Co-Impact has launched the Gender Fund – a $1 billion fund aimed at advancing gender equity and women’s leadership across the world. The Gender Fund is the second fund the organization has launched, after its Foundational Fund.
While funding for gender equality has been rising over the last decade, only one per cent of that funding has reached women’s organizations, say Co-Impact. The Gender Fund will bring significant resources into a grossly underfunded space and address ‘gendered systems’ – the underlying norms, laws, practices, sanctions, and decision-making processes that lead to systematic barriers and persistent discrimination against women and girls.
This is our once in a generation chance to rebuild our systems to finally work for women and girls.
‘To make progress on gender equality, we need systemic change in the structures, laws, and policies and processes of government, in how markets function, and how social norms are shaped and enforced’, said Olivia Leland, Founder and CEO of Co-Impact. ‘The mission of the Gender Fund is to deliver on the ambition of a world where systems and societies are just and inclusive, and where all women have the opportunity to exercise power, agency, and leadership at all levels.’
The Gender Fund aims to raise and grant $1 billion over the next decade to provide predominantly women-led, locally rooted organizations in Africa, Asia and Latin America with large, long-term, and flexible funding. To date, financial contributions to the Fund have totalled over $320 million, and grantmaking across the three regions is already underway.
‘By partnering with Co-Impact, we’re able to identify programs that address the barriers blocking women from reaching their full potential as leaders,’ said Melinda French Gates, global advocate for women and girls and the Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. ‘We need change to happen at every level of society. And it starts with opening more doors for women to step into their power and craft policies that lift others up like them. This is our once in a generation chance to rebuild our systems to finally work for women and girls.’