While there are a number of funders in the fight for women’s sexual health, reproductive rights, and gender equality, there's also a bottomless pit of challenges in this area worldwide. Sigrid Rausing Trust is a funder that works in areas of the world where other funders often steer clear.
Sigrid Rausing Trust has been dialed-in to defending the rights of all people in the face of oppression, but the rights of girls and women in particular play a pretty big part in its grantmaking. The trust recently made some decent-sized grants to international rights organizations, including the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, which received a £75,000 grant, and the International Service for Human Rights which recently received a three-year, £300,000 grant. Sigrid Rausing's remaining grants related to women’s rights were region-specific.
The trust recently awarded a three-year, £300,000 grant to the Ukrainian Women’s Fund, which is the first and only women’s fund in the region. The grant supports women’s organizations operating in Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus.
Sigrid Rausing also awarded a three-year, £135,000 grant to the Women’s Resource Centre Armenia, which works predominately in women's rights, reproductive and sexual rights, sexual violence, and women's role in conflict resolution and peace building. The grant supports the center’s direct services to women, including a gender-based violence hotline, legal aid, and advocacy work, to name a few.
Unlike Ukraine and Armenia, conflict areas in Africa receive a bit more attention from international rights funders, including Sigrid Rausing. The trust awarded a three-year, £300,000 grant to the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, which works with women in African conflict areas including Darfur, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Northern Uganda, and the Central African Republic. Sigrid Rausing’s grant supports the Women’s Initiative’s advocacy work regarding the prosecution of gender-based crimes by the International Criminal Court in conflict areas.
What makes Sigrid Rausing one of the more interesting funders in the women’s rights field is the places in which it operates, which are, more often than not, largely overlooked by like-minded funders. Make no mistake, the trust isn’t pushing any sort of political agenda. It’s strictly nonpartisan in its grantmaking and recognizes that human rights abuses can happen in all types of government regimes, including the democratic variety.