20.6 billion has been pledged by countries and foundations globally to aid women, children, newborns, and adolescents affected by COVID-19.
(From PMNCH Press Release, December 2020) The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening three decades of improvement in health and social services for women, newborns, children and adolescents.
The well-being of this vulnerable group is being more affected than others due to disruptions to essential health, nutrition and social services since the pandemic, according to senior health experts at The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH), a global alliance of more than 1,000 organizations, hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The projections, commissioned by UN Women and UNDP, and carried out by the Pardee Centre for International Futures at the University of Denver, show that while the pandemic will impact global poverty generally, women will be disproportionately affected, especially women of reproductive age. By 2021, for every 100 men aged 25 to 34 living in extreme poverty (living on USD 1.90 a day or less), there will be 118 women, a gap that is expected to increase to 121 women per 100 men by 2030.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Firuzeh Mahmoudi, founder and executive director, United for Iran, a Bay area nonprofit that works to promote civil liberties and civil society in Iran.
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
One thing I’ve learned, that continues to ring true year after year, is that progress rarely occurs along a straight line. So many of us who have been inspired to enter the activist community started out with the hope that we’d experience and affect real change in our chosen issue areas quickly. However, as I recently discussed in a piece written on the 11 year anniversary of Iran’s Green Movement, the work toward progress often starts when the buzz stops, when the media loses interest and moves to the next catchy soundbite. Those of us who’ve remained in the movement and are still active today know that if we want to be truly effective, the work has to become part of our daily lives.
Women-led governmental progress toward ending period poverty is happening, finally. Yet, the US federal legislation still lags so far behind these human rights efforts, regardless of the valiant progress by countless charities, non-profits, and individuals.
On November 24, 2020, Scotland became the first country in the world to make period products free by law. The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill was brought forth by Monica Lennon, a fierce advocate for ending health disparities in her home country, and was unanimously approved. To summarize, the bill ensures anyone who needs menstruation products can get them for no cost, all educational institutions must have free period products in their restroom facilities, and, to top it off, the Scottish government now holds the power to enforce other public institutions to follow suit.
What a stressful, challenging, and world-view altering year. Between COVID, the free-fall of the economy, and the ongoing lack of clarity from the election, it feels like there’s no end to the new harm and instability in the world, particularly for women and girls. Here’s a look at what went wrong, and right, for gender equality funding strategies this past year, as represented by our Top 10 posts here at Philanthropy Women.
Listed below are the top 10 posts on Philanthropy Women for 2020, factoring in page views and social media shares, as well as stats on high-authority backlinks for each post. These are the posts that produced the most reverberations across the culture, from what we could tell.
Reproductive rights under Biden: what will it look like?
Since the Biden/Harris team clinched the US Presidency, feminist advocates and policy makers have begun to discuss the massive reclaiming of women’s rights that must occur to recover from the last four years of Trump-era regressions. To dig deeper into this mandate, leaders from several high profile organizations gathered recently online to make explicit what must happen to begin the recovery of rights for women and girls around the world.
Author and Attorney Jill Filipovic moderated the discussion, which featured Serra Sippel, President of the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), Anu Kumar, President and CEO of Ipas, and Akila Radhakrishnan, President of the Global Justice Center.
December 14, 2020WASHINGTON — To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, the Women’s Media Center today launches a new digital channel — WMC Climate — that highlights how the climate crisis affects the lives of women, indigenous people, people of color, and others whose needs and welfare tend to come last around the world.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s annual Arctic Report Card, released on Tuesday, found that the average air temperature from October 2019 through September 2020 was the second-highest recorded in at least 120 years: Temperatures were 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit above the baseline average for 1981-2010. And with the rise in temperatures comes a widening gap in who lives and who dies, and who lives well vs. who is left behind.
Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Olivia Wells, Director of Programs and Communications for Nadia’s Initiative, a nonprofit founded by Nadia Murad that supports “community-driven and survivor-centric sustainable development programs.”
1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
Bureaucracy; you learn about it in school, and you begin to see it when you enter the workforce but you don’t realize how many bureaucratic impediments there are to humanitarian work until you’re in the thick of it. You naively think that at the end of the day, we all want the same thing – to help those most vulnerable – so we should streamline processes to get those in need the help they deserve as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. The humanitarian sector is still saturated with top-down approaches to development. Many government and private funders insist on funding large organizations like the various UN entities, rather than investing in local NGOs. Local NGOs have a direct line to the communities they serve and are often able to implement projects more efficiently and for less money. These are the organizations we should be investing in.
WASHINGTON (November 12, 2020) – Today, Howard University PresidentWayne A. I. Frederick announced a $1 million gift from Heather and Jim Murren to launch the Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership at Howard University. The gift kicks off a multi-million fundraising effort for what will be an interdisciplinary, student-centered, faculty-led institute that works with professional programs in health, business, communications and law, as well as majors in the arts and sciences.
“We are extremely grateful to Trustee Jim Murren and Mrs. Heather Hay Murren for this generous $1 million gift to create the Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership at Howard University. Our students’ college experiences will be significantly enriched through this program, which will empower Black women to continue to take their rightful place as leaders in every facet of our society and the global community,” says President Frederick.
Editor’s Note: This edition of our Feminist Giving IRL series features Laura Deaton, Executive Director of Multiplier, a nonprofit working to accelerate impact for initiatives focused on health, sustainability, resilience, and equality.
What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?
I landed my first leadership role in the nonprofit sector in my early 30s and still had much to learn. I wish I had known from the start about the immense role that transparency and curiosity would play in helping me lead effectively. The power of those traits helped me design and better chart a course for impact.
First and foremost, transparent communication—executed well and with compassion—is a fundamental leadership skill that is integral to earning respect and trust. Curiosity and inquiry open doors and dialogues about truly discovering the best path forward by learning more about people, perspectives and processes before advocating for change.