UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality awards USD 7.3 million globally including 1.9 million in Africa for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals

Date: Tuesday, December 22, 2015

UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality (FGE) is pleased to announce the awarding of USD 1.9 million in grants to 6 innovative programmes to be implemented in Africa starting in January 2016. These high-impact programmes were designed by women-led civil society organizations, and have been selected to jumpstart the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the Africa region the new programmes will specifically target strengthen women’s economic and political empowerment:

  • In Tanzania, the programme aims to economically empower pastoralist Maasai women in the Ngorongoro District by increasing their incomes and improving their livelihoods. It will establish Women Solidarity Bomas aimed at boosting income through a revolving livestock project, and increase women’s access to markets and information about agricultural products. Other objectives are to expand access to land, property and natural resources, raise awareness of legal rights, and ensure that Maasai women actively participate in decision-making around community development. The programme will result in women becoming more self-confident, independent and respected within their communities, placing them in a better position to advocate for their rights at all levels. To further accelerate change, the project will engage with non-traditional partners, including men and boys, community leaders and local government officials
  • In Kenya, the project aims to enhance women's political participation by advocating the inclusion of mechanisms ensuring women's participation in policies and legislative frameworks, including the Political Parties Act 2011 and Elections Act 2011. It will support the achievement by 2017 of the two-thirds gender principle stipulated in the Constitution. In order to achieve that, the capacities of three subnational civil society organizations will be expanded. They will work with male gender equality champions to increase civic awareness of the two-thirds gender principle.
  • In South Africa and Uganda, the programme intends to cultivate the ability of female political leaders to effectively influence Internet governance and policy towards the accelerated realization of women's rights. The programme will empower women to take part in the development of national laws and policies as well as regional processes. It will reach out to women political leaders, women’s rights and civil society activists, LGBTI activists, government representatives and community-based activists through online consultations and participation. The programme will promote ICT access and use among women, help build individual and organizational capacities for using ICT, and mobilize networks among women’s organizations.
  • In Benin, the programme seeks to stimulate women’s economic empowerment in two rural municipalities, Savalou and Banté. The overall objectives are to ensure women farmers access land, build agricultural and technical skills, and gain self-confidence as agricultural entrepreneurs. The programme intends to facilitate links to microfinance services, help establish women’s agricultural cooperatives, and encourage other income-generating activities to boost agricultural productivity and ensure food security. Expanding rural women’s knowledge about their land rights will be accompanied by initiatives helping them recognize and claim those rights. New agricultural technologies, more intensive farming techniques and ICT (including mobile banking) will be introduced to improve agri-businesses.
  • In Mali, the progamme seeks to advance the economic empowerment of rural women entrepreneurs by strengthening their business and technical capacities, and providing access to information on markets, microcredit and ICT (including mobile banking). It intends to establish a multifunctional centre dedicated to women's entrepreneurship in the regions of Sikasso and Segou. Steps to foster microenterprises in food processing will assist the production of shea butter, peanut paste, sesame seeds, cashew and soybean, and in handicrafts will aid activities such as weaving and dying. Women’s economic opportunities should expand, improving living conditions and food security, and reducing poverty. Awareness-raising and media campaigns will garner public support behind a supportive business environment for women.
  • In Nigeria, the programme focuses on increasing their participation, targeting women party members and political aspirants, parliamentarians and media personnel in five south-eastern states. It will aim to achieve the 35 per cent electoral quota for women in decision-making positions at both the local and national levels before the next general elections in 2019. Strategies will include training women political aspirants on public speaking, media engagement, social media and fundraising for electoral campaigning. Advocacy and media campaigns will encourage political parties to implement the 35 per cent quota. The programme will engage with non-traditional partners, such as male political party members, community and religious leaders to increase the visibility of women’s political leadership

The selection of these new grantees is the result of a highly competitive process initiated in March 2015 through a global public call for proposals where almost 1,400 applications from women’s civil society organizations were received from across the globe; 368 came from across CSO’s working to strengthen women’s economic and political empowerment in Asia Pacific.

To see the global Press Release as well as the full list of new grantees and a brief profile of all 24 selected programmes across the globe, please click here.

More information:
  • Gaelle Demolis