In a Pandemic, Gender Equality More Important Than Ever

Announced in June 2019 with a historic contribution of $300 million CAD from Global Affairs Canada, the Equality Fund is an innovative model delivering unprecedented resources to feminist movements. Our goal is ambitious: Mobilize $1 billion for gender equality in philanthropic and investment capital in Canada and around the world.

equality fund
Canada’s Minister for International Development and Minister of Women and Gender Equality announced Canada’s $300 million contribution to the Equality Fund on June 2, 2019. Members of the Equality Fund Collective from left to right:  Sharon Avery (Toronto Foundation), Keely Tongate (PAWHR), Lindsay Patrick (RBC Capital Markets), Theo Sowa (African Women’s Development Fund), Jess Tomlin (Equality Fund), Jessica Houssian (Equality Fund), Paulette Senior (Canadian Women’s Foundation), Andrea Dicks (Community Foundations of Canada), Nadine St. Louis and The Honourable Maryam Monsef.

We are shifting power and resources to organizations and leaders on the frontlines. Why? Because this is the most effective way to fight inequality. 

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COVID-19 Special Edition: Women’s Leadership Matters

Dear Readers, Welcome to our COVID-19 Special Edition. Here, we bring together perspectives and insights from some of the most erudite women leaders in philanthropy. We know that women’s leadership matter, particularly in these unprecedented times, and these voices are often missing from traditional philanthropy and news sites. That is how Philanthropy Women sets itself apart. We exist to serve the giving sector with a gender lens.

To read the issue, you can click on the rotating article box above, or click here to head over to the homepage for Philanthropy Women COVID-19 Special Edition. 

In an effort to increase our impact, readers are welcome to register for free Premium Access to Philanthropy Women from now until June 23, 2020, thanks to a special grant. Please read, share, and subscribe. 

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Workers Lab Extends Deadline, Cites Need for Innovation During COVID

If you had the next $150,000 idea, would your job get in the way of making that idea a reality?

The Workers Lab is a funding outlet and think tank dedicated to finding real-world solutions for the problems workers face around the world. As the backbone of companies, countries, and economies, workers are the drivers of transformation in society, but they’re often the first to be cast aside during events like the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Workers Lab recently announced an extension for the Spring 2020 Innovation Award.

In light of displacements and delays caused by COVID-19, The Workers Lab recently extended the application deadline for its Spring 2020 Innovation Fund award cycle to April 22. COVID impact has also led to the decision to cancel the Innovation Fund Finalist Showcase, typically held in San Francisco after each application cycle. This year, The Workers Lab is looking into virtual presentation options instead.

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How’s Rhode Island Managing the COVID Crisis?

Editor’s Note: The following interview is with Melissa Jenkins Ph.D., clinical neuropsychologist and clinical assistant professor at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

How would you describe Rhode Island’s response to the crisis?

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Melissa Jenkins, PhD, shares her perspective as a psychologist and community leader on COVID-19 in Rhode Island. (Photo credit: Angelina Rose Photography)

Rhode Island is an amazingly interconnected place. Even when we can’t be physically close to one another, I see all of my neighbors and friends reaching out to donate whatever assets and unique talents they have to help neighbors get through this crisis. We have incredible leadership in this fight. Right now, in living rooms across Rhode Island, little girls are setting up pretend podiums to play ‘Giving the Daily Briefing’, and they’re all saying the same thing. “Knock It Off.”

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African Girls Respond to COVID

Coverage of COVID-19 first focused on Asia, then Europe, and now increasingly North America. The virus, however, is global, and while there have been relatively few cases reported in Africa, the numbers are increasing, as is awareness about how to combat COVID-19.

Mr. Ablaye Sow; WGEP staffers Khady and Casimir; and Our Sisters Lead participants Absatou, Mouhamed, and Alima. (Photo credit: WGEP)

As is the case everywhere, education and preparedness are essential in blunting the effects of the novel Coronavirus. The Women’s Global Education Project (WGEP), an Oak Park, Illinois-headquartered non-profit, has been helping educate girls in Africa since 2004. It has worked with grassroots leaders in Kenya and Senegal to co-design programs that have impacted thousands of girls and women in poor communities with low levels of school enrollment and literacy. With the new challenge of COVID-19 afoot, Harriet Spears, WGEP Strategic Partnerships and Communications Manager, has shared stories with PW about how WGEP teams in Kenya and Senegal are working with local communities on reducing virus transmission.

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Creating New Ways to Expand Film’s Reach and Vision During COVID

In this global Pandemic time, philanthropic resources are stretching to a maximum. As well, our vision of what is philanthropic is also expanding. For the many of us who are tech savvy and broadband accessible, while we are isolated in our homes, our intercommunications online have tripled and quadrupled. Virtual meetings and presentations abound. We are tackling service in entirely new ways and through newly chartered venues.

From the Women Make Movies website, promoting their Virtual Film Festival. THE REST I MAKE UP began March 27. (Image Credit: WMM)

The independent film community is rallying around extending ways it can serve both its filmmakers and audiences – all while shut in at home. The Art House Convergence community listserv initiated a discussion early on and set some guidelines about safety as the coronavirus started to spread in the United States. Two days before SXSW cancelled, members of AHC pondered “when and if” questions. Then, one by one, art house movie theatres posted their closing statements, and a discussion emerged on what message to place on the empty marquees.

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April 2: GFW Hosting Webinar on Feminist Funding for COVID

As we head into the deepening crisis of COVID-19, now is the time for women funders and their allies to gather and strategize. This Thursday, April 2nd at 8amPT/11am ET. Please RSVP here and they will send you a link to join the webinar. Below is the invitation in full from Ammarah Maqsood, Development Officer for Global Fund for Women:

As most of us are watching the news and learning about the impact of COVID-19 here in the states, at Global Fund for Women, we are hearing from the women around the world about their creative solutions and pressing needs caused by the pandemic crisis. 

Where water isn’t readily available in homes, women have created inventive hand washing stations. In refugee camps in the Middle East, women are finding inventive ways to use WhatsApp and keep young kids learning.  

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Plan Int’l CA Voices Concerns about COVID’s Impact on Children, Girls

TORONTO, March 23, 2020 – As the world faces the worst health crisis of a generation, Plan International Canada is extremely concerned about vulnerable populations around the world – particularly children. Plan International Canada welcome’s the Government of Canada’s recent funding announcement to support humanitarian actors responding to COVID-19 and calls on governments and all responders to consider the unique needs of children, especially girls.

Plan International Canada articulates concerns for the welfare of children, particularly girls, in the COVID-19 crisis. (Image Credit: Plan)

Disease outbreaks affect girls and boys, women and men differently. Policies and interventions must be equitable, protective of human rights, inclusive of the poorest and most vulnerable people in society, and responsive to the different needs and risks faced by individuals. It is especially important to apply a gender lens at all times across all actions. Girls, especially those from marginalized communities and with disabilities, may be particularly affected by the secondary impacts of the outbreak due to their age, gender and other exclusion factors.

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W20 Calls for Gender Equality In COVID Crisis

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Mar. 23 /CSRwire/ – Women 20 (W20), the Women’s Engagement Group, welcomes the extraordinary G20 Summit and strongly agrees that a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic – and its human and economic implications – is urgently needed. We appreciate the effort of G20 Leaders to reduce the COVID-19 pandemic, to propose policies to protect people and safeguard the global economy, and their recognition that collaboration among G20 countries is needed. We, W20, are willing to contribute.

W20 Saudi Arabia has released a statement urging G20 leaders to act on gender equality efforts in addressing COVID-19 crisis. (Image Credit: W20 Saudi Arabia)

We urge that policies and public health efforts address the gendered impacts of disease outbreaks. Experts find that pandemics make existing gender inequalities for women and girls worse, and can impact their treatment and care. Women and girls face a variety of risk factors that must urgently be addressed. Given their predominant roles as caregivers within families and as front-line health-care workers, women are more likely to be exposed to the virus. Women also make up a disproportionate percentage of workers in sectors and roles that are impacted harder in economic downturns and offer less social protection. 

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Eve Ensler: Nurses Told to Work Even if They Have COVID Symptoms

Last evening, Kimberlé Crenshaw and the African American Policy Forum hosted a Zoom session called Under the Blacklight: The Intersectional Vulnerabilities that COVID Lays Bare. It featured an array of progressive leaders including Eve Ensler, Laura Flanders, Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Ai-jen Poo, Dorothy Roberts and Alvin Starks.

Kimberlé Crenshaw and the African American Policy Forum hosted a Zoom session called Under the Blacklight: The Intersectional Vulnerabilities that COVID Lays Bare. (Image Credit: AAPF)

There were many great points discussed in the meeting, but as a health care provider, I want to bring one point right to the surface. Eve Ensler, when discussing her work supporting nurses in the COVID crisis, said that many nurses are reporting that they are being told that they need to show up for work even though they have COVID symptoms such as cough, congestion, and exhaustion, or the beginnings of symptoms which can sometimes look like nausea and vomiting, sleeplessness, and “just not feeling right.”

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