The African Women's Development Fund is a regional grant-maker for African Women's Organisations.
The official mission statement of AWDF is:
Our mission is to mobilise financial, human and material resources to support African women and the work of the African women’s movement to advance women’s rights and gender equality in Africa. We believe that if women and women’s organisations are empowered with skills, information, sustainable livelihoods, opportunities to fulfill their potential, plus the capacity and space to make transformatory choices, then we will have vibrant, healthy and inclusive communities.
Through regional grant-making and movement-building programmes for women's organisations across Africa, AWDF aims to "strengthen and support the work of African women's organisations". Thereby "amplifying and celebrating" the voices of African women. Moreover, AWDF aims to combat oppressive socio-cultural norms and stereotypes, instead promoting feminist thinking and women as change agents. AWDF made the decision to establish an organisation that allows African women to fund their own social-change organisations and movements so that they could be the determinants of their projects, and ultimately their lives. AWDF committed to ensuring that African women are able to resource themselves. AWDF is also concerned with helping African women maintain their overall health- from mental to economical health- and agency through support programs. AWDF recognises that although many African women's organisations arise from a passion for social change and an identification of a particular need, those running the organisations do not necessarily have the capacity or skill set to thrive with no very little support or guidance. As such, AWDF aims to help build the capacity of African women's organisations.
- Body & Health Rights
- Women's Economic Security & Justice
- Leadership, Participation & Peace
As an African feminist organisation, the biggest challenge for AWDF, and the organisations they support, is the patriarchy. The sources of these patriarchal forces range from socio-cultural norms, to fundamentalist religious practices and beliefs, and government institutions. However, the African Women's Development Fund is part of the Global Fund for Women and it is support by other major transnational organisations which enhance its ability to achieve its goals.