Our 2009-2012 strategy has now come to an end. We are currently finalising our new grants strategy which will be launched later this year. We will open for applications in September 2013 so please check nearer the time for more details.
Women and girls
Although some improvements have been made, there is still much to be done to ensure all the commitments made to women and girls across the world, and particularly Africa, over the last 25 years, are achieved.
70% of the world’s poorest people are women and they own only 1% of the world’s property. In addition, women and girls have poor access to education such that 55% of those not enrolled in school are girls and 66% of illiterate people are women.
Nearly 50% of all sexual assaults worldwide are against girls aged 15 years or younger, while domestic violence is the largest cause of women’s injury and death – leading to more deaths and disability among women aged 15-44 than malaria, war, traffic accidents and cancer. It is estimated that 1 in 3 women in Africa experience violence in the home.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that female genital mutilation (FGM) has affected as many as 138 million women and girls in Africa, and the numbers continue to rise at a rate of approximately two million per year. Twenty-seven per cent of girls aged 15-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa have been married and 28% have given birth by age 18.
The lack of women’s role in decision making in community affairs and local institutions remains a challenge but is a necessary step towards improving political representation. Women in Africa are generally excluded from decision making in the home, communities and society, and they represent only a 17% share of parliamentary seats across Africa.
We want Comic Relief’s funding to address changes at practical and structural levels and bring about positive and enduring changes for women and girls in Africa.
Aim of the programme
The aim of the programme is to contribute to a transformation in the status and lives of women and girls in Africa so that they can realise their rights and their full potential, and become equal and respected members of families, communities and society. We want Comic Relief’s funding to address changes at both the practical and structural levels and to bring about positive and enduring changes for women and girls in Africa.
The overall aim is to support women and girls. Within this we expect projects to give priority to:
- Girls who are attending or who are not in school and women who’ve missed out on an education. This is because education yields some of the highest returns of all development investments.
- Women and girls in the formal and informal employment sector. This is because the jobs they occupy remain unregulated and unstable.
- Women and girls at risk of, or who have been affected by, domestic, sexual or gender-based violence, including harmful traditional practices. This is because violence prevents women and girls from participating fully in society and is a major obstacle to development, peace and security.
- Women and girls with the potential to take on roles of leadership and decision making or who already occupy such positions but could be supported in making an even greater impact. In many countries, measures have been taken to increase the representation of women in all levels of government and decision-making processes but progress has been slow. Women are still underrepresented at every level of government.
Priority will be given to work with African organisations that are led and managed by women. We believe that they will be best at representing agendas and implementing work to transform the lives of women and girls and the lives of their families and communities.
The Women and Girls programme will focus on any country or region in Africa.
Your work will need to deliver one or more of the following outcomes:
- Improvements in girls’ access to and attainment of a basic education, and women’s access to and attainment of adult literacy. This will lead to improvements in the confidence, self worth and marketable skills of women and girls.
- Improvements in women’s ownership and management of property and productive assets, and the promotion of strategies that advance the economic and social rights of women in the employment sector. This will give women better control over their lives and their prospects.
- An improved customary and civil environment that promotes and enforces women and girls’ safety, and improves support and services available to those at risk of and affected by gender-based violence . This will result in increased safety and protection of women and girls.
- Increased representation of and accountability towards women and girls in state, customary and civic bodies, leading to changes in policies and practices that contribute to improvements in the quality of life of women and girls.
Type of grants available
Grants available under the Women and Girls programme are as follows:
Project grants – these may be up to £1 million over five years. Organisations are strongly advised to submit applications that are proportionate to their size and capacity, the size and capacity of their local partners, and their track record to date.
Research, Consultation and Planning grants – these may be for up to £25,000 and for up to 12 months’ duration. They will enable partners to carry out action research, a needs analysis, a pilot study, and related work that will help applicant organisations to develop a well thought out proposal.
Restrictions: these grants are only available to organisations with an income of less than £1m per year, or Diaspora-led organisations.
Investment grants – these provide long-term, core funding for local organisations, usually over five years. There is no upper limit but Investment grants must be proportionate to the size and capacity of applicant organisations and their partners.
Restrictions: these grants are only available to selected partners with a long history of Comic Relief funding and a track record of success in work related to our Women & Girls programme.