Philanthropic Response to “Anti-Gender” Movements
GPP’s focus on LGBTI people and movements worldwide has proven essential to the growth and strengthening of that ecosystem, as our approach to “anti-gender” issues has been grounded in intersectional feminism, anti-authoritarianism, and human rights principles. By consistently advocating for the full inclusion of LGBTI issues within the responses to “anti-gender” movements, GPP has contributed to developing and implementing inclusive, sophisticated, and bold funding strategies.
We are not alone in this effort. Since the beginning of our work, GPP has engaged hundreds of funding institutions, civil society partners, governmental and multilateral representatives, researchers, and thought leaders. Our convenings, webinars, and dedicated task force are key components in the global responses to anti-gender movements; those spaces are also productive opportunities for synergies, collaborations, and partnerships among multiple stakeholders.
GPP also contributes to this field of work by producing critical knowledge on anti-gender issues. Our several reports and briefings have substantially increased the information and analysis needed to build powerful and effective responses and have enriched public awareness of those issues through nuanced and accessible research reflecting funding data, interviews, case studies, donor recommendations, and more.
GPP’s task force on Responding to “Anti-Gender Ideology” (RAGI) provides a community of practice to those grantmakers and development professionals seeking to build well-informed, bold, and effective philanthropic initiatives to address anti-gender issues.
Since September 2021, more than 60 members of the RAGI Task Force have met monthly to share information, produce collective analysis, build strategic collaborations, and manage an additional research agenda. The members also play a key role in developing GPP research and events. The task force is open to all donors, regardless of their membership status with GPP.
Prachi Patankar is the Program Officer, South and Southeast Asia, at Foundation for a Just Society. Born and raised in rural India, Prachi was raised by a freedom-fighter grandmother and parents deeply involved in anti-caste, feminist, and peasant movements. Over two decades in New York City, she has been an activist, educator, grantmaker, and writer involved in social movements which link the local and the global, police brutality and war, migration and militarization, race and caste, women of color feminism and global gender justice. Prachi most recently served as the Program Director for social justice at the J.M. Kaplan Fund, leading grantmaking for criminal justice reform, immigrant rights, and locally led work in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Prior to that, Prachi was the Senior Program Officer at Brooklyn Community Foundation, where she helped create and implement grant programs through a racial justice lens. Prachi currently serves on the Board of CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities and on the Advisory Board for Grantmakers for Girls of Color. Throughout the last two decades, she has been involved in organizing to link social justice movements between the United States and Asia. Prachi believes in the vital power of intersectional and international visions and strategies, which resonate across Dalit rights and Black lives, migrant justice and gender justice, to build bottom-up change from the local to the global.
Brett Davidson is the Narrative Lead at the International Resource for Impact and Storytelling (IRIS), a donor collaborative for philanthropy focused on strengthening civil society through narrative strategies and creative moving image storytelling for impact. He is also the founder and principal at Winged, where he works with foundations and nonprofits around the world interested in using the power of narrative, storytelling, listening, and creativity for social justice. Previously, Brett was Director of Media and Narratives at the Open Society Public Health Program, where he also co-led an OSF-wide community of practice on narrative change. He was a journalist, producer, and anchor in radio news and current affairs at the national public broadcaster, the SABC, during South Africa’s transition to democracy. He later worked with community radio stations across the country as part of the democracy institute, IDASA. Brett has an MA in Journalism and Media Studies from Rhodes University and an MA in interdisciplinary study from NYU’s Gallatin School. He writes about narrative and social change.
Medina Haeri is a Programme Officer with the Oak Foundation’s Issues Affecting Women Programme. In that role, Medina connects feminist and women’s organisations and movements around the world with resources to strengthen their work and help advance their agendas. Medina leads the anti-trafficking and exploitation portfolio and supports global movement building work. Prior to working for Oak Foundation, Medina worked in the Women and War unit of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), ensuring that the organisation’s interventions better reflected the needs, vulnerabilities and capacities of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict settings. She has also worked with the International Rescue Committee supporting refugee resettlement in Thailand and with indigenous women’s collectives building economic development projects in Guatemala. Medina was born in Iran and immigrated to the US at a young age – following the path of many migrants in search of a brighter future. She immigrated again as a young adult to Switzerland to build a family and purse her professional ambitions. Medina holds a master’s degree in international affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Heather Benjamin (she/her) is the inaugural director of Nebula Fund, and has a background that bridges philanthropy, global policy advocacy, and grassroots activism. Prior to joining Nebula, Heather spent the last decade with the Open Society Foundations Public Health Program, where she served as a Senior Program Officer focused on global HIV financing, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and health governance issues.
In particular, her grantmaking focused on supporting activists working to respond to transnational anti-gender movements and harmful donor aid conditionalities that are shrinking the space for sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice, sex worker rights, and LGBTQI+ rights. Her advocacy work has focused on engaging bilateral, multilateral, and private donors to improve policies and leverage funding in support of comprehensive SRHRJ, rights-based HIV treatment and prevention, and sex worker rights. She served as a member of the International Steering Committee of the Red Umbrella Fund, a sex worker-led participatory fund that supports the rights of sex workers globally.
She also served on the Private Foundations Delegation to the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Prior to joining Open Society, Heather served as the program director for Close to Home, a grassroots organization dedicated to preventing and reducing the impact of gender-based violence through community mobilization, youth organizing, and social change work, and began her career working in crisis intervention at a domestic violence shelter. A strong believer in community-led and participatory approaches, Heather got her start as a youth activist focused on LGBTQI rights and sexual violence prevention.
- In 2018, GPP organized a global meeting, Growing Solidarity: Funding at the Intersection of Faith, Religious Fundamentalism, Human Rights, and Social Justice, bringing together funders supporting LGBTI-afﬁrming faith organizing and those funding opposition to fundamentalist faith agendas.
- Between March and June 2021, GPP co-hosted Shimmering Solidarity: Global Rights Summit, a virtual series focused on grantmaker responses to anti-gender movements and related global anti-rights agenda. The Summit included over 50 sessions, with over 480 attendees representing grantmaking organizations, funder networks, and civil society partner organizations.
- GPP has organized sessions and panels on anti-gender issues at regional and international donor pre-conferences, most recently including ILGA World (USA 2022) and Pan Africa ILGA (Mauritius 2023).
- In 2018, GPP published Religious Conservatism on the Global Stage: Threats and Challenges for LGBTI Rights.
- In early 2020, GPP developed two related pieces of private research: a report mapping the funding of the global anti-gender movement and a report mapping the progressive philanthropic response. Later that year, we produced the public report Meet the Moment: A Call for Progressive Philanthropic Response to the Anti-Gender Movement to share key learnings, offer additional analysis and make concrete recommendations on funding effective responses.
- In 2021, GPP partnered with Elevate Children Funders Group to produce the report Manufacturing Moral Panic: Weaponizing Children to Undermine Gender Justice and Human Rights, presenting case studies on how governments and civil society actors are weaponizing children’s rights, child protection, and welfare and education services to push “anti-gender ideology” mandates forward.
How can GPP help
- GPP is a hub for research development related to philanthropic responses to the anti-gender movement. This includes GPP’s original research and our role as an implementation partner for resource mapping and research distribution to the philanthropic community.
- Our ongoing collection of relevant research and the related reports included on our website offer a resource for those oriented to the conversation.
- GPP develops and moderates sessions, panels, webinars, research release events, and other public programs to elevate philanthropic efforts responding to anti-gender issues. Together, we can develop opportunities for a broad set of philanthropic actors.
- GPP is a resource for your grantee cohort(s), sharing research and tools developed by GPP and our task force members.
Recommendations and Resources for Donors
- Global Philanthropy Project has developed a collection of resources on our site to support grantmakers active globally in response to “anti-gender ideology” and related anti-rights agendas.