The African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) is a grant making foundation that supports local, national and regional organizations working towards the empowerment of African women and the achievement of gender equality on the continent.   The vision of AWDF is for women to live in a world where there is social justice, equality and respect for women’s human rights. To this end, our mission is to mobilize and disburse financial, human and material resources to support positive transformation in Africa.  We believe that If women are empowered with skills, information, sustainable livelihoods, opportunities to fulfil their potential, plus the capacity and space to make transformatory choices, then we will have vibrant, healthy and inclusive communities.

To achieve its vision and mission, the African Women’s Development Fund provides grant and technical support to women’s groups and organizations in Africa working on issues in line with the following themes:

The AWDF is inviting applicants working on specified areas to put in applications for support.  The current call is opened from 10th August to 11th September 2015.    Applicants are to send in proposals with innovative but effective strategies to address issues relating to the specified focus areas under the various listed themes:  The areas of focus are as follows:

Women’s Human Rights (WHR)

In the area of promoting Women’s Human Rights, priority will be given to projects that enhance:

  • Women and girls access to justice especially around land and property rights
  • Policy engagements on women’s rights
  • Addressing violence against women specifically around early & child marriage; FGM; sexual violence

Governance, Peace & Security (GPS)

To enhance women’s participation in decision making and peace building, projects that will be prioritised would focus on:

  • Enabling women’s voices to be heard and their interest represented at all levels of decision making
  • Involving women in peace building activities
  • Facilitating women’s participation in leadership and governance processes

Economic Empowerment & Livelihood (EE&L)

To increase income earning opportunities for women, projects to be supported should seek to:

  • Work with smallholder women farmers
  • Work on climate change and food security issues

Arts, Sports & Culture (AS&C)

Projects to be supported under this theme will use arts, sports and culture to help address the negative images of women, by building women’s talents and skills as well as to build their capacities to lead the advocacy for the promotion of the rights of women. The support will cover:

  • The use of sports, arts and popular culture to disseminate information on women’s rights and other key issues affecting women, to new and hard to reach audiences
  • Raise the voices and profiles of women in all sectors of leadership on the continent using media such as music, films, documentaries, TV and radio productions, and national and regional film festivals.
  • Support women and girls in sports, culture and sports


Projects that will be prioritised under this theme will be centred on:

  • Fighting stigma and discrimination against women and girls living with HIV&AIDS
  • Promoting the rights of women living with HIV&AIDS
  • Innovative HIV prevention activities and programmes

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicant Organisation must have been in existence for at least 3 years
  • The organisation must be duly registered, at least with its local government structure
  • The organisation must be led by a woman and have a focus on Women’s Rights
  • The organisation must have the needed organizational structures
  • The organisation must have an appreciable financial management system
  • The organisation must be capable of reporting back on the outcomes of the project
  • The organisation must be highly recommended by a donor agency, a grantee or partner of AWDF or the local government office
  • The applying organisation must complete the necessary application forms

Grant Size

Grants disbursed will be in the range of $5,000 to $30.000.

Geographical Scope

Applications from the following countries are specifically encouraged to apply;

Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia & Zimbabwe

Grant Period

The grant period will be for one year from the date of award.


The grantee is expected to send in 2 reports.  An interim report and a final comprehensive report detailing the various activities, lessons learnt and clearly defined achievements at the end of the project.  The organisation must be capable of measuring the results of the project and must be able to document stories and lessons learnt for sharing with AWDF and other partners.

To apply, click here

culled from the awdf website.


  1. Hi Mrs CEO, its quite hard to understand though…but must women empowerment driven organizations be run by a woman?….. maybe I’m in the wrong line!

  2. HI Mrs CEO, I have been following your blog for a while now, and I’m just so not comfortable with the fact that you all believe women empowerment organizations must be run by a woman? can’t a man who has a passion for gender equity, one that has seen what talented women suffer, and has decided not to let such happen to both his daughters and every other female in the future; start something and get a support?

      1. sure, whenever I get to see fund supports for women-empowerment organizations , one of the criterias for eligibility has always been : “organizations must/should be run by a woman”…..

        But the reality remains that areas like AS&C women-empowerment organizations are in most cases run by men who are all about empowering the woman and making sure the #HeforShe comes to stay.

        I for one run an organization into development, empowerment and support of talented African girls. And finding fund support hasn’t been easy. Thanks.

  3. Most W- E related funds states ” organization must be run by a woman ” as its eligibility criteria.

    Areas like AS&C would usually not be too easy for ladies to take up an entrepreneurial career in! except fashion related organizations.

    I for one run an organization into empowerment, development and support of talented African ladies in the AS&C category.
    There are lots of men who are for the #HeforShe movement and would be great mentors in such areas.

    But what I’ve found is, somehow the belief system is that women empowerment organizations must be run by women if they are to be given support and funding.

    I think men need to be brought in to this movement on time. To make the results we achieve quicker and faster, and to make the whole world embrace #heforShe

    I am still searching for funding opportunities that would make me think otherwise though .

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