Global Fund for Women
We selected the Global Fund for Women to draw attention to the crisis of abuse of women and girls in the developing and developed worlds.
In December 2012, the gang rape and murder of a 23 year-old woman on a crowded city bus in Delhi, India, shocked the world. Since then there have been other devastating reports of violence against women, including an American woman who was similarly attacked while traveling in Brazil. These horrifying crimes can seem a world away, but as this is being written, the headlines carry the weight of the stories of three women in Ohio who were kidnapped by a local man, abused and held captive in his basement for 10 years.
DomesticViolenceStatistics.Org reports a woman is assaulted in the U.S. every nine seconds. Globally, one in three women has been beaten or sexually abused. The abuse starts earlier, the victims are ever younger, and they are targeted in supposedly safe spaces. Nearly one in five teenage girls reports being threatened with physical abuse by a boyfriend. Perhaps more staggering are the reports of adolescent girls who are sexually assaulted by classmates in social situations, brought to light by photographs of the attacks posted on social media, a form of cyber-bullying that can have calamitous consequences.
Women and girls have always been vulnerable to the scourge of gender-based violence, but it seems the frequency and brutality of such assaults is intensifying in every facet of society, including organizations that exist to protect and serve. A recent report released by the Pentagon reveals sexual assault in the U.S. military has become an epidemic, with reports of abuse at the prestigious West Point Academy to the highest ranks of service.
The Culture Center is proud to support the Global Fund for Women (GFW), which shines a beacon of hope on this dark subject, and celebrates it 30th anniversary this year. Since it was founded in 1987, GFW has partnered with other women’s organizations to maximize philanthropic donations, shape public policy and secure human rights for women and girls worldwide. The organization has awarded over 100 million dollars in grants to over 9,000 organizations in 174 countries, all committed to improving access to education, health services, self-defense, leadership programs and boosting economic conditions in struggling communities.
There is much more work to be done, and GFW keeps answering the call for more resources and programs. In 2005, GFW established the Legacy Fund, which donates almost 8 million dollars yearly to organizations governed by women. GFW is developing new technology initiatives to reach women, to link different generations and enable them to mobilize as leaders, voters, advocates and donors. By giving women and girls the support they need, by continually strengthening the communities that surround them, the GFW helps to make all citizens less vulnerable to violence and injustice.
For more information and ways to donate, please visit the GFW at www.GlobalFundforWomen.Org.