The global force of feminist philanthropy

Alliance magazine

A snapshot of the ecosystem of coalitions, initiatives and movements doing the heavy lifting to promote gender equality and women’s rights

Beyond the binary

Jessica Horn, director of programmes at African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) writes: The first women’s funds were founded in the 1980s as a mechanism to resource the work of women-led activism for women’s rights and social transformation otherwise neglected by the worlds of philanthropy and government funding. At that moment in history, feminist movements globally largely understood their struggle as one of women against patriarchy – with women understood as cis-gendered, born into bodies sexed as ‘female’ and gendered as girls and then women. However as trans feminists grow in numbers and in visibility, women’s funds have had to consider two questions.

The first is relatively straightforward: do we consider trans women to be women and therefore trans women’s organising to be eligible for funding and support as part of our core constituency? On this point, every women’s fund that has considered the question has said yes.

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