How much is Ford commiting to the work under the Generation Equality Forum?

The Ford Foundation is committing $420 million over the next five years to tackle gender inequality around the world which has been further exacerbated by the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is the specific financial breakdown by the Forum’s key themes?

  • Action Coalition on Gender-Based Violence: $159 million
  • Action Coalition on Feminist Movements & Leadership: $94 million
  • Action Coalition on Economic Justice and Rights: $79 million
  • Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: $83 million
  • Action Coalition on Technology and Innovation: $5 million

Why is Ford increasing its funding for gender equality globally?

We believe we are at a critical time for change, and that gender inequality is a global emergency that needs an urgent response. As one of the co-leaders in the Generation Equality Forum process, we support feminist movements and women and girl-led organizations in the Global South that are on the frontlines of advocating for gender equality. We hope this funding will provide the resources and support these organizations need for their work to be resilient through COVID and beyond.

What kinds of organizations will be receiving these funds?

We will make grants to longtime grantees of the Ford Foundation, as well as new organizations we have not previously funded. We are supporting civil society organizations, feminist and women’s rights organizations and women’s funds in the U.S. and the Global South working on intersectional issues including addressing the growing epidemic of gender-based violence, reinforcing the need for a care-based economy, increasing workplace equality, and bringing critical resources to feminist movements and women's rights organizations. This includes initiatives like the Black Feminist Fund, Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID), Equality Fund, CARE Fund and Prospera, among others. A significant portion of grants will be directly allocated to organizations led by women and people of color. All of our grants will be publicly listed on our website.

What other kinds of initiatives is the $420M commitment supporting?

We are investing in multi-stakeholder partnership models and collaborative work with other philanthropic foundations, governments, private sector donors and multilateral organizations to ensure that our collective funding has maximum impact. Following the Generation Equality Forum in Paris, we will also be investing in the post-Paris accountability processes with UN Women and other partners to strengthen processes such as GEF that bring multiple partners together with feminist movements.

Why is it important to support the Generation Equality Forum, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic?

We value the Generation Equality Forum and its multipartner process because it is providing a platform to tackle a global problem with global stakeholders. An estimated 47 million more women will fall into extreme poverty due to the pandemic. The committed funding is part of the foundation’s ongoing commitment to gender equality and reflects the widespread economic and social devastation felt by women and girls because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’re at a tipping point for gender equality and the Forum is an opportunity to shape a global agenda with concrete action plans on preventing gender-based violence and other key issues. We hope to encourage others to join us in forming greater partnerships between philanthropy, governments, women’s funds and the feminist movement.

How will you measure accountability and the impact of this commitment after the Generation Equality Forum in Paris?

At the Ford Foundation, we believe that global processes are most effective when they have a clear and comprehensive framework that is supported by political and private sector leadership. We are embracing the momentum the Forum has created and will work with our partners to help ensure accountability for all actors in order to implement the catalytic, transformative commitments made at the Forum. As a private foundation, we will continue to demonstrate our commitment to gender equality through the organizations and work we support. We will continue listening to our civil society partners and forming multistakeholder partnerships that center the work of feminist movements and women’s rights funds and organizations in all our work.

When will grantees start receiving funds?

Only a small percentage of the $420M has been distributed so far and many grantees will begin receiving these funds in the coming months. The money will continue to be distributed over the next 5 years.

Are grants tied to specific activity, or general support?

These grants are for general operating support to give organizations the flexibility to respond to new and urgent challenges, and to build stronger, sustainable organizations to address gender equality.