FON Parallel Event at CSW68: Advancing Gender Equality Through Feminist Financing

By Alejandra Garcia


Panellists from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America

In the bustling halls of the CSW68, amidst discussions on global issues and women’s rights, the FON Project carved out a space to spotlight an essential aspect of Advancing Equality: Financing with Feminist Approaches. This parallel event gathered a distinguished panel featuring voices from diverse backgrounds, each offering unique perspectives on the crucial role of feminist funding in promoting gender equality worldwide.


Carolina Calle, a sex worker and human rights defender from Colombia, shared her experiences alongside Shelani Palihawadana, Program Director at Youth Advocacy Network Sri Lanka, Tori Chakma representing Supporting People and Rebuilding Communities in Bangladesh, Mar Merita Blat, Head of Mission Gender at the French Development Agency (AFD), and Marie Josiane Tra Lou, from Initiative Tile in Cote d’Ivoire. Guiding the conversation was Aminata Ba, FON Project Manager from IPPF.


Aminata Ba and panellists

The panel’s discussions delved into the heart of the matter, highlighting the indispensable role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in economically empowering survivors of gender-based violence, particularly in the Global South. At the core of the discourse was the transformative power of feminist funding and its impact on advancing gender equality on a global scale.


Key insights emerged from the dynamic exchange, emphasizing the urgent need for direct support to feminist movements, especially in regions with fewer resources. The importance of funding dedicated explicitly to women’s rights and feminist organizations was underscored, alongside the advocacy for flexible, multi-year grants that offer core support. Such funding mechanisms empower organizations to allocate resources based on their priorities, fostering sustainability and autonomy.


Moreover, the panel shed light on the significance of recognizing and supporting small, informal community groups. Bridging the funding gap and enabling mid-sized women’s groups to access more substantial resources emerged as critical strategies for amplifying the impact of feminist funding initiatives. Calls for the decolonization of funding practices, feminist accountability, and a transformation of power dynamics within funding structures resonated throughout the discussions.


Attendees during FON parallel event at CSW68


As the event concluded, participants reflected on actionable recommendations for governments to enhance fiscal regulations supporting medium and informal feminist organizations. The collective commitment to advancing gender equality through feminist financing approaches was palpable, igniting a sense of hope and determination among attendees.


In closing, the FON Project’s event at CSW68 serves as a beacon of inspiration for all stakeholders invested in gender equality. Through collaborative efforts and a steadfast dedication to feminist principles in financing, meaningful change can be realized, empowering the feminist movement worldwide. Together, let us continue to strive for a more equitable and just future for all.