International Network of Women’s Funds has a new name

 

Prospera

0

After nearly two decades of work, the International Network of Women’s Funds is embarking on a new phase with a new name! Following a series of consultations with our members, allies, and donors and two external evaluations, we have decided to rebrand our Network and expand our scope of work.

What has changed?
In recent years, significant advances for women and girls in key areas have been achieved. According to the latest UN-Women Progress of the World’s Women report 2015-2016, it appears that today more girls are enrolling in school, a higher number of women are working, and many more than before participate in the political sphere, are being elected and assuming leadership positions. Violence against women and girls has gained greater visibility and is being addressed within the public policy agendas in many countries around the world. The report also notes that more women have gained greater legal rights to access employment, own and inherit property and get married and divorced on the same terms as men[1].

While these points of progress are all indication that significant advances have been made, substantive equality is still far from realized in every region or country. The repercussions of the global economic and financial crisis (2008) and current trends continue to affect the realization of women’s, girls’ and trans*peoples’ rights on the ground. Every day our members respond to new and increasing threats to women, girls and trans*people physical integrity and livelihoods due to climate change, fundamentalisms, persecution against women’s human right defenders, legal and fiscal backlashes and armed conflicts all over the world[2]. Funding for women’s, girls’ and trans*persons rights remains scarce.

Each year our members mobilize an average of $64.2 million to advance the rights of women, girls, and trans*people, and provide over 1,800 grants to women’s organizations across 170 countries. Women’s funds remain as one of the top donors for women’s rights worldwide and are key actors in countering the trend towards the instrumentalization of women by providing small-scale grants that respond to local needs for support on a variety of key issues for women’s, girls’ and trans*people overall advancement, including civil, economic, cultural, social and political rights[3]. Our Network plays a critical role in supporting them to respond to these challenges and to scale-up their work.

What’s in a name?
Since its founding, the Network has linked women’s funds in the Global South and North, providing all women’s funds, from the large, established funds to those smaller funds emerging across the Global South, with greater opportunities for collaboration and support in order to strengthen and expand their impact. Since then, with the support of key donors and allies, our community has grown to include 38 women’s funds, 26 of which were founded from 2000 onwards, located in 33 countries across continents.

After nearly two decades of work, we decided that it was time for a change. Our Network has grown to host unique funders that are re-shaping philanthropy by mobilizing resources from various donor sources to fund bold, urgent and groundbreaking initiatives. We needed to reflect this and summon our power in one word.  This was not easy. Over a period of one year and a half, with the support of an external consultancy firm we met with our members to brainstorm ideas and definitions that could capture the work that we do and our hopes for the future. Various meetings and exchanges after, we agreed to center on the concept of prosperity.

For us, prosperity promotes the full and equal participation of women in the economy, politics and society. It calls for women’s, girls and trans*people equal access to resources and opportunities to develop their talents, Prosperity is the ability of all people, everywhere to thrive and succeed. Our goal is to generate the means for women’s funds to support women, girls, and trans*people to determine how they want to succeed while creating the conditions in which they are able to thrive, this is why we have decided to rebrand our Network as Prospera.

Join us! The Path Ahead for Prospera
Prospera is a community. Our goals are exciting, bold and ambitious, and based in collaboration. We partner with countless allies, donors and philanthropists across the women’s, environmental, and social justice movements to achieve progress for women and girls. Do you want to know more about Prospera? Please go to http://www.prospera.org.We would love to hear from you!


Footnotes

  1. ^ Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016 available here>
  2. ^ For more on this please refer to Prospera and its members’ publications and resources, available here>
  3. ^ For further reference please see: New Actors, New Money, New Conversations; Watering the Leaves Starving the Roots available at www.awid.org; IHRFG Advancing Human Rights, Key Findings  Update on Global Foundation Grantmaking reports 2014, 2015, 2016 available here>

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.