Canada’s only global women’s fund announces its largest grant cycle to date

The MATCH International Women’s Fund will support 27 new partners in 2019, focusing on feminist groups in Francophone Africa and in the Middle East and North Africa.

(OTTAWA – February 4, 2019) Today, as International Development Week is kicked off, The MATCH International Women’s Fund (The MATCH Fund) announced the 21 new partner organizations that it will fund and support in 2019 and beyond, making it its most expansive and diverse grantee cohort ever.

For the first time in its grantmaking history, The MATCH Fund designed a scouting strategy to leverage investments in girl, women, and trans* led groups in the most unexpected places. These investments will make strategic bets on groups that have high potential to make meaningful impact.

“Many of the partners in this new cohort are edge walkers organizing at the margins, and supporting feminist movements that most traditionally fall under the radar of mainstream funding,” said Wariri Muhungi, Manager of Global Programs at The MATCH Fund.

In addition to these 21 new partners (including one which must remain confidential for security reasons), six other new partners will begin receiving support and funding over the coming months. In total, approximately $400,000 will be granted to these 27 new partners this year alone.

The MATCH Fund is a global fund with investments in women’s rights organizations on multiple continents including Latin America, Sub Saharan Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. At present, its team is mobilizing to scale up partnerships in the Caribbean through the Women’s Voice and Leadership program funded by the Government of Canada.

These program investments will continue, while also establishing new partnerships primarily in two priority regions: Francophone Africa and the Middle East and North Africa (specifically in Mali, Senegal, Niger, Burundi, Madagascar, Morocco, Togo, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond.)

“By intentionally seeking women, girls and trans* rights groups leading in disrupting the status quo, and growing resistance with self-determined solutions, we are rendering underserved areas visible by adding key regions that are instrumental to supporting (Women) Human Rights Defenders affected by conflict,” said Muhungi.

The diverse work of The MATCH Fund’s new feminist partners 

In this cohort, The MATCH Fund sought out groups at strategic intersections in feminist work such as the rights of Indigenous women, women with disabilities, domestic and other precarious workers, LGBT and queer people, the rights of rural women and environmental justice.

One of The MATCH Fund’s recently added partners is a newly established Uganda-based organization called HER Internet. Their work involves giving queer women including LGBT and non-binary persons in Uganda the knowledge, skills and resources to safely navigate the internet and use technology to network, mobilize and organize.

HER Internet (Uganda)

“At one of the digital security trainings we held, some participants had no idea that the social media apps they use collect secondary data such as location, contact lists, facial recognition, among other info,” said a senior staff member of HER Internet. “These apps, if not securely used, prove to be unsafe to both the online and offline presence of an already marginalized group of people.”

Another new partner is Crown The Woman, an organization in South Sudan which elevates the social, economic, and political status of women and girls in South Sudan through its programming.

Crown The Woman (South Sudan)

“It is difficult to receive funding because of the misconception that grassroots organizations lack capacity to do meaningful work,” said staff at Crown The Woman. “In reality, we have been able to advocate for so many feminist issues: from ending child marriage and gender-based violence, to peace building and education.”

The MATCH Fund will also support National Indigenous Disabled Women Association Nepal (NIDWAN) which protects and supports the rights of Indigenous women with disabilities, linking grassroots perspectives with policy development and implementation.

National Indigenous Disabled Women Association Nepal (NIDWAN)

“Small grants empower small organizations like NIDWAN, who are excluded from the mainstream to break the traditional silos and bridge the gap within and beyond the women’s movement and discourse,” said NIDWAN’s leader.