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Featured Organization

Urgent Action Fund For Women’s Human Rights

UAF Map. Copyright: Urgent Action Fund.

The Urgent Action Fund (UAF) for Women’s Human Rights is a feminist fund that protects, strengthens and sustains women and transgender human rights defenders at critical moments. UAF believes that women have a unique contribution to make in peace-building and it is important to invest in activists’ security when they are facing violent backlash for the work that they do. Guided by this mission, UAF supports women’s rights activists by providing rapid response grants to women and transgender human rights defenders.

UAF’s urgent grants program was created in response to a growing need identified by activists. Most support programs required long application and vetting processes that were not flexible or quick enough to respond to critical human rights situations. UAF’s rapid response grants are a lifeline to women’s human rights defenders worldwide. This flexible grant-making approach offers funds in two categories: protection and security of women’s human rights defenders, and advocacy by women’s rights movements during time-bound opportunities. UAF accepts applications in any language and commits itself to respond within 24 hours and decisions and funding are usually made within 1 – 10 business days. Since its inception, UAF has awarded more than 1,680 rapid response grants to support defenders in 110 countries worldwide.

“We are in a moment where it couldn’t be clearer that women’s voices, our leadership, and our experiences must be at the center of conversations around justice and equality.”

— Kate Kroeger, UAF Executive Director

UAF works in partnership with three sister funds, UAF – Africa, UAF – Latin America and UAF – Asia Pacific, in order to provide support to women human rights defenders based in different regions across the world. Each sister fund is an independent and autonomous organization. But with a shared history, they use a common rapid response model and work collaboratively to advocate for women’s human rights. Through these deep, sisterly relationships, UAF practices sharing power, challenges hegemony, and collaborates on advocacy and fundraising while adapting to the unique circumstances in different regions of the world.

By Hongyi Jiang, March 2018. 

  • Urgent Action Fund Executive Director, Kate Kroeger, speaking to crowd at Global Affairs Canada event in Ottawa. January 25, 2018. Courtesy of Nobel Women’s Initiative.
  • Urgent Action Fund commemorates 20 years of funding rapid response grants to human rights defenders by listening to the achievements and concerns of current activists. Tbilisi, Georgia, May 2017. Photo credit: Ekaterine Gejadze.
  • Women are taking to the streets to defend their rights. Washington, District of Columbia. January 21, 2017. Photo courtesy of The Women’s March.
  • Environmental women’s human rights defenders, Indigenous land rights activists, and Urgent Action Fund grantee partners. Indonesia, 2014. Photo credit: Krissanto Triputro.
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