Call for Applications: AWDF Main Grants Programme for Women-led Organisations 2018

Call for Applications: AWDF Main Grants Programme for Women-led Organisations 2018

Deadline: March 7, 2018

AWDF invites applications from eligible African women’s organisations under its main grants programme. The African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) is a grantmaking foundation that supports local, national and regional women’s organisations working towards the empowerment of African women and the promotion and realisation of their rights.

By specialising in grantmaking and focused, tailored movement-building programmes, they work to strengthen and support the work of African women’s organisations. By amplifying and celebrating African women’s voices and achievements, the AWDF supports efforts that combat harmful stereotypes, and promote African women as active agents of change.

Thematic Areas

Applications for the first grantmaking round of 2018 can be sent in under one or more of AWDF’s thematic areas as listed below. These frame AWDF’s current funding strategy Shaping Africa’s Future;

  • Body & Health Rights: The focus for this grantmaking round will be on ending violence against women; sexual and reproductive rights including HIV/AIDS; LBT rights; women’s emotional wellbeing and mental health including for women human rights defenders.
  • Economic Security & Justice: The focus for this grantmaking round will be on land, property and inheritance rights; food sovereignty and women’s rights in contexts of food production and agriculture; climate and environmental justice; women’s economic security and livelihoods.
  • Leadership, Participation & Peace: The focus for this grantmaking round will be on women’s participation in governance and decision-making, including elections; peace and security; defending democratic space and women human rights defenders; building women’s leadership.


Applicants may apply for up to US$50,000 for a one-year grant. Please note that most grants awarded are likely to be lower than the maximum.

Organisations can apply for an amount which is not more than half of their confirmed income as evident in their last audited statement.

Decisions on grants will be announced by June 2018.


The basic qualifying criteria for applying organisations are as follows:

  • Must be led by a woman and have majority of its staff and board being women
  • Must be duly registered in an African country
  • Must have been in existence for at least 3 years
  • Must have the needed organisational structures for effective implementation of the project
  • Must have an appreciable financial management system to properly account for funds received
  • Must be capable of reporting back on the outcomes of the project
  • Must complete the necessary application forms

Please note that AWDF does NOT fund men-led organisations; political parties or campaigning; government agencies; individuals; scholarships; for-profit initiatives and projects aimed at religious conversion or proselytizing.

  • AWDF is particularly interested in projects working with young women, women facing multiple discrimination, and approaches that include engaging the arts, culture, sports and technology.
  • AWDF is looking for innovative and effective projects that address the needs of and involve the women and communities most affected by inequality and injustice in the leadership and implementation of projects.
  • AWDF particularly encourages women’s rights organisations registered and working in the following countries to apply:
  • Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe


Interested women’s rights organisations should send in their proposals via email to [email protected] using the required application guidelines and forms below. The applicant must also complete and include a financial management assessment form and a budget.

NOTE: Please note that only successful applicants will be contacted.

Download the Main Grants Application Form

For more information, visit AWDF Main Grants.