The Gender and Development Network is one of over 100 women’s organisations from around the world to express concern over recent funding decisions of the FLOW programme, provided by the Dutch government.
The FLOW fund is the only remaining large global fund which focuses on women’s rights – a field which tends to be greatly under-resourced. While previous funding schemes have proven essential in empowering the women’s movement, many organisations are concerned about the decisions made in the most recent round of funding.
Only nine organisations were allocated funding, out of 100 that passed the eligibility test, and the minimum application amount was increased to 5€ million. The application form and criteria were much more challenging than other funding programmes of the Dutch Foreign Ministry, and the organisations which did receive funding are mainly Dutch or Anglophone, and from the Global North.
The signatories of the letter, including GADN, call on the Dutch Foreign Ministry to:
1. Improve and adjust the decision for FLOW 2016-2020
2. Ensure a bridging fund for FLOW I organisations
3. Learn from the problems of the application process to create criteria, structures, and processes that empower - not disempower - women’s rights organisations, with the aim of ensuring that all donors can use these lessons and criteria to really put women at the centre of the implementation of the SDGs, particularly SDG5.
You can read the letter in full here.