Press Release: UN Women Fund for Gender Equality Announces USD 12.5 Million in Grants for women’s economic and political participation

Date: Monday, December 3, 2012

For immediate release
03 December 2012

Media Inquiries:
Sharon Grobeisen: sharon.grobeisen[at] Tel: +1 646 781-4753

Nearly 100 high impact initiatives in 50 countries have received grants in the last three years of the Fund's grant making

Innovative efforts on women's political and economic empowerment funded

New York, 03 December—UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet today announced USD $12.5 million in grants for 39 new grantees of the Fund for Gender Equality. The grassroots organizations selected are working on programmes ranging from the creation of women's business cooperatives in Ethiopia, to efforts to improve social protection for migrant women in Vietnam, to training women candidates for the upcoming elections in Mongolia, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay.

Other strategies to advance economic and political empowerment will be supported across Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and Central Asia. Earlier this year, funds were disbursed to grantees in the Arab States Region.

The Fund for Gender Equality is the only global fund exclusively dedicated to women's economic and political empowerment. It awards multi-year grants starting at USD $200,000 directly to women's organizations and governmental partners that improve the lives of women and girls. Since its inception in 2009, the Fund has invested a total of USD 55.5 million to 94 programmes in 71 countries.

However, demand remains high, and needs remain unmet. This year alone the Fund received 901 proposals for a total of more than USD $481.3 million.

“Women's political and economic participation is not a luxury; it is a fundamental requirement for a prospering economy and a thriving democracy. The Fund's grantees work hard and show us what works to make women's empowerment a reality, said Ms. Bachelet. “We need more funding so that more women can enjoy political and economic opportunities and make greater contributions to their societies, she added.

Programmes of the 39 grantees selected include:

  • Conflict resolution and peace building training to improve the livelihoods of internally displaced women and their host communities in the South Kordofan region of Sudan
  • Training of elected women at district levels in Cambodia
  • Sustainable water management in Kyrgyzstan, involving rural women leaders of Kyrgyz, Uzbek and Tajik origin.
  • Collaboration with women's unions on labour rights for domestic workers and seamstresses in the Southern Cone region, including Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay
  • Ecologically friendly e development activities in Guinea that support women's food security

The Fund was created with an initial contribution of USD 65 million from the Government of Spain, and has since expanded with contributions from Mexico, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany and individual donors.

More information on the Fund for Gender Equality is available at