DONATE  | Who is Gender Links | Why a fund? | Our challenge | Strategy

Who is Gender Links

Gender Links (GL) is a leading Southern African WRO committed to an “inclusive, equal and just society in the public and private space in accordance with the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.”[1] Formally launched in March 2001, GL is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with offices in ten SADC countries[2], including a Lusophone base in Mozambique and Francophone base in Madagascar. Described in an evaluation as a “small organisation with a large footprint,”[3] GL has a web of close to 600 partners, with whom it works to “promote equality and justice”[4].

GL coordinates the SADC Gender Protocol Alliance that campaigned for this unique instrument and its implementation; produces an annual Barometer that tracks progress in attaining gender equality in the region; coordinates the #VoiceandChoice campaign for women’s equal and effective participation in political decision making as well as Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. This work is cascaded at the local level through 450 Centres of Excellence for Gender and Local Government that represent 40% of the population in the countries where we have offices. The councils support the Sunrise Campaign, an innovative programme linking survivors of GBV to local economic development. Recognised globally as a thought leader on gender and the media, GL amplifies its reach through traditional, mainstream and social media. In its nearly twenty years GL has reached over 200,000 beneficiaries and gathered over 2000 case studies of the SADC Protocol@Work.

Why we need a Future Fund

Since 2012, GL has felt the pinch of shifting donor agendas as a result of humanitarian crises; our home base South Africa being regarded a “middle income country”; bilateral and multilateral funders channeling funds through intermediaries. The result is less funds, more small donors, less flexible funding, more project funding and very little institutional support. This makes it difficult to sustain catalytic, evidence-based regional work from local to regional level that is at the heart of how GL works.  The need for a gender champion has never been greater. Thanks to prior accomplishments, hard won credibility and a terrific team spread across ten countries, GL is poised to drive even more movement towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal Five. As we count down to our twentieth anniversary in March 2021, we are redoubling our efforts by launching a fund to help secure our work into the future.

Our challenge – a $3 million Future Fund @20

From the beginning, GL has had an endowment fund comprising income generated through GL Services – the GL Cottages and Conferencing Centre, GL Resources (publications and productions), GL Advisory (or consulting) services. Presently this stands at about $1 million. We have been promised $1 million on a match basis by an African philanthropist. Our challenge is to raise another $1 million by the time of GL’s twentieth anniversary in March 2021.

Our strategy

GL is reaching out to High Net Worth Individuals, Corporate Social Investors, and traditional bilateral donors with the message – invest for the future! In addition to supporting recurrent costs, we are asking donors to make a paradigm shift, by investing in an instrument that will help support GL’s core costs in perpetuity. Through our regular gatherings and using social media tools, we will also run a crowd fund raising campaign, targeting GL beneficiaries. Our message is: if we helped to change your life, spare a dollar to change another life!

All sponsors will be appropriately acknowledged on the GL website, name plaques in our offices, at the GL Cottages, in country offices and many more!  

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[2] Botswana (also liaison office with SADC); Eswatini; Lesotho; Madagascar; Mauritius; Mozambique; Namibia; South Africa; Zambia; Zimbabwe).

[3] GL Organisational Evaluation 2015

[4] GL’s current strapline.