January 25, 2014

Funding for women’s rights

Miles travelled and miles to go in funding for women’s rights

Nicky McIntyre reflects on miles travelled and miles to go in funding for women’s rights in her article in the winter edition of Effect magazine.

Birthdays are an opportunity to examine and reflect on what you’ve (not quite) achieved in the past year or years, and look forward to things you still want to do. In 2013 Mama Cash turned 30 – a milestone worthy of looking back, assessing the landscape and charting our way forward.

We are a grantmaking foundation that also focuses a good chunk of our time and resources on philanthropy, which has evolved tremendously in recent decades. We hope to nurture understanding among our philanthropic peers of the need to, and impact of, funding women’s rights organising in the years to come.

In order to foster positive and sustainable change in women’s lives here in Europe and around the world, we have learned how important it is to ensure that women’s organisations can bring their creative strategies and close connection to local and grassroots women’s concerns to the forefront of philanthropy. Yet, with only few exceptions of foundations in Europe – the Oak Foundation and the Sigrid Rausing Trust, for example – there has been little increase in actual foundation support for women’s rights work in recent years, despite expressed interest.

Our story, as a foundation that has funded women’s rights organising globally for the past thirty years, shows how this kind of philanthropic work can translate into making real differences in attitudes and in lives.

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