Issues Affecting Women Programme: supporting women’s rights to safety from violence and building movements that promote their equal rights

Issues Affecting Women


The Challenge


Women and girls throughout the world continue to experience violence, discrimination, inequality, and poverty. Despite the existence of international covenants, regional treaties and domestic laws intended to codify and realise women’s human rights, the reality is that women and girls are routinely unable to claim their basic rights.


What we're doing


In the Issues Affecting Women Programme, we seek to contribute to a world in which women have the rights, capacity and opportunity to experience safety from violence and to enjoy their full and equal human rights.  Specifically, the programme aims to build a strong and vibrant women’s movement comprising of women who are empowered individually and collectively to challenge patriarchal norms, tackle the root causes of inequality and demand the full spectrum of their rights.


We also work to end existing patterns of violence that disrupt women’s lives – in the family, outside the home and in crisis – by ensuring that rights-based laws and policies guarantee an environment safe from violence. In addition, we support a broad range of comprehensive services that empower women to recover from the trauma of violence and to rebuild their lives.


Please read the What we fund page and the Strategy and Strategic Learning and Evaluation System for more information on programme priorities and current grant information.




The Issues Affecting Women Programme primarily supports women’s organisations, groups or funds that:


  • adopt a rights-based approach;
  • recognise women as rights holders and advance the rights of women and gender equality;
  • have a participatory and empowering approach that places women centre stage, building on their strengths and ensuring their full and equal participation in society;
  • take an integrated and holistic approach, considering women in the context of their environment and culture as well as understanding the nature and causes of the issues affecting them;
  • promote systemic changes that hold duty bearers (i.e. governments and institutions) fully accountable for respecting, protecting and fulfilling women’s rights;
  • contribute to the broader women’s movement by complementing individual and community action with networking and joint advocacy initiatives; and
  • build evidence that contributes to best practices and catalyses innovation.