As US and NATO Withdraw, WAW Fears Plummet in Women’s Justice

Women for Afghan Women (WAW) fearfully responds to the US and NATO withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in September.

Women for Afghan Women - GuideStar Profile
Women for Afghan Women (WAW) works to support disenfranchised women in Afghanistan. (Image credit: WAW)

Women for Afghan Women (WAW) , the largest Afghan women’s rights organization in the world, remains deeply concerned about the fate of women and girls in Afghanistan after a full withdrawal of United States (US) and NATO armed forces from Afghanistan in September of 2021.

WAW urges the US government and its NATO allies to employ the full weight of their diplomatic, economic, and political power during the months leading up to the withdrawal to ensure the establishment of an inclusive and comprehensive political settlement, which will fully protect the Afghan constitution and the rights of all Afghan citizens enshrined therein.

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New Report Reveals Truth about Ivanka Trump Not Helping Women

The Governmental Accountability Office audit of the program shows that it failed to fulfill its promises.

Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump (Photo Credit: TheGuardian.com)

The Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act of 2018 (WEEE), put into action under the Trump administration, is often credited to Ivanka Trump and regarded as being widely successful. A new report from the Government Accountability Office reveals otherwise. 

This act tasked the US Agency for International development (USAID) with utilizing a $265 million grant to assist micro, small and medium sized businesses around the world. Half of this grant was intended to go to women-owned companies. The other half was to be allocated to the “very poor”, with it being expected that there would be overlap between the two. 

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Nicole Boucher on the Unique Power of Women’s Lived Experiences

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Nicole Boucher, vice president of Way to Win and senior advisor to its 501(c)3 effort, Way to Rise.

Nicole Boucher, courtesy of Nicole Boucher

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession? 

What you most often see in philanthropy are people with high education degrees, family philanthropy full of people who grew up with privilege and wealth, generations of parents who attended college, etc. My own background doesn’t reflect that. Early in my career, there was a time when I hid who I was to belong. I would nod along in meetings as if I knew what they were talking about, and then rush home and Google and study up late into the evening to catch up. I now see that the power of my lived experience is one of great value in solving our nation’s most pressing problems, and the insights and strategies that I bring to philanthropy can go to bat with any Harvard Kennedy School graduate!

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FRIDA Commits to Flexibility with 93 New Participatory Grants

FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund is on a roll, and they’re not letting up anytime soon. Shortly after finishing their 10th anniversary celebrations, the FRIDA team announced the next round of grants to 93 organizations, bringing their total grantee cohort to 252 activist groups in 115 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, the Asian continent, Caucasus, Central and Eastern Europe, and the African continent.

FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund recently announced the next 93 grantee partners in its latest cohort, representing the largest grant-making cohort in the organization’s 10-year history. (Image Credit: FRIDA)

This marks FRIDA’s largest grantee cohort since the organization’s founding, and the next step in FRIDA’s robust five-year plan.

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Dear America, Why is Canada Leading the Charge for LGBTQ+ Funding?

In February 2021, the Canadian federal government announced new outgoing funding for 76 LGBTQ+ organizations across the country. Totaling $15 million CAD ($11.85 million USD), these new grants offer a much-needed capital injection for LGBTQ+ organizations at a time when the queer community struggles to meet and offer support for each other. This funding represents an exciting and forward-focused campaign for Canada — but says plenty about the lack of federal LGBTQ+ funding opportunities in the United States.

A child shows support for Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) at a march in Alberta, Canada. (Image Credit: Denin Lawley)

Our neighbors to the north have frequently led the way in liberal and progressive policymaking, and this new round of federal funding is yet another way that the Canadian federal government is outpacing our own in terms of progressive thinking. The Biden Administration already has its work cut out for it “rolling back the rollbacks” from 45, but it cannot ignore the conspicuous funding gap between federal programs and the LGBTQ+ community.

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Attorney Ken Eulo on Navigating Flawed Systems, Recognizing Bias

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Ken Eulo, a criminal defense lawyer in Central Florida’s Smith & Eulo Law Firm. Eulo has a strong commitment to supporting domestic violence survivors through access to legal services, as well as supporting feminist movements as a male ally.

Ken Eulo is a leading criminal defense attorney in Central Florida. (Image Credit: Smith & Eulo)

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

I wish I had known that my law career would involve advocating for my clients’ rights against the very justice systems sworn to protect them. I consider my first real-life foray into criminal law as having occurred when I went on several “ride-alongs” with Los Angeles’ local police. I was an undergrad studying Criminal Justice and Pre-Law at University of Central Florida at the time, and these experiences with cops in my hometown allowed me to see criminal procedures up close and personal.

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Percentage of Female State Legislators is Highest It Has Ever Been

A new record has been hit for the number of women across the United States that hold leadership roles in state legislatures.

Across the United States, there has been a significant rise in women leadership in state legislatures over the past few years.
Across the United States, there has been a significant rise in women leadership in state legislatures over the past few years.

(Associated Press, 2/24/21) Nevada state Sen. Pat Spearman, shown here at the 2016 Democratic convention, has led legislation to passage as the party’s chief majority whip. A record number of women have taken leadership roles in state legislatures, meaning they can not only add to the conversation, but in many cases control which conversation is being had.

Nevada state Sen. Pat Spearman, a Democrat and chief majority whip, successfully shepherded legislation in 2020 requiring pharmacists to honor 12-month doctors’ prescriptions for birth control pills, over the objections of some male lawmakers.

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Gender Policy Council Needs its Own Budget to Focus on All Sectors

The newly established Gender Policy Council is anticipated to work across the board on governmental policy related to gender.

It has been roughly a month since the announcement from the Biden-Harris administration of its White House Gender Policy Council. As announced, the council is spearheaded by co-chairs, Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso. During the Obama administration, a similar council called the White House Council on Women and Girls was created. Shortly after taking the presidency in 2016, Donald Trump disbanded that council. Now, Biden has reinstated a new council explicitly dedicated to working toward gender equality.

Jennifer Klein and Julissa Reynoso will head Biden’s Gender Policy Council. (Image Credit: MANA National)

Many in the Democratic leadership heralded the new Council and its leaders as an important breakthrough. “Congratulations to Jen Klein, who’s long been by my side on domestic and global women’s issues, and Julissa Reynoso, a dynamo who served with me in the State Department,” said Hillary Clinton, in a post on Twitter regarding the Gender Policy Council leadership. “Great to have this team on the front lines fighting for women and girls everywhere.”

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Where Are Young Women in Philanthropy?

In the same ways that traditional philanthropy has been historically dominated by white, older, high net worth men, feminist philanthropy has a noticeable population gap in younger age groups. Young women, in particular, in an era of crushing student loans, underemployment, and uncertainty in the face of COVID-19, are noticeably absent from a movement dedicated to their wellbeing.

Young women’s activism is at an all-time high — but why are we missing from feminist philanthropy? (Image Credit: Gayatri Malhotra)

This is not to say that the younger generations aren’t pulling their weight. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Young activists like Greta Thunberg and Sarah Goody are leading the way to revolutions in social justice and culture change. LGBT+ and POC youth are standing vanguard against discrimination, homophobia, and rollbacks of minorities’ legal rights.

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My Survival Is Worth Funding: NCRP’s Brandi Collins-Calhoun

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Brandi Collins-Calhoun, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy Senior Movement Engagement Associate.

Brandi Collins-Calhoun, courtesy of Brandi Collins-Calhoun

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession? 

I’m not sure that there was anything I could do to prepare to enter work that would be grounded in philanthropic feminism, especially knowing that the radicalization of mainstream feminism hasn’t happened across all movements and sectors yet. However, I wish I knew the weight of the shift from my life as an organizer fighting for my survival and safety to be centered, to my current role petitioning that my survival and safety is worth funding. I wish I knew how to find the balance and show up for myself through that process. There is often guilt and weight that comes with centering my needs in this work because this fight is so much bigger than just me, but I am reminded that Audre Lorde named that, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” That balance between holding the sector accountable and caring for myself is a radical act that is necessary for me to continue the work.

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