African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) Main Grants Programme 2020 Call for Proposals

African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) Main Grants Programme 2020 Call for Proposals

Deadline: March 9, 2020

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 through out the year, AWDF invites applications from eligible African women’s organisations under its main grants programme.

Is your organisation an African feminist/ women’s rights organisation with cutting edge ideas for advancing women’s rights and creating systemic change? Is your organisation led and majority staffed by women, and registered on the African continent? If yes, then you can apply!

Thematic Areas

The areas that they fund are listed below. These frame AWDF’s current funding strategy Shaping Africa’s Future;

  • Body & Health Rights
    • Ending violence against women in all forms through prevention and/or response.
    • Advancing the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls, including on issues of sexual orientation, reproductive choice
    • Promoting women’s emotional well-being and mental health
    • Prevention and management of issues around women and HIV/AIDS
    • Building awareness and feminist responses to the rise of non-communicable diseases (including cancers, diseases of lifestyle and nutrition).
  • Economic Security & Justice
    • Defending women’s economic rights and justice including mobilising women in rural contexts, urban economies, and/or in non-traditional work
    • Building ideas and models around women’s economic futures
    • Defending women’s land, property and inheritance rights
    • Securing women’s housing rights, particularly in the context of urbanisation
    • Advancing climate and environmental justice.
  • Leadership, Participation & Peace
    • Promoting women’s leadership, meaningful participation in decision making including building feminist leadership for social, political and economic change
    • Advancing diverse women’s participation in governance and decision-making at all levels
    • Defending democratic operating space for women’s rights organisations and defenders
    • Promoting women’s human security and peace in all contexts

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.


Activities to be considered for funding include:

  • Campaigns to advance specific women’s rights agendas, law and policy change
  • Training to build core social change and activist skills
  • Action-research and knowledge production
  • Alliance and movement-building activities
  • Interventions to change public attitudes on key women’s rights issues\
  • Services to advance women’s rights (including legal aid, violence support services, counselling and free medical services for HIV, cancers and other women’s health concerns)
  • Income generation activities that include a focus on increasing women’s understanding of their rights and/or building their social and political leadership.


AWDF was founded to support the leadership and agency of African women in transforming society towards equality and justice. In that light, under its main grants programme, AWDF supports African women’s organisations that meet the following criteria:

  • Women-led, with a majority women staff and board
  • A stated commitment to supporting women and/or advancing women’s rights/ gender equality in their mission/vision
  • Organisations registered in any African country, and working at the local, national, subregional or regional African levels. (Note that AWDF is not able to transfer funds to organisations based in Sudan, South Sudan or Somalia. However AWDF is able to support organisations based in other African countries that are implementing initiatives in these countries).


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.


Organisations applying to AWDF for the first time, and past grantees who have not received a grant from AWDF in the past three years should send a reference letter, and the name and contact information for an additional referee who knows the organisation’s work. Referees may be donors, other organisations – including grantees of AWDF.


Interested organisations should send in their proposals to the AWDF secretariat in Accra, Ghana, using the grant application form. Applications can be sent in English, French, or Portuguese, by email, or post. Please note that we accept applications by email at [email protected] .

Click here for application form.

For more information, visit AWDF Call.