1,000 female entrepreneurs, majority women-owned businesses, and nonprofits in the United States will receive a $5,000 grant, totaling $5 million in funding from The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation. Funds go toward majority women-owned small businesses’ immediate needs in the face of coronavirus, as well as supporting their long-term recovery once the crisis has passed.
“My hope is that this gift will help alleviate some of the pressures caused by this horrible pandemic,” Blakely wrote in her Instagram announcement. “I know first hand what it’s like to be a small business owner. As a woman it can be lonely and scary, especially during a time like this. Small business is the backbone of our culture and I want to help.”
One small piece of good news about the COVID crisis is that there seems to be more awareness than ever about its gendered impacts. This piece in the New York Times, for example, discusses how women make up the majority of health care workers, and how, on top of that, they are more likely to take on the caregiving of sick people in their own families, and the care of children.
There are lots of things we can do to mitigate these impacts, but it will take conscious effort to resist the pull toward harmful gender norms. More than ever, we need to defend women’s rightful place in leadership and decision-making to end the COVID crisis. Think about it: if we had more women’s leadership at the table right now, say, for example, if Hillary Clinton had become President, we might be taking a much different approach to addressing this crisis, one that recognizes the validity of science and the need for preventative measures in health care.
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.
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.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Riki Wilchins, executive director of the nonprofit TrueChild and author of, “Gender Norms & Intersectionality: Connecting Race, Class and Gender.”
What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
I wish I’d realized how difficult and slow social change is. I think when you’re younger, you’re a bit more optimistic. But, any kind of real change takes years, maybe decades, of constant effort and attention.
What is your current greatest professional challenge?
Our goal is getting people to think intersectionally, so they connect race, class and gender norms. The challenge is two-fold: most organizations don’t know how to talk about gender norms, or if they do, they disconnect it from factors like race and class.
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.
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.
(March 26, 2020) The New York Women’s Foundation is launching the 2020 Resilience-NYC: COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to provide organizations funding to solve critical issues facing vulnerable and marginalized communities in New York City
NEW YORK, March 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The New York Women’s Foundation (The Foundation) announced the launch of 2020 Resilience-NYC: COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, providing $1,000,000 in grants to organizations helping women, transgender, gender nonconforming, non-binary (TGNCNB) individuals, and their families most impacted by COVID-19. Marginalized populations are among the most vulnerable during times of crisis, along with the local organizations that know how to best support them. The COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund will provide vital resources to organizations on the front lines for some of the hardest hit communities to address immediate and long-term needs.
On International Women’s Day, World Pulse announced the launch of their new digital impact campaign, #SheTransformsTech. In partnership with the Vodafone Americas Foundation, EQUALS, and a network of other sponsors from the philanthropy and technology worlds, this campaign crowdsources ways women can–and do–shape the future of tech.
“Our goal is to support organizations that are empowering women and girls on a global level,” says June Sugiyama, Director of Vodafone Americas Foundation, a charitable arm of one of the world’s leading telecoms and technology service providers. The Foundation fosters social change in global and local communities, with a focus on empowering women and girls. “This World Pulse initiative is a great example of how we can rally voices on this important issue.”
Well folks, we’re off the charts, quite literally. Vulnerable people are dying at an alarming rate. Markets are dropping and jumping and dropping again as more people test positive for COVID-19. Health care workers are risking their lives by going to work, and many of us are spending more time social distancing than humanity may have ever tried before. It’s all quite surreal.
Some leaders in philanthropy are responding to the health crisis with concern and plans to help.
The Kaiser Family Foundation has put together a Donor Funding for COVID-19 Response list, and there you can find organizations funding the research and the medical response to the unprecedented outbreak. Most of the funding listed here is going to China, and all of this funding is brand new, starting in January 2020.
Editor’s Note: The following message is from Andrea Pactor, Associate Director, Women’s Philanthropy Institute, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
Thank you for your patience as we wrestled with whether or not to move forward with Philanthropy Plugged In in light of the rapidly spreading COVID-19 situation. Yesterday, the Indiana University President made the decision to cancel the symposium easier. At Indiana University, as at several universities and businesses across the country, all travel outside the state is suspended through April 5 and we are discouraged from scheduling events with more than 100 attendees. Sad as we are not to see you in Chicago, we know, as one speaker mentioned, that this is the right thing to do.
ReflectUS, the nonpartisan coalition of the nation’s leading women’s representation organizations, is pleased to announce the hire of Tiffany Gardner as the coalition’s new CEO.
“Tiffany’s hire comes at a pivotal moment for the organization, and her leadership will help us capitalize on the heightened civic engagement of a presidential election year and advance the number of women in public office across America,” says Madalene Mielke, ReflectUS Board of Directors Chair and CEO of Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS).
Tiffany brings a decade of extensive international experience in human rights advocacy and domestic public interest. She has worked on women’s rights, human rights and grassroots organizing throughout Africa, Southeast Asia, and the United States. She worked with the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the United Nations International Law Commission and Human Rights Watch and recently was the co-founder and director of the One World Exchange Program for under-represented U.S. college students and organized international solidarity coalitions. She is a former Mergers & Acquisitions associate at the New York law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. She received a B.A. from Yale University, a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a LL.M. in human rights law from Columbia University Law School.