improve the quality of life for all, and tackle the educational and social barriers facing women worldwide. AAUW seeks a diverse applicant pool.


Master’s/first professional degree: $18,000
Doctoral: $20,000
Postdoctoral: $30,000

International Fellowship funds are available for

•    Educational expenses
•    Living expenses
•    Dependent child care
•    Travel to professional meetings, conferences, or seminars, as long as it does not exceed 10 percent of the fellowship


The program provides support for women pursuing full-time graduate or postdoctoral study in the U.S. who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents. A limited number of awards are available for study outside of the U.S. (excluding the applicant’s home country) to women who are members of Graduate Women International (see the list of GWI affiliates). Preference is given to women who show prior commitment to the advancement of women and girls through civic, community, or professional work.

Up to five International Fellowships for master’s/first professional degrees will be renewable for a second year; fellows will receive application information for this competitive program during their fellowship year.

Recipients are selected for academic achievement and demonstrated commitment to women and girls. Recipients return to their home countries to become leaders in business, government, academia, community activism, the arts, and sciences.


November 15, 2018, by 11:59 p.m. Central Time
Deadline for online submission of application, recommendations, and supporting documents.

April 15, 2019
Notification of decisions emailed to all applicants. AAUW is not able to honor requests for earlier notification.

July 1, 2019–June 30, 2020
Fellowship year

When a deadline or notification date falls on a weekend, the date will be observed on the following business day. For more information, please visit AAUW site.

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