The Global Fund for Women (GFW) was founded in 1987 by a group of women who believed that women’s rights were an essential part of advancing global agendas for social, economic, and political change. It is now the largest non-profit foundation in the world. The GFW functions as a grant making foundation that offers support to groups working to advance the human rights of women both locally and internationally. One of the key players in the international women’s movement, the Fund has had a global effect in securing major changes in women’s lives. As Berkovitch discussed in her paper on “The Emergence and Transformation of the International Women’s Movement,” promoting women’s rights is necessary for bringing about desired change in society.
Currently, issues surrounding women and gender equality are a priority in this country’s administration. At the end of January, President Obama signed a New Directive to strengthen the work done to advance gender equality worldwide, stating that “promoting gender equality and advancing the status of all women and girl around the world remains one of the greatest unmet challenges of our time, and one that is vital to achieving our overall foreign policy objectives.” This was seen as a great win for the GFW and will play a role in many of their platforms, including their initiative to expand civic and political participation. Over the past few decades, political participation has been boosted in nations of conflict, such as Afghanistan, Mongolia, and Cambodia, and women now also hold the highest office in twenty countries.
Without discrimination of socioeconomic status or ethnicity, the GFW has supported over 4,300 women-run society organizations with a cumulative amount of over $88 million dollars to date. Berkivitch notes that, “World-cultured ideas about women have penetrated developing countries…leading to the emergence of women’s movements in almost every country in the world (Berkovitch 298). The GFW’s active presence in developed and impoverished nations alike has empowered and brought together females, compressing the world society.