Leading from the South (LFS) was officially launched in December 2016, marking a ground-breaking partnership between a bilateral institution and a group of southern based women’s funds (WFs) created to resource women’s rights activism in the Global South for a period of four years (2017-2020).
LFS is a feminist funding alliance conceptualised and led by four women’s funds: Fondo de Mujeres del Sur (FMS), African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), International Indigenous Women’s Forum (FIMI) / AYNI Fund (AYNI), and Women’s Fund Asia (WFA). LFS supports women’s rights activism and lobbying efforts by women’s organisations, movements and networks at the regional, national, and grassroots levels in the Global South. It is financed through a €40 million (~US$46 million) fund from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Through this programme, FMS has supported 50 organisations and networks –reaching a total of 161 grassroots, mid-sized and large women’s and LBTIQ+ organisations, in 22 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. All the organizations and networks were selected from two open calls in which more than 1500 proposals were submitted in total.
• LFS is indeed strengthening the organizational capacities of women’s and LBTIQ+ organizations and networks in Latin America and the Caribbean. It has mainly:
(i) increased organisation’s legitimacy both with other organisations, as well as with donors, policymakers and government officials;
(ii) increased grantee’s reach through the launch of new initiatives, programmes or strategies, additional staff and a wider geographic coverage;
(iii) allowed for reflection and learning on organisational practices.
• LFS is clearly contributing to strengthen the feminist movement in Latin America and the Caribbean by bringing women together across various divides and building collective power and identity. Also, through alliance-building among women's and LBTIQ+ rights organisations.
• In terms of increased women’s leadership, LFS has clearly contributed to awareness-raising and empowerment of larger number of women, LBTIQ+ persons and their organisations. There is also progress in strengthening the number of activists in leadership roles or the quality of their leadership.
• LFS is enabling grantees to influence the gender perspectives/ strategies of other movements, sectors and organisations.