Resource Exchange


Gender Links: Rapid Response Funding - COVID and Women’s Rights (South Africa)

Ana Isabel Paraguay
Posted April 30, 2020 from Brazil
Expired on December 30, 2020
Gender Links (GL) logo
Gender Links (GL) logo

Gender Links (GL), a Southern African NGO head-quartered in South Africa, will be managing Canada’s flagship FIAP Women’s Voice and Leadership (WVL) SA Fund as part of its objective to enhance local capacity through the initiative.

The fund responds to the needs of local women’s organisations in developing countries that are working to advance the rights of women and girls and promote gender equality.

Rapid Response Funding is for discreet activities and short projects including delivery mechanisms that would allow nimble and timely response to unforeseen events where it is strategic that action be taken.
The funds can also be used to support and pilot innovative ideas and incubate new organisations and movements.
The main recipients for this Grant are organizations piloting innovative approaches and/or responding to emerging issues on women’s rights and gender equality.

Rapid Response grants are strategic, catalytic interventions that respond to an immediate situation or emergency, but deliver systemic, long term results.
They are typically unplanned for.
The philosophy behind the fast, flexible funding is that WROs often end up responding to human rights abuses, deregulation, cyberbullying, personal harassment or other types of gender discrimination as part of their mandates, but the project funds they typically access cannot be used for this type of work.
Most project-based funding does not allow them the flexibility to do this.
Any mechanism that responds to these issues can be considered appropriate under this pillar of funding.

To be successful grant proposals must demonstrate that the action is at least one of the following:
1. A timely response to an unforeseen event.
2. A strategic action that takes the field of WR/ GBV etc. forward.
3. An innovative pilot that addresses a critical systemic challenge.
4. A critical intervention that facilitates wider change.
5. Identification and work on a key emerging WR issue.
6. Incubation of an innovative new idea, organisation or movement.

Focus Areas
Areas that can be considered for funding under the Rapid Response window include but are not restricted to:
a) Supporting prevention and response to GBV, including through safe shelters but also campaigns on social norms targeting male engagement in domestic work and combatting domestic violence.
b) Grassroots research and monitoring of the differentiated gender impact of the outbreak.
c) Mobilising of women’s organisations at community level to ensure that public health education messages on risk and prevention strategies are reaching all women (including through community radio, the use of technology, etc.).
d) Ensuring that women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights needs are met. These include maternal health, contraceptives, safe abortion and LGBTIQ needs and rights.
e) Supporting women working in the health sector and on the frontline of the pandemic.
f) Supporting women who will be most economically affected by the crisis, including the informal sector, cross border trade and domestic workers.
g) Distributing food parcels to hard hit families and female and child-headed household with no potential for other income and increase access to running water for improved hygiene, infection control and improved recovery of patients who are infected.
h) Using spaza shops, burial societies and other appropriate vehicles to distribute infection control supplies (such as masks, hand sanitizers, sprays) to community members and vulnerable sub populations such as women on the streets
i) Supporting home based care to the sick, providing the necessary supplies and offer relief accommodation to help with self-isolation in conditions where the home is inadequate.
j) Strengthening the leadership and meaningful participation of women and girls in all decision-making processes in addressing the COVID-19 outbreak.
k) Institutional support to eligible organisations, to ensure they are able to sustain themselves through the crisis.

Eligibility Criteria
Eligible WROs will be:
> Based on feminist principles and must explicitly include gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in their mandate and programming.
> Demonstrate a track record of collaborating with other WROs to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
> Have an Executive Director/Head and 80% of the people in all decision-making levels (management and governing board, if one exists) who are women. At least 60% of the staff must be women.
> Applications will be accepted from networks of WROs, which may include feminist, women-led groups that are not registered, do not have three years of experience and/or are less experienced in terms of financial management and technical capacity.
> WROs may not necessarily be required to show due financial diligence or a donor track record up front.

Due to its nature of the Rapid Response grant it is a one step process:
i ) There is NO concept note only a full application;
ii) If successful, the applicant is informed. If a new grantee, WVL will undertake a rapid due diligence to ensure all necessary systems and processes for accountability.

GL will respond within two weeks to emergency applications.

Contracts will be valid between for a minimum of three months, up to a maximum of one year.

Utilize This Offer

Applications are now open for the Rapid Response window with a special emphasis on mitigating the effect of COVID on Women’s Rights in South Africa.

Eligible Activities include, but are not limited to WROs working to promote women’s and girl empowerment in following areas: Constitutional and Legal Rights; Governance; Education; Economic Justice; GBV; SRHR; Health, HIV and AIDS; Media and Climate Change.

The minimum amount available for Rapid Response Grants to the grantees is R20,000 with a maximum amount of R50,000.

The grants are available for a period of three months to one year.

For more information, please visit

Comments 4

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Ana Isabel Paraguay
Apr 30, 2020
Apr 30, 2020

Friendly reminders:
1. Study similar calls (open and closed ones) that interest you in order to discover what they have in common and how you can think ahead/plan to apply = increase your chances of success!
2. Prepare/update paperwork (certificates and attests usually required from an organization like yours);
3. Write (baby steps...!) and discuss a project draft - to validate the priorities within your group and to train your grant writing skills;
4. Do not wait to find a call and then start writing your proposal/project. Start now!!!
5. Visit the World Pulse website >>> My Pulse >>> Resources and then use its filters (right upper corner) to find what may really suit you;
6. Share the opportunities that may not apply to you but can interest others;
7. Spread the word about your failures and achievements in grant requests. Yes, tell these stories too! They will enlighten and inspire your network.

Jill Langhus
May 02, 2020
May 02, 2020

Wow! This is amazing. Thanks, Ana!

Ana Isabel Paraguay
May 02, 2020
May 02, 2020

Hope many will apply!

Jill Langhus
May 04, 2020
May 04, 2020