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Frequently Asked Questions

What is AWID?

The Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) is an international feminist membership organization that works to achieve gender justice and women’s human rights by strengthening the collective voice, impact and influence of global women’s rights advocates, organizations and movements. 

Read more about AWID


How did AWID get started?

AWID began in 1982 and has grown and transformed since then into a truly global organization. To find out more about our history, read From WID to GAD to Women's Rights: The First 20 Years of AWID.

Who are AWID's members?

A dynamic network of people around the world, AWID members are researchers, academics, students, educators, activists, business people, policy-makers, development practitioners, funders, and more – of every age – making AWID a unique global feminist association. Membership with AWID is open to anyone who shares our values.

We offer different types of memberships geared to income level and whether you are an individual or an organization. Currently we have 4781 members from 163 countries.

Our members are an important part of our work. We collaborate for advocacy on specific issues, members vote in elections for our Board, and can also participate in and contribute to our Priority Areas through webinars, surveys, or urgent actions, for example. Our institutional membership draws from a broad range of organizations interested in advancing gender justice and women’s human rights, including women’s rights organizations, from the local to the global levels, grassroots networks, major international institutions, government departments, university programs and more. 63% of our members are from the global South and 38% are under the age of 30.

Learn more about our membership here

Where does AWID get its funding?

AWID’s work is made possible through the financial support of a wide range of donors including multilateral and bilateral agencies, private foundations and women’s funds.

View a list of our current donors here

What does AWID do?

We work to strengthen the voice, impact and influence of women’s rights advocates, organizations and movements internationally by:

  • Collectively building knowledge from a feminist perspective of the forces, trends, processes and institutions undermining or impacting women’s human rights as well as strategies used to counter these influences and advance our agendas.
  • Serving as a clearinghouse for information to and from our members and broader women’s rights movements. In doing so, we contribute to increasing the visibility of women’s rights groups, perspectives, places and issues that are commonly excluded in the work of mainstream organizations and encourage connection among issues and actors.
  • Organizing and facilitating constructive spaces for our members and other diverse women’s organizations, donors, development agencies, human rights and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to explore and strengthen connections within and across diversities of generations, issues, regions and sectors and to bring together groups that have not yet found common ground.
  • Participating in international spaces to advocate and present concrete policy proposals for women’s rights worldwide. AWID is active in processes such as the Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations post-2015 development agenda, the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and other fora, collectively strategizing with and amplifying the diverse perspectives of our members and broader constituency.
  • Mobilizing our members and broader constituency to strengthen collective action in solidarity with women’s rights causes, against backlash and violence against women activists and human rights defenders

Find out more about AWID

Is AWID a feminist organization?

Yes, AWID is a feminist organization. The principles associated with feminism, as well as a rich body of feminist research, dialogue and practice, inform our values and our work. You do not, however, have to specifically identify as feminist or use that terminology to be a member of AWID or to engage with our work in advancing women’s rights.

What issues does AWID work on?

AWID works towards the realization of gender justice and women’s human rights worldwide, by strengthening the voice and impact of women’s rights advocates, organizations and movements. AWID’s main Priority Areas relate to themes that are closely linked to dominant contextual trends reflecting challenges that are becoming more severe and negatively impacting women’s rights worldwide. These are: Economic Justice; Resourcing Women’s Rights; Challenging Religious Fundamentalisms; The Right to Defend Rights: Women Human Rights Defenders and Young Feminist Activism

Find out more about AWID's Priority Areas

Can AWID provide funding for my development project?

No, we regret that AWID is not a funding organization and cannot review funding proposals or requests. We encourage you to browse our list of donors that may potentially fund your women's rights organizing: http://www.awid.org/fund-me

Can men be members of AWID?

Membership with AWID is open to anyone who shares our values, including men. A number of men who share our commitment to feminism and women’s human rights are members of AWID.

Can organizations be members of AWID?

We encourage institutional membership and currently have hundreds of prominent, innovative organizations working on issues related to women’s rights and development as members. Criteria for membership are the same as for individuals, although membership fees and membership benefits are different, and are geared to address the needs of our member organizations.

Find out more about our membership.

Are you a Northern or a Southern organization?

AWID is a global organization. Our main focus of work is global and we work closely with members and other women’s rights organizations and allies at the local, national and regional levels so that their realities inform our work.  We have offices in Mexico, South Africa and Canada and staff located in another 15 different countries around the world. Ten of our 13 Board members are from the Global South. 

Do you produce an annual report?

Yes, we do. As a membership benefit, we mail a copy of our annual activity report to all of our member institutions. If you are not an institutional member of AWID but you would like a copy of the report, please contact us at membership@awid.org. To access an electronic copy of our last annual report, click here.

I am a young feminist. How can I engage in AWID’s work?

Young feminist activists are at the heart of AWID’s work. In fact, 38% of our members are young activists under the age of 30. We believe that young feminists are both the present and the future of the struggle for women’s rights. With our Young Feminist Activism program crosscutting all aspects of our work, we promote young leaders in the global women’s rights movement. Through the Young Feminist Wire, regional convenings and publications, we contribute new analysis to current debates and ensure that young feminist activists are able to articulate their priorities and voice their concerns.

Find out more about our Young Feminist Activism Program

I am interested in working for women’s rights. How do I get started?

We have produced a number of resources that you may find useful, including Getting a Job and Scholarships in Women’s Rights and Development.

Subscribe to AWID’s jobs newsletter

What is AWID’s International Forum? When is the next one? How can I take part?

Every three to four years, AWID hosts its flagship international forum, a gathering of over 2000 women’s rights leaders and activists from around the world that is the largest recurring event of its kind. The 2012 AWID Forum was held in Istanbul, Turkey, with the theme “Transforming Economic Power to Advance Women’s Rights and Justice” Our 13th Forum will be held in Brazil, 5-8 May 2016.

Find out more about the AWID Forum

I have written a paper about an issue related to Women’s Rights and Development. How can I share it with AWID’s members?

You can email your paper or your proposal about an article, analysis or announcement you would like to contribute to contribute@awid.org. If the content is appropriate for the nature of the site, we will be pleased to post it on this website.

I am writing a research paper. Can AWID help me?

AWID provides a wealth of resources to help your research. We will not do your research for you, but we invite you to explore the resources we offer on this website, and our members’ sites.

I am experiencing violence in one or more of my relationships. Can AWID advocate on my behalf?

Unfortunately, not because AWID is not a direct service or individual advocacy organization. It would be better for you to seek legal advice and contact a women’s shelter or referral centre in your area. The Peach Pages is an online resource that offers links to women’s shelters around the world. AWID cannot vouch for the accuracy or quality of its listings, but it may be a good place to start if you don’t know of organizations in your area.

I am a women human rights defender (WHRD) and currently under threat. Where can I go for help?

The Online Directory of Urgent Responses is the first collective effort to systematize the range of responses available for WHRDs at risk, with information about women’s and human rights organizations at international and regional levels. We hope that this resource will be used by WHRDs and their organizations worldwide to access information and support when facing emergency situations.