Netherlands invests in boosting women’s organisations in southern countries

The Netherlands has launched a new fund called ‘Leading from the South’ (LFS) to help boost women’s organisations in southern countries. In Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, LFS will support women’s organisations and networks dedicated to the political, social and economic empowerment of women. The new fund, which is administered by established women’s funds in the regions concerned, is now inviting grant applications.

LFS will help achieve two Dutch policy priorities: promoting women’s rights and gender equality and strengthening civil society. In the South, women’s organisations and networks play a crucial role in influencing the policies of governments, leaders, communities and other actors to achieve Global Goal no. 5: gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. LFS promotes cross-border cooperation and connects grassroots organisations with national, regional and global networks and movements.

Through grants, capacity development, and lobbying and advocacy, LFS will help equip organisations to influence policy, tackle power imbalances and reduce exclusion, violence, discrimination and inequality. This €40 million fund, operational from 2017 until 2020, will be administered by the South Asia Women’s Fund (SAWF) for activities in Asia and the Pacific, the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) for activities in Africa and the Middle East, Fondo de Mujeres del Sur (FMS) for activities in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the FIMI Indigenous Women’s Fund (AYNI) for indigenous women’s activities throughout the South.

Grant applications can now be submitted for Asia and the Pacific and for Africa and the Middle East. The grant frameworks for Latin America and the Caribbean and for indigenous women throughout the South will be published on 13 and 20 February 2017 respectively.

Information on LFS and details of the grant framework criteria are available on the websites of the relevant women’s funds: