Global women’s rights organisation Womankind Worldwide has launched a £1.25 million fund to support its partners in Africa and Asia in countering the impact of the coronavirus on women’s rights.
The Womankind COVID-19 Resilience Fund is providing flexible, unrestricted grants to 42 women’s rights organisations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The grants will be used where most needed, from paying rent on offices or safe houses and adapting programmes, to providing emergency food relief to the most marginalised women and girls, and influencing and holding governments to account on addressing the needs and priorities of women in their responses to Covid-19.
The fund aims to reach the women most marginalised due to caste, age, ethnicity, indigenous status, and geographical location, with grants already made to organisations supporting women with disabilities or LBTQI+ women. Activities and services made possible through the grants include mental health support for LBTQI+ women, and the development of accessible communications on Covid-19 for women with disabilities.
Womankind partners have reported a greater need for their services during the pandemic, with partners in Ethiopia, Nepal and Zimbabwe seeing a higher demand for their safe houses and shelters for women survivors of violence. However, they have been hampered by a lack of core, flexible funding.
Caroline Haworth, Womankind CEO, said:
“Together with our partners we recognise that existing challenges to women’s rights and wellbeing are compounded by the Covid-19 crisis and that flexible, core funding is more vital than ever. Across our policy and programmes we continue to be led by the needs of our partners and to respond directly to how the crisis is affecting them and the communities they serve. The fund will support our partners to continue their work and, in some cases, enable their organisations’ very survival. The Womankind Worldwide COVID-19 Resilience Fund is a way for us to recognise the importance of continuation of our partners’ inspiring and courageous defence of women’s rights in these unprecedented times and to express our heartfelt solidarity with them.”
Womankind is also continuing to fundraise for the Fund to enable it to support more partners and the women they support as possible.
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