Feminist philanthropy comes to South Asia 

Tulika Srivastava

For decades, the donor-grantee power relationship has been skewed. Those who ‘give’ have power over those who ‘receive’. This is even more pronounced in south Asia where the state, donors based in the global north and corporate foundations dominate. It is crucial, therefore, that women’s funds in particular are challenging the current politics of aid as well as the status quo that exists within it, which excludes the voices and leadership of women, trans and other marginalized communities.

This is a critical time across the world for social justice organizing and sustained human rights work, in the face of dwindling resources and a conservative backlash against women and minorities. Research by the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) and others, including South Asia Women’s Fund (SAWF)[1], has clearly demonstrated that women’s organizations and collectives as a constituency face significant discrimination in access to resources, and are the least funded of interest groups in the spectrum of social justice issues.

South Asia Women’s Fund supports grassroots mobilizing of indigenous women in Nepal to claim their human rights.

It is imperative that the existing sources of money be invigorated to step up their commitment, that new sources are found and that the gap between donors, old and new, and recipients be closed.

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Karen Weisblatt