There’s no greater threat to a woman’s equality than violence. Gender inequality exacerbates violence, and the prevalence of violence compounds inequality. Gender-based violence transcends cultures, borders, and contexts, keeping women and girls from pursuing and realizing their full potential socially, economically, and politically.

We work globally to reduce violence by supporting women- and girl-led organizations, particularly in the Global South, and placing those most affected at the center of developing solutions. We know violence intersects with race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and a number of other factors, so we work to dismantle the deeply entrenched attitudes and structures that not only perpetuate violence, but allow it to occur in the first place.

Cover of report
Download Gender-based Violence One-Pager as a PDF

The Challenge

One in three women will experience some form of violence in their lifetime, one in six have been sexually assaulted, often by someone they know, and countless others live in fear from violence omnipresent in our societies.

Global efforts to end gender-based violence have disproportionately focused on legal reform and criminalization rather than prevention and addressing the root causes and cultural norms that perpetuate violence. They also tend to ignore the women and girls most affected who face multiple forms of discrimination due to their race, ethnicity, class, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

As a result, these efforts have often been ineffective, fragmented across sectors, and fail to address the intersectional forces that play into gender-based violence.

In addition, global funding for this issue is limited, and most of it has been directed to large donors and organizations in Europe and North America rather than women and girls in the Global South who have the expertise and context to design effective, evidence-based solutions to prevent violence.

The Opportunity

Gender-based violence—from sexual harassment to femicide—is now recognized globally as a violation of human rights. Over the past 25 years, nearly 120 laws, treaties, and international declarations addressing gender-based violence have been put into place. We are at a critical moment in history where women and girls—from Mexico to India to the United States—are mobilizing in vibrant ways, fighting for a future free of violence.

With a rich, growing body of emerging evidence to guide our programs and interventions, we now know what works to prevent gender-based violence. We’re seeing proven, effective solutions—particularly in marginalized communities in the Global South—that focus on prevention, put survivors at the center, and take a holistic approach to address the root causes of violence.

Our Aim and Approach

Our aim is to have women and girls leading and shaping the global agenda on prevention and response programs to gender-based violence. To achieve this, we work to ensure that their efforts are resourced equitably by a united, well-connected network of stakeholders, locally and globally, so a holistic and intersectional approach to gender-based violence is adopted. We focus on:

Strengthening feminist ecosystems

With BUILD funding, we support diverse feminist and women’s rights organizations, movements, and leaders in the Global South, so they can become more resilient over time and develop and lead their own agendas to address the systems and structures that drive violence.

Facilitating global coordination and investments

We convene and connect stakeholders from across sectors—civil society, donors, women’s funds, governments, private sector and multilateral institutions—to develop a shared agenda that works at the intersections of gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, and disability, and together implement more effective solutions to prevent and respond to violence.

Shifting narratives and social norms

We invest in a mix of communications, media, and legal strategies to elevate the stories and voices of marginalized women and girls and tackle discriminatory social norms and power relationships that exacerbate gender inequality.

Expanding knowledge, evidence and practice

We support emblematic research that expands data and evidence and deepens global knowledge on the intersectional and structural ways violence manifests in different contexts and how to prevent it.

Our Impact

We are working toward a more just world where women and girls experience less violence in their everyday lives and are seen as powerful agents of change, rather than victims. To achieve this vision by 2030, we need to deepen public understanding, build political will, and make commitments to end gender-based violence more visible, while increasing accountability of regional and national governments and global intergovernmental organizations. We work toward four critical outcomes:

Diverse, coordinated global partnerships

Movements and organizations will be supported by a vast network of donors, stakeholders, activists, practitioners, and researchers working together to reimagine prevention and response globally and reflect the experiences and priorities of black and indigenous women and girls and gender nonconforming individuals.

Effective programming

With a stronger, more coordinated, and well-networked feminist ecosystem, the global agenda will reflect the priorities of those in the Global South to ensure intersectional, feminist values are centered in prevention and response efforts with innovative, survivor-centered approaches.

Increased and equitable resourcing

Global investments will increase in size and scope to support more evidence- and research-based solutions that address prevention and will be distributed fairly to Global South organizations.

Improved accountability and enforcement

Social norms, attitudes, and narratives around violence will be more responsive to survivors and lead to greater accountability and enforcement at global and regional levels.

Portfolio Snapshot

where this work is happening

We support those working to shape policy decisions and responses to violence locally and globally in the United States, West and Southern Africa, India, Latin America, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

where we work

number of grantees95

annual budget$22 million

build budget$45 million

build grantees24

Grantee Snapshot

A group of individuals, some standing and some sitting, gather around a wall of brightly colored post-its.PREVENTION COLLABORATIVE

Building smarter solutions based on evidence

A knowledge hub and global network, the Prevention Collaborative supports the field of violence prevention through a range of programming and partnerships. The collaborative partners with organizations from Kenya to Myanmar to support effective, evidence-based violence prevention efforts tailored to specific contexts. Through a learning series with the Center for Rights, Education and Awareness (CREAW), a Kenyan feminist organization, the collaborative works to develop, document and apply a community-based prevention model for intimate partner violence to bring justice to survivors. Using a participatory approach, the collaborative incorporated mapping and learning sessions with CREAW to outline paths to deepen the community’s knowledge and change behaviors around prevention.

The collaborative’s approach not only strengthened and enhanced CREAW’s programs and understanding of prevention, but also helped the organization integrate locally used methods, such as using the radio to share positive messages during COVID-19, to improve communication between partners. By reflecting on their past experiences, sharing global evidence and supporting the adaptation process with CREAW, the collaborative showed the benefits of valuing local perspectives and knowledge in violence prevention.