“Every woman and girl is strong, safe, powerful, and heard”, this is the motto of the Global Fund for Women. The Fund assists women leaders and activists from all over the world and works on improving life quality for every woman. The project stands for human and especially women rights, women’s equality and a positive impact of women’s position in our society. Today’s Fund’s leader is Musimbi Kanyoro, a professor, and women’s defender from Africa, works hard to make big changes happen.  

 

The Fund’s Leader

Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, President, and CEO of Global Fund for Women, is an activist for women’s health and human rights. Musimbi is passionate about using modern technologies and humanity to change the world. Musimbi was born in Kenya, one of 10 children in her family, was given the same educational possibilities as the sons. Since then, she stands for justice, human rights, and peace and fights for every girl in the world to have the same opportunities as boys do. “I want the same for every girl and woman, no exceptions,” Musimbi said.

Right from her youth, she was focused on the self-determination of African peoples and the abolishment of apartheid in South Africa. As a student activist, Musimbi took leadership on a wider stage of United Nations and other International and Ecumenical Youth Forums, one of her responsible roles was the position of the Executive Secretary for the Lutheran World Federation. In 1998, Musimbi was the first non-white woman to be the general secretary (CEO) of the World YWCA. Among her tasks was to make the organization a go-to organization for young women’s leadership and for HIV prevention and care. Under her leadership, the World YWCA became one of the first organizations with young women under 30 making up 55% of the Global Board of trustees. After that, Musimbi has been Director for Population and Reproductive Health at David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

At the Global Fund for Women, Musimbi reached the organization exceeds of $100 million in grantmaking and initiated a successful alliance with another non-profit. Today, she’s still developing the organization’s impact through her numerous offerings to main media terminals and many speaking commitments in leading global forums. Musimbi got her a Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of Texas, Austin, and a doctorate in Feminist Theology at the San Francisco Theological Seminary. In 2014, the Women’s E-News called her one of the 21 women leaders for the 21st century. In 2015, she was named one of 10 women “power brands” working for gender equality by the Forbes magazine.

Near the Global Fund for Women, Musimbi works for the Aspen Leaders Council, the CARE Board, the UN High Level Taskforce for Reproductive Health, UN Women Civil Society Advisory Board, and for The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)’s Scientific Advisory Board.

 

About the Global Fund for Women

The Global Fund for Women is a supporter of the human rights of women and girls. It uses powerful networks to find, finance, promote and amplify the brave work of women who are forming social campaigns and questioning the status quo. The project has a pretty long history: It was founded in 1987 in Palo Alto, California, by four women: Anne Firth MurrayFrances KisslingLaura Lederer, and Nita Barrow. They were sure that “that women’s human rights were essential to social, economic, and political change around the world, for the benefit of us all”. They’ve made a band to promote grassroots women-led movements and help the permanent changes occur.

From the very beginning, Global Fund for Women was “a public foundation, relying on the generosity of donors to support its critical work”. Fund’s first director Anne Firth Murray developed the Fund as a leader in women’s rights funding and expertise. In 1996, Kavita Ramdas became the organization’s CEO and mobilized resources and attention for women’s rights. Under her management, the Fund has encountered fantastic growth and it’s capital increased from $6 million to $21 million. In 2011, Musimbi Kanyoro joined the Global Fund for Women and continued the work of predecessors, trying to attract more attention to women’s problems in our society and developing the organization itself. She added more comprehensive learning, monitoring, and evaluation. Under Musimbi’s leadership, the Fund has surpassed $100 million in total grantmaking.

In 2014, after merging with the International Museum of Women, the company got much bigger and brought together its powerful grantmaking and advocacy expertise with skills in awareness raising, online campaigns, and digital storytelling. There were a lot of changes happened to the Global Fund for Women during its history, but their concept is still the same: Trust women. “Women are the best agents of change in their communities, and giving them resources and voice can change the world”, the Fund’s website reads.

 

Today’s activities

As before, the Fund works on improving women rights and to make our community more “led-women-friendly”. “We campaign for zero violence, economic and political empowerment, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. These are the most critical building blocks for women’s human rights. When a woman has these rights, she can be strong, safe, powerful, and heard”, is written on the official page of the Fund. Since 1987, Global Fund for Women has already invested in nearly 5,000 women-led groups across 175 countries, helping win rights for millions of women and girls.

The Global Fund for Women wants every woman and girl and our society as well to remember the rights that are consecrated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Women have “right to decide if and when she has children and to have high-quality health care that means she won’t die in pregnancy or during childbirth”. The Fund also fights for the right of every woman to live equally and free from discrimination and violence. The Fund’s team supports two critical documents for women’s rights: the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), an international bill of rights for women, and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted in 1995 at the UN’s Fourth World Conference in Beijing. These conventions require governments to end gender discrimination and affirms women’s rights to health services, including family planning. And the Global Fund for Women’s goal is to make the world to respect the women rights ensured in various documents.

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