AWDF Call for Proposals: Leading from the South 4 (Africa and the Middle East)

Deadline: 17 June 2019

African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) is seeking proposals for grants from all eligible women-led and women’s rights groups and organisations in Africa and the Middle East under Leading From the South.

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LFS (Leading from the South) is a funding initiative designed and managed by AWDF and three other women’s rights organisations: Women’s Fund Asia, Fondo de Mujeres del Sur and Indigenous Women’s Fund (FIMI).

Under this initiative, AWDF aims to scale up its grantmaking and advocacy initiatives to promote women’s rights, amplify their voices, increase economic opportunities and improve access to spaces of decision-making.

AWDF is mandated to fund in all 54 African countries. Under the Leading from the South initiative AWDF has expanded its grantmaking mandate to include selected countries in the Middle East.

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It supports organisations and initiatives advancing the rights of women facing multiple discriminations. This includes young women; differently-abled women; women living with HIV, economically marginalised rural and urban women; sex workers and lesbian, bisexual and transgender women. We encourage applications from initiatives led by and/or including the participation and agendas of these constituencies.


  • Eliminate violence against women and girls & sustain respect for women’s bodily integrity and autonomy
    • Build women’s knowledge and agency around their right to bodily integrity, autonomy and freedom from violence
    • Increase public support for ending violence against women in all forms
    • Facilitate the passage and implementation of laws and policies that will help prevent and respond to different forms of VAW
    • Strengthen the evidence base around needs, methods and effective approaches
  • Protect full economic rights and justice for women
    • Promote women’s labour and economic rights
    • Support women’s organising in formal and informal economies
    • Build knowledge and support among key stakeholders and influencers for the recognition of women’s economic contributions and rights
    • Facilitate the passage of better policies and laws to protect women’s economic rights such as decent work, food security and land and property rights
  • Expand democratic space; sustain inclusive governance and equal political participation of women
    • Help increase the participation of diverse women in policy and decision-making processes at all levels and in diverse settings
    • Create uninhibited operating space for women’s rights organisations and defenders
    • Ensure stronger and better implementation of laws and policies regarding women’s political rights and participation
    • Strengthen the evidence base around needs, methods and effective approaches

A focus on women’s leadership for change AWDF is committed to supporting women’s leadership and will only fund groups that are women led in board/staff and have advancing women’s rights/gender equality as a priority and an explicit part of their mandate. AWDF supports organisations and initiatives advancing the rights of women facing multiple discriminations. This includes young women; differently-abled women; women living with HIV, economically marginalised rural and urban women; sex workers; and lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LBTQI) women. We will encourage applications from initiatives led by and/or including the participation and agendas of these constituencies.

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Grant types and Size

Grants will be awarded in the range of US$20,000 to US$ 500,000 a year, in line with the following three categories:

  • Yalla grants
    • Size: US$20,000 to US$50,000 a year for up to 1 year.
  • Ananse grants
    • Size: US$51,000 to US$199,000 a year for up to 1 year.
  • Pamoja grants
    • Size: US$200,000 to US$500,000 a year for up to 1 year.

Geographical Coverage

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Applications are accepted for women’s groups registered in the following countries in Africa and the Middle East:

Eligibility Criteria

  • AWDF accepts applications from women’s rights organisations registered and working in DAC recipient countries in Africa and the Middle East.
  • AWDF funds women-led, women’s organisations as a priority. Organisations must have:
    • a track record of work on women’s rights,
    • a woman as organisational director/lead
    • a majority (at least 70%) of women staff
    • at least 70% women involved in the governing board/body
    • a stated commitment to women’s rights/gender equality in the organisational mission/vision/values
    • At least 70% of programmatic resources must be dedicated to direct programming on women’s rights;
    • the project applied for will be managed by a woman
  • For Ananse and Pamoja grants, they will also consider applications from networks/coalitions formed by three or more women’s groups. In this case applications will be made by one lead organisation who will be responsible for administering and reporting on use of funds. Funds can only be distributed by the lead to a maximum of 4 named partner/network members who must also be based in the two regions.
  • Organisations must demonstrate their capacity and financial management systems to effectively implement and account for grant funding and programme delivery.
  • Organisations must have registration status that enables them to receive funds from foreign sources.
  • Organisations must have been in existence for at least 3 years.

Activities to be considered for funding:

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  • Campaigns to advance specific women’s rights agendas, law and policy change
  • Training to build core advocacy/social change skills
  • Media and communications campaigns ● Action-research and knowledge production with an advocacy focus
  • Alliance and movement-building
  • Strategic litigation
  • Engaging the regional/international human rights system and international treaty bodies
  • Interventions to change public attitudes on key policy issues

Activities not eligible for funding:

  • Direct service provision
  • Party-political campaigning
  • Activities aimed at proselytizing/religious conversion
  • Scholarships
  • Construction and purchase of buildings and land
  • Profit and income generating activities and microfinance
  • Grantmaking (Note that grantmaking activities will not be eligible; however, funded networks or consortia will be eligible to disburse funds within their network /consortium for up to 4 partners for programmatic activities).

How to Apply

Applicants can apply via given website.

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For more information, please visit African Women’s Development Fund.

  • Avatar Ikechukwu says:

    This is great indeed, could women led FBO in Ebonyi State Nigeria apply?

    • Avatar Reena says:

      Hi Ikechukwu,

      Thank you for your interest in the opportunity.

      Yes, Nigeria is eligible to apply for this grant. To get detailed information on eligibility criteria and application requirements, please visit the link provided at the end of the post.

      Good Luck!

  • Avatar Eyobu says:

    In your write up, you indicate that,AWDF is mandated to fund in all 54 African countries. However, in listing the geographical coverage, I do not see South Sudan being mentioned. Is it deliberate?

  • Avatar Suha says:

    Can’t find the capacity building sheet referenced in the guidelines and budget template. Can you share a link to where it is please?

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