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The time is ripe to push for gender equality and social change. Women's funds hold the keyWhen Melinda Gates made her groundbreaking pledge of $1 billion to address gender equality in the US last year, she noted "a window of opportunity" to grow women's "power and influence". She rightly credited this opportunity to the efforts of millions of women and the rise of women-driven social movements. Empowered women running for office and advocating for the rights of the marginalised are crucial to advancing gender equality. Gates also pointed out a simple truth -- this opportunity has a shelf life and now is the time to seize it. Such fleeting opportunities to create significant social change come along once every few generations. So, how do we capitalise on it?Alliance Issue: Indigenous philanthropy; March 2020, Volume 25, Number 1
More funding for 'women and girls' is necessary but not sufficient. What philanthropy really needs is a feminist consciousness -- a vision which places women's rights front and centre, challenges political norms and economic orders, shifts power to the most marginalised and interrogates the social construction of gender. This revolutionary spirit runs through the contributions which inform the issue, guest edited by Dreilnden's Ise Bosch and Urgent Action Fund's, Ndana Bofu-Tawamba.The issue highlights and celebrates practical ways that feminist philanthropy has created a more equal world. Women's Funds, 'gender wise' funding toolkits, impact investing with a gender lens and united action by green and gender activists are just a few examples featured on these pages.The issue also provides encouragement to male colleagues to engage with these questions with humility and depth.Yet the very idea of the open, liberal, and democratic society underpinned by respect for human rights is under attack and refugees, people of colour, LGBT individuals and groups, women's rights and environmental activists and individuals or groups denied basic economic and social rights -- all those that human rights legislation protects -- are in the firing line.The September 2019 issue of Alliance highlights the eco-system of liberal funders and activists throwing everything at stemming the tide. Adrian Arena takes us inside the Oak Foundation's human rights programme, Selmin Caliskan discusses OSF's exile to Berlin, and Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri explains why funding for economic and social rights should be prioritised.Alliance Issue: Feminist philanthropy; December 2019, Volume 24, Number 4
It's not just a question of giving money or making investments, it's time for us all to examine our work through a gender lens.Long ago, in simpler times when donors roamed the philanthropy forest giving away money to causes close to their heart, often without a strategy or evaluation, the donor I worked for gave me a direction that most grantmakers dream of: 'Put groups advocating for women's human rights at the centre of our grantmaking – there is no limit on the budget.'Alliance Issue: Peace building; June 2019; Volume 24; Number 2
For decades, the donor-grantee power relationship has been skewed. Those who 'give' have power over those who 'receive'. This is even more pronounced in south Asia where the state, donors based in the global north and corporate foundations dominate. It is crucial, therefore, that women's funds in particular are challenging the current politics of aid as well as the status quo that exists within it, which excludes the voices and leadership of women, trans and other marginalized communities.Alliance issue: Philanthropy's Diversity Challenge; September 2017, Volume 22, Number 3.
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