Real Commitment to girls means putting our money where our mouths are! Launching The Girls’ Fund.
There is an urgent need to move money quickly, inclusively, and locally so that girls and their allies can meaningfully participate in the Generation Equality process beyond the Paris Forum. This must be coupled with non-financial support, intergenerational collaboration and more sustainable resourcing that enables them to participate meaningfully. Funding must be directed to girl- and youth-led groups. This recommendation is from the Young Feminist Manifesto which we fully support.
The 25th anniversary of the historic Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action is an opportunity for generations to come together to drive investment and action for gender equality and girls’ rights. Six visionary multi-sector Action Coalitions have been formed and there is a dedicated priority action to strengthen and fund girl and young feminist-led movements. This is an exciting opportunity for girls and young feminists, in all their diversity to influence the process and to be part of implementing it.
During the Paris Forum this week, we saw commitments made totalling approximately $40 billion to support gender equality over the next five years. These commitments are a brilliant first step in the right direction but it’s only the beginning. The financial commitments must be tracked with a focus on how much and in what way resources are moved to girls and young feminists in particular.
Recognising the urgent resourcing need, Purposeful and Plan International, with support from the Irish government, have co-launched The Girls’ Fund. The Girls’ Fund is a collaborative fund which will support the collective action of girls and their allies in the Generation Equality process by providing over $180,000 in small flexible grants by the end of 2021 and a further $720,000 multi-year funding until 2026. Plan International and Purposeful have also already moved rapid resources to a number of the Action Coalition youth leaders.
Both organisations are part of the With and for Girls Collective, which is housed at Purposeful. The Collective is a group of justice funders committed to resourcing girls’ activism in the long term. Together, the Collective resources the With and For Girls Fund, using these insights to influence across philanthropic and development spaces for more and better resources and programmatic practices with and for girls. The With and For Girls Collective is the only collaborative of its kind, drawing from different points in the girls’ funding ecosystem. It is in this spirit that we commit to working collectively to track the financial commitments to girls and young feminists made during the Generation Equality Forum.
Our hope is that there will be more groups of funders and other actors challenged over time to commit to move more resources to girls especially as we continue to see even greater impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of the pandemic is set to deepen further with the inequities in accessing COVID19 vaccines especially on the African continent. As such, girls’ work, which is always at the frontlines of crisis and resistance, will continue to be vital and even more urgent. As funders, we can meet girls with the resources they need to continue the urgent work on the ground.
The Girls’ Fund is an opportunity to leverage our strengths and to move resources to where they’re most needed, opening this complex space to girls and their allies. The Fund will launch in mid-July and there are three exciting ways to get involved:
- Support The Girls’ Fund! We’re still looking for funding partners
- Help us to disseminate the call for applications to hard-to-reach groups.
- Follow the recommendations in the Young Feminist Manifesto to support meaningful, resourced co-creation.
Will you join us?
Co-written by Purity Kagwiria, Director of With and for Girls Fund and Collective, Purposeful and Georgia Booth, Head of Youth Movements, Plan International