The Political Will to Change Patriarchy: Where Women Sit Matters

For inspiration today, I’d like to turn to a news story set in Rosh Ha’ayin, a municipality in the northeast of Tel Aviv. The municipality was recently promoting a children’s performance where the seats closest to the stage were reserved for men, while the seats in the back of the hall were reserved for women. They claimed that this arrangement was made to “meet the needs of the entire population, based on their preferences.

Getty Images and Dove announced a new program called #ShowUs to grant funding for women. (Image credit: Getty Images)

The Israel Women’s Network demanded that Rosh Ha’ayin end the gender segregated seating. 

“Separation between men and women in the public space, particularly between boys and girls, as part of an event supported by public funding, is forbidden and violates the law,” Gili Zinger, the director of the legal department at the Israel Women’s Network, wrote to the Rosh Ha’ayin municipality. 

Important stands like this are a vital form of feminist giving — a way that the Israel Women’s Network is standing up to centuries of cultural norms and advocating that laws already on the books be upheld in the name of fairness to women.  So I’d like to recognize the Israel Women’s Network for speaking up and raising awareness. 

In a brighter spot in the news for women, NASA has awarded $5 million in grants to educational institutions working on the gender gap. Smith College and Simmons College are two of the big recipients. More on this story here. 

And Now the News:

One: Getty and Dove to Award Grants for Inclusive Storytelling 

A new initiative spearheaded by Getty Images and Dove aims to diversify visual representation of women’s health and wellness. The #ShowUs Grant, announced on June 14, 2023, is designed to foster diversity and inclusivity in commercial photography and videography, uplifting women, femme and non-binary artists in the process. Two recipients will receive $5,000 each, to help them create more authentic, wide-ranging visual stories. To apply, go here. 

Two: Jennifer Pritzker’s TAWANI Foundation Gives Near $2M for Research and Education During Pride Month

The TAWANI Foundation recently announced grants totaling $1,652,940 to support LGBTQIA+ education and research institutes across the country in observance of Pride Month. An additional $725,000 in matching funds are available under these grants. Funds support the advancement of equal treatment, judicial training, protection of rights for LGBTQIA+ communities, among other issues.  Grantees include: 

  • Equality Illinois Institute – $165,000 to partially support staff salaries and benefits for three years, plus sponsorship of the organization’s annual galas. The grant will also advance equal treatment and social justice through education, advocacy, and protection of the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly seeking to increase emphasis in media for issues relating to women, people of color, and trans/queer individuals.
  • Equality Ohio Education Fund – $100,000 to support educational resources and messaging intended to combat anti-transgender misinformation. This group is the lead for a five-state cohort (OH, KY, GA, FL, TX) that shares messaging strategies, intelligence, and communication resources.
  • Williams Institute at UCLA Law School – $275,000 to support the institute’s work in transgender research, judicial training, and to fund general operating costs. The Foundation will provide a match for specific cash donations received by the organization, up to $225,000.
  • Howard Brown Health Center$500,000 to support a capital campaign to relocate, build and expand clinical facilities. The facility is expected to open this year. The foundation will also match any private cash donations restricted to this purpose, up to $500,000.
  • University of Minnesota Foundation – $387,940 to support phase III of the Tretter Transgender Oral History Project, which will expand the project’s reach nationwide and allow for sophisticated online resources, workshops and tools for oral history volunteers. The project also documents the stories of transgender adults through recorded interviews and makes them available to the public.
  • Cornell University – $225,000 to support in support of the What We Know Project at the Center for the Study of Inequality. The TAWANI Foundation’s grant will fund research and communication to bring greater awareness and understanding to the diversity of LGBTQ lives worldwide.

To learn more about TAWANI Foundation grants, visit

Three: African Development Bank Extends Nearly $1m In Gender-Based Grants to Boost Women-Led Businesses In Sahel Region

The African Development Bank will be making nearly $1 million in new grant funds across the Sahel region of Africa, to support women-led businesses. These funds, , which supplement an earlier $3.9 million financing grant from the Bank’s Transition Support Facility, are expected to lend support to 1,400 women-led enterprises. 

The Gender Equality Trust Fund supports the delivery and scaling of the bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa, or AFAWA, program. AFAWA aims to close the $42 billion gender financing gap for women-led African enterprises by promoting gender-transformative lending and non-lending operations.

“We are excited to extend the impact of the program that will reach more than a thousand women entrepreneurs across the Sahel region,” said Malado Kaba, the Bank’s Director for Gender, Women and Civil Society. “We believe one key to building resilient African societies is the inclusion of women in economic development. The program’s wide range of business-related training and coaching – in addition to increasing access to finance – will go a long way toward reaching that goal,” she added.

Four:  Tying Sports Funding to Equal Access for Women in Ireland

In a significant governmental move for feminism from Ireland, sports organizations in the country were recently informed that they may have their funding withdrawn if they do not provide equal access to men and women at sports facilities.  Minister of State Thomas Byrne has said that even after funding is granted, it could be withdrawn if grounds and facilities are not equally available to male and female teams. Minister Byrne also recently announced that national sporting organizations will face significant funding cuts if female representation on boards doesn’t reach at least 40% by the end of the year.

“What I’m saying is men and women must have similar access because I’m getting reports around the country, particularly in some counties at county level, where the access terms are different,” said Mr. Byrne.

More on this story here.

Five: The Complicated Reasons Why Women Receive Less Science Research Grant

When trying to figure out the puzzle of less funding for women, it’s important to look at all the component parts that contribute to the problem. A recent article in helps to tease apart the different contributing factors, including that women submit less application, which is reportedly a huge factor. More on this research here. 


How Can Philanthropy Do More to Support Women in Sports?

Esports, Motorsports, Meteorology: More New Gender Lens Funding

Not Enough! Giving for Gender Equality Totals $6.3 Billion in U.S.

Author: Kiersten Marek

Kiersten Marek, LICSW, is the founder of Philanthropy Women. She practices clinical social work and writes about how women donors and their allies are advancing social change.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.