The Doria Feminist Fund seeks to create a feminist ecosystem where the new generation of feminist movement in the MENA region has access to more and better funding and resources which enables the development and sustainability of its activism to advance the rights, wellbeing, and security of all women & LGBTQ+ individuals and groups.
The Doria Feminist Fund mobilizes financial, political, and technical resources to give grants and offers close accompaniment to feminist groups and engaged feminist scholars in the MENA region. The Doria Feminist Fund works to ensure they have the necessary resources to sustain and develop their activism, identify and determine their priorities independently, produce homegrown knowledge by and for their movements, and advocate for the rights of all women and LGBTQ+ individuals and groups in their countries.
Independent feminist groups in the MENA region are at the forefront of the fight for justice and equality for all women and LGBTQ+ individuals and organizations. These vibrant and active groups are often under-resourced and sidelined by various forces and ideologies. They deal with enormous social and political backlash in their countries often at the risk of their own safety and security.
The Doria Feminist Fund works to make sure that both new and established feminist groups in the MENA region have access to more and better funding to continue and develop their work, articulate their own priorities and produce local knowledge.
Feminists groups in the MENA region are courageously leading the fight to advance the rights of women & LGBTQ+ groups and to ensure that they are able to lead safe, healthy and happy lives. They are harnessing their power to create feminist and just realities and to make sure that their independent voices are heard loud and clear, despite being the targets of social and political backlash. However, as a fund created by and for the feminists of the region, we know that feminist groups in the MENA region - especially nascent ones - face hardship when it comes to securing funding for their important work. These groups have the best in-depth knowledge of their contexts and the closest connections to women and LGBTQ+ groups in their communities, but they often fall through the cracks of international funding and are forced to stop their work due to the lack of resources.
New feminist groups with fresh ideas are appearing in the region every day; they are asking new questions, engaging with new tools, and challenging older paradigms of feminist activism in the region to advance the rights of women & LGBTQ+ groups. These groups are often bold and generate dynamics that constantly come forth with new solutions and concepts to create and catalyze change for women and LGBTQ+ groups in their communities. Yet, they are consistently underfunded, due to several challenges including language gaps, poor IT connectivity, lack of familiarity with verbiage used in proposal writing, no bank accounts, difficult reporting requirements, minimal to no personal connections with donors, and limited availability of funds that support movement-building rather than activities.
Established feminist groups in the region are struggling to continue their work and to expand their scope given the constraining and controlling contexts in which they operate, in addition to the lack of funds necessary to support their work. Moreover, knowledge is often produced “on” the region’s feminist movement with activists being seen as surrogates of local knowledge/information, but rarely are the local feminists and engaged scholars working to catalyze change in their countries able to produce knowledge about their own work or create their own narratives.
The Doria Feminist Fund works to make sure that these groups have access to more and better funding to continue and develop their work, articulate their own priorities and produce local knowledge through 3 grantmaking programs:
As part of Doria’s holistic approach to supporting the feminist movement in the region and ensuring that they have access to the tools they need to develop and sustain their work, the Fund tailored an Accompaniment program to offer our grantee-partners opportunities to build networks, develop skills and fund management capacity, create alliances and exchange knowledge with fellow feminist groups in the region.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.