UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality Issues New Call for Proposals and Announces Grantees from the Arab States


UN Women Press Release
For immediate release

Media Contacts:
Oisika Chakrabarti, oisika.chakrabarti[at]unwomen.org, +1 646 781-4522
Hadrien Bonnaud, hadrien.bonnaud[at]unwomen.org, +1 646 781-4751

Focus is on initiatives with high impact on women's political and economic empowerment.

United Nations, New York, 1 March 2012 — At a high-level event at the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director, issued a new call for proposals for UN Women's Fund for Gender Equality from organizations working to advance economic and political empowerment in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and Central Asia.

“UN Women's Fund for Gender Equality provides direct grants for women's empowerment and political participation, said Ms. Bachelet. “These investments are essential for women and also for the promotion of gender equality, democracy and inclusive economic growth.

The Fund has set aside USD 10.5 million to fund approved proposals, and hopes to make more funding available if contributions increase during this grant-making cycle. Grants will start at USD 200,000 for initiatives that make tangible improvements in the lives of women and girls, from enabling women candidates to run for office, to managing resources to support themselves and their families. Grant awards will be announced in October 2012. Applicants from these regions can download the Grant Application from www.unwomen.org/fge/.

Today Ms. Bachelet also announced the grant recipients from its earlier call in October for proposals from the Arab States. These new grants respond to on-going transformation in the region, providing support to women's empowerment and gender equality. The 15 selected organizations will receive grants totalling USD 4.85 million covering a range of innovative programmes, from advancing women's political participation in Egypt, Libya and Yemen, to maximizing the use of technology for advocacy, to fostering sustainable development initiatives run by women in rural Morocco, Algeria and the occupied Palestinian territories.

Speaking about the grants for the Arab States region, UN Women Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director Michelle Bachelet said: “At this moment of historic change, we cannot afford to leave women out. These grants will advance women's efforts to achieve greater economic and political equality during this time of transition.

The 15 grantees selected will work on a range of initiatives, including:

  • Training programmes in Egypt for women to take on leadership roles in national political processes;
  • Awareness-raising campaigns to reintegrate single mothers and their children into their communities in Morocco;
  • Initiatives supporting the use of technology to foster a support network among women activists in Egypt, Libya and Yemen;
  • Rural agricultural cooperatives for women in the high Eastern Atlas Mountains of Morocco, where environmental destruction has eroded traditional grazing economies;
  • Efforts to empower 10,000 women to engage in constitution-building in the occupied Palestinian territories;
  • Government and civil society partnerships in Algeria, through collaboration between the mayor's office and women's NGOs in two cities, to empower women through agriculture and small manufacturing.

Since its inception in 2009, the Fund has invested a total of USD 43 million in 40 countries around the world and is one of the largest grant-making mechanisms exclusively devoted to gender equality. 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 and individual donors.

More information on the Fund for Gender Equality is available at www.unwomen.org/fge/.