What makes their track record even more remarkable is that many local women’s organizations are running on a median budget of just $20,000 a year. Considering their enormous potential to make life better for all of us, I think it’s time we give them a raise.
So here is my pitch: if we want to change the world, we should invest in the people who already are. In 2018 that will mean challenging ourselves to do a better job of finding and funding grassroots women’s movements. Right now, less than 2% of global funding for gender issues goes to local women’s organizations.
In recent years, governments like those in the Netherlands and Canada have invested significant resources in women’s movements, and I hope that others will follow suit. You can be sure that Bill and I will. Over the next three years, our foundation will be investing in women’s funds like Mama Cash and networks like Prospera, which provides financial support to women’s funds and grassroots women’s organizations in over 170 countries, spanning Africa to Asia to Latin America.
Imagine what’s possible if the world decides to partner with these organizers as their allies. Imagine how much more we can accomplish if the women who are doing so much to move the world forward finally have our full support behind them.
I’m hopeful that in 2018, we’ll do more than imagine that future. We’ll start making it a reality.