Leading from the South (LFS) is a feminist philanthropic fund and alliance conceptualised and managed by four leading women’s funds: African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), Fondo de Mujeres del Sur (FMS), 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 over four years.
A Global South where all women and girls live with the full, equal enjoyment and realisation of their human rights.
To resource and support organisations, groups, and movements working on women and girls’ rights to lead change and transform societies towards the full achievement of their human rights in the Global South.
How we work
We provide funding in the form of innovative and flexible grants to women’s organisations and change agents in the Global South.
We invest in capacity building through technical and financial resourcing to strengthen capacities of change agents.
We promote advocacy by supporting women’s movements and networks in the Global South.
We help build partnerships across strategic regional and global alliances, and provide critical spaces for South-South learning, and advancing the human rights of women and girls.
What are women’s funds?
Women’s funds, organisations, groups, and movements have been at the forefront of advocacy on the human, economic, and social rights of women and girls for decades. There are currently 37 women’s funds worldwide working under the umbrella of Prospera, the International Network of Women’s Funds, to support grassroots-led efforts towards sustainable and inclusive social change in over 170 countries.
A total of 26 of the funds are based in the Global South, including the four LFS member funds.
Women’s funds in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, the Middle East, and Latin America and the Caribbean play a crucial role in ensuring availability, diversification, and sustainability of funding for interventions committed to advancing the rights of women and girls. Women’s funds in the Global South also serve as important allies and advocates for local change agents and grassroots organisations working under oppressive systems and environments to advance human rights and social justice. Together, they strive against marginalisation, violence, and discrimination against women and girls in attaining and enjoying their civil, economic, cultural, social, and political human rights.