Gender Justice Initiative
The Gender Justice Initiative is a collaborative group formed by civil society representatives and funders, who get together in different spaces to discuss and strategize on ways of spreading the word of the importance of broadly incorporating the gender lens into the various processes within philanthropy.
Although the Gender Justice Initiative has been part of EDGE since many years, the Just Giving 2016 marked the official launch of the Initiative, comprised of a core group of leaders from feminist, women’s rights, and progressive philanthropic institutions working across varying areas of practice, grantmaking models, and geographic regions. The initiative has been meeting at the EDGE Annual Conferences to advance strategies and feminist conversations needed to bring gender justice to the forefront of philanthropy. The group has been reflecting on how it can collectively support the transition towards a more ecologically sustainable and socially just world while keeping gender justice at the forefront of that work, not as a separate issue, but as a cross-cutting, intersectional strand – integral to all our work.
It recognizes that while many social justice grantmakers understand the importance of this work, few have the tools to incorporate gender justice politically, practically, and holistically into their work. The convergence of these ideas at the conference helped spark teachable insights and develop a clear vision of a philanthropy imbued with gender inclusive practices.
While the EDGE conference acts as a catalyst for these conversations, the initiative remains active between conferences – ensuring that collaborative spaces are fostered and sustained in an ongoing way. Beyond the conference, group members continue to build on the experience and practice of gender justice organizations and highlight the impact of their models to develop tools that would enable others in philanthropy to deepen the scope and impact of their grantmaking.
*artwork by: Patricia Kunrath
Would the funder benefit from an accessible guide to gender justice and feminist frameworks?
JASS have developed a feminist movement-builders dictionary with clear explanations, here.
Is the funder wanting to look internally within their own institution to ensure gender equality at the institutional and programming level?
With a women’s rights organisation partner, they can conduct a gender audit such as this one from InterAction.
Is the funder interested in disability rights and the intersection with women’s rights?
Channel Foundation has a donor briefing including steps funders can take to make their funding more inclusive.
Is the funder wanting to conduct research on where the money is for women’s rights (to inform their own funding, or to support their grantees?)
AWID created a Where is the Money? online resource toolkit to guide this process, here.
Is the funder new, or does it wish to support grassroots groups? Does the funder need an argument for why they should be supporting women and gender justice, most specifically the value in supporting Women’s Funds?
Mama Cash produced a publication that makes the case for supporting women’s funds, here.
Does the funder support the socially excluded, and are they interested in bringing a gender lens to their work and equity as a guiding principle?
GrantCraft has a guide for foundations wanting to support women’s inclusion, here.
Is the funder working on climate change, and interested in exploring the intersection between environmental justice and women’s rights?
Global Greengrants Fund, Prospera, and the Alliance of funds created a guide on supporting grassroots women’s action, here.
Is the funder interested in supporting girls (and young women)?
If so, Mama Cash has seven recommendations for funders of girls and young women.
Does the funder not ‘do’ gender? Could they explore their issue (such as disability, migration, labour rights, and climate change) through a gender lens?
EFC and Mama Cash have a publication on what a gender lens is and how to use it, here.
Is the funder interested in ethical investment? Are they interested in investing with a gender lens?
If so, Equileap offer 3 tools: Company Reports, the Gender Impact Dashboard and a family of indices (US, Europe and Global) for people to be able to invest with a gender lens. They also offer contact with asset managers that use Equileap’s screening tools to invest their clients’ money with a gender lens.
Does the funder want some clear points on the values that guide social justice grantmakers?
Astraea compiled a resource on Social Justice Grantmaking which pools wisdom from a lot of feminist funds.
Does the funder support human rights and specifically human rights defenders, and want guidance on the gendered aspects of this?
This report (p11) offers insight into why a gender perspective is needed to analyze the situation of violence against Women Human Rights Defenders, and this is the warning on why fundamentalism and populism pose deepening threat to women defending human rights.