Our History

In 1976, two Canadian women, Norma E. Walmsley and Suzanne Johnson-Harvor, had the revolutionary idea to place women’s rights at the centre of successful development in the global South. After returning from the first UN World Conference on Women in Mexico City, they created an organization—known at the time as MATCH International—to match the needs and resources of Canadian women with the needs and resources of women around the world.

Women’s organizations and movements have long been on the cutting edge of social change. With the help of loyal supporters across Canada, MATCH International supported these innovators as their creative breakthroughs transformed farming practices, child nutrition, and anti-violence campaigns. Working with over 650 women’s organizations in 71 countries, the organization invested nearly $12 million in women and girls.

Building on this work, the organization joined the women’s fund movement and officially launched as Canada’s only global fund for women, girls, and trans* people in October 2013. After its relaunch, The Fund invested in women-led innovations, amplifying courageous work at the local level and demonstrating commitment to increasing the total resources available to women and girls around the globe.


In 2018, the Government of Canada issued a call for the Partnership for Gender Equality. The MATCH Fund, along with ten other partners from across fields and areas of expertise, built the Equality Fund collective, with a goal to build the world’s largest women’s fund. After incubating the Equality Fund partnership, The MATCH Fund changed its name to the Equality Fund in 2019 with a goal to design and build an innovative fund to fund women’s rights and gender equality for lifetimes.

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