When girls are at the centre of their own grantmaking

We are thrilled to announce that the Girls’ Fund will support 28 girl-led groups globally.

The process

Upon receiving the applications, the Plan International team conducted an initial review of groups to ensure that they had a clear proposal for engaging with the Generation Equality process and met the criteria for the Girls’ Fund.

All eligible groups had decision-making power, reviewing and evaluating blind applications.

The 28 groups that were selected through this peer-led process will receive up to $5,000 USD each to engage with the Generation Equality process using innovative and creative activism and organising.

After the eligibility check, all eligible groups were invited to review the applications of their peers with a focus on the following three key questions:

  1. the importance and urgency of the work proposed
  2. the potential impact
  3. and the creativity of the approach.

Finally, the 28 groups were selected based on their results in the review process, with segmentation used to ensure diversity across geographies and leadership categories

The applications presented incredibly inspiring ideas of how to carry out advocacy at community, national and global levels. A general comment of feedback for all groups was the need to clearly explain how their proposals would engage specifically in Generation Equality, whether through advocating in the Action Coalitions, or implementing the Blueprints and Commitments directly in their communities.

Unfortunately, the Girls’ Fund was able to only resource 6% of applicants due to the limited amount of funding available. This speaks to the need to urgently address the shortfall in funding girls.

We are funding the resistance of girls and non-binary groups

The selected groups are working on everything from disability rights to trans rights and sexual and reproductive health to climate change. They are building leadership, organising protests, delivering services in their communities, and lobbying governments. They are working in conflict zones, in dangerous political contexts, and in environments hostile to women, girls and the LGBTQIA+ community.

They have a range of different strategies to engage with the Generation Equality process. Some are already influencing through the Action Coalitions on gender-based violence and climate justice. Others are advocating with the civil society working groups and national committees.The groups are also working at a community-level with girls, women and local leaders as well as implementing the Action Coalition Blueprints and Commitments. You can find more information about each group and their incredible work here under the General Equality Fund (GEF) Grantees filter.

The funded groups have a diverse geographic representation globally. 46% of the groups are based in Sub-Saharan Africa; 25% are in Central and South America; 11% are from South and Central Asia; 7% are from Europe; 4% are in the Middle East and North Africa; and 4% have a global reach. Groups are also diverse in their leadership: 42% of these groups are led by girls aged 19 or younger; 21% are led by or focused on people with disabilities; and 32% are led by Indigenous young people or young people from cultural or ethnic minorities.

Our reflections

One fund is not enough, one donor is not enough. There’s a deep need for diverse funding supporting a range of different types of action (collective action, direct services, emergency response, etc.), with different types of funding (emergency, flexible, long-term, etc.). As donors, we need to think outside the box if we’re going to reach the girls and young activists on the edges of the funding ecosystem.

For now, it is an honour for us to accompany and learn from the girls and young feminists participating in Girls’ Fund. We are so excited to see what ground-breaking work the groups will do.

Co-written by Sanchia Zucker Rodriguez, Youth Funding Project Officer at Plan International and Aminata Kamara, Senior Program Manager at Purposeful.

This blog is the third in the Girls’ Fund series. You can find the first and second blog here.

A feminist movement-building hub that amplifies girls’ voices, resources their resistance, builds solidarity and catalyses collaborative philanthropy.