Rosa announces Challenge Fund recipients
Rosa, the UK Women’s Fund, has announced the recipients of their Challenge Fund.
Maggie Baxter, chair of trustees, said that “one of Rosa’s key roles as a funder is to ensure that great ideas like these don’t fall at the first hurdle – which is simply the lack of money to make them happen.
“Each award winner impressed us with their plans to empower women to challenge the policies and attitudes that are affecting real choice in their lives – from economic independence to personal safety and self determination.”
Fawcett and the Women’s Budget Group are investing Rosa’s grant in speaking and working with women across the UK to research and analyse the impact of financial cuts on women’s lives and status.
The ‘Cutting Women Out’ initiative will then use these findings to produce easy-to-use campaign toolkits, enabling women to challenge budget cuts in their local area.
Southall Black Sisters will put Rosa’s funding to work with a network of grassroots organisations, to develop and launch a powerful UK-wide strategy that tackles violence against black and minority ethic (BME) women and girls.
UK Feminista is investing their grant in growing strong, young, grassroots activism which will bring about a transformative impact on UK attitudes towards women and girls.
Rosa is deeply concerned that, as the impact of the recession deepens, women and girls are carrying not only the financial burden of the cuts, but are also at risk of losing many of the gains that they have made over the past decades.
Many of those hardest hit by job cuts, benefit cuts or cuts in services are women.
Local funding for women-focused services continues to drop, revealing the extent to which women’s safety needs are overlooked and neglected, particularly among vulnerable groups.
Kat Banyard, director and co-founder of UK Feminista, said: ”While women’s lives have been revolutionised over the past 40 years, today there remains a vast chasm of inequality between women and men.
“Sexism is institutionalised throughout society, and oppressive cultures and attitudes are a daily reality for women and girls.
“Yet a collective inertia has built up around this, a sense that it’s just the way things are – accept it: violence against women, women’s hatred of their bodies, the lack of women in positions of power, all these things are frequently taken for granted as unfortunate but inevitable parts of life.
“But that’s not good enough. We need to realise that the possibility for change is within all of us.”
Banyard concluded that “it is sustained, organised grassroots campaigning that has revolutionised the lives of women and girls in this country and across the world, and it is grassroots campaigning that holds the key to future progress.”