Fighting for Gender Justice

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We believe women and girls should have equal power and agency in decision-making at all levels

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We want all women and girls, both collectively and individually, to have equal power and agency in decision making at all levels

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We want the elimination of violence and discrimination based on gender and sexuality

What is the problem we're responding to? 

Despite some notable progress towards addressing gender disparities across the globe since the 1970s, inequalities continue to persist, violating basic human rights and perpetuating poverty and inequity. 

  • Globally, the average amount of time spent on unpaid domestic and care work is more than three times higher for women than men 1

  • gender-based violence is a global epidemic, with 1 in 3 women affected worldwide

  • in England and Wales an average of 2 women are killed by their partner or ex-partner every week


These are shocking statistics. However, limited funding goes towards feminist movements and women’s rights organisations, despite the clear evidence that this is critical in creating and sustaining transformative change for women and girls.
 

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what we know works

We know it is important to work with other organisations and partners at a local level, supporting a community-coordinated response to bring about systemic and behavioural change. Ensuring women and girls don’t just have their voices heard but are involved in policy conversations and hold decision-making positions at all levels. 
  
Research shows that government responses to violence against women and girls are more effective and robust in countries with vibrant, active feminist movements and we are committed to supporting women’s rights movements in the countries where we fund.
 

How will we contribute to change?

Through partnerships, we are interested in contributing to change in the following areas:

  • Supporting women and girls to be safe, healthy, educated and able to be independent with control over their lives
  • Reducing incidents of gender-based violence, persecution based on sexuality and harmful practices 
  • Increasing the evidence of what works in developing women-led movements for social change, and lead in developing and modelling best practice
  • Supporting feminist organisations with the resilience and capabilities to drive change
  • Shifting public attitudes and improving understanding about the influence of gender norms on choices and life outcomes
  • Supporting a diverse range of women’s rights organisations to fight against systems which perpetuate the injustices they encounter in their daily lives.

 

How have we contributed so far?

We’re proud that Comic Relief has been funding programmes tackling gender-based violence and supporting women and girl’s activism and empowerment since we began. 

In the UK we have:

  • Supported grassroots organisations delivering vital services, like the National Domestic Violence Helpline, as well as funding pioneering work like the Drive Project which works to disrupt the patterns of perpetrator behaviour in high risk situations.
  • Funded new ways of working like our Tech vs Abuse programme and the Child Sexual Exploitation Funder Alliance.
  • Supported work which has achieved strategic change for women and girls like the Refugee Women’s Charter which was developed by several organisations working with women migrants and asylum seekers.


Internationally, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa, we have:

  • Funded organisations who are challenging both the practices which allow violence (such as FGM and other harmful practices) and the policy and environment which have embedded these practices like the Advocacy Movement Network in Sierra Leone.
  • Supported initiatives which involve people in the work they do, like Red Umbrella, a fund guided by and for sex workers.
     
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1.  WHO 2017 ‘Global estimates published by WHO indicate that about 1 in 3 (35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime’ 

2. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/compendium/focusonviolentcrimeandsexualoffences/yearendingmarch2015/chapter2homicide