UAF at CSW65

From March 15-26 UN entities, representatives of global states, and civil society organizations gathered together for the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, the UN’s largest annual gathering exclusively dedicated to promoting women’s rights. Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights and several partners came together to co-organize and speak at various events during the 65th session of CSW.

On March 16, UAF’s Senior Advocacy Officer Nathalie Margi spoke as a panelist at an event called “A Missing Brick for Peace and Sustaining Women’s Movements: Flexible Institutional Funding for Local Women’s Organizations” highlighting the funding gaps for women’s organizations that the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated.

Hosted by The Women Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) and the Spotlight Initiative, the event stressed how essential core funding is to the survival of local women’s organizations and to the sustainability of their work in building peace and gender equality. During the discussion, speakers presented examples of UN mechanisms that offer institutional funding and shared lessons learned in terms of access and measuring the impacts of such funding. Nathalie provided concrete recommendations on how donors can support intersectional feminist movements with the abundant and sustainable resources they need and deserve. Local women’s organizations partnering with the WPHF and the Spotlight Initiative in Yemen, Uganda, South Sudan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Liberia shared their perspectives on how institutional funding is used and why is it essential not only to their existence but also to their invaluable work.

Speakers included: 

  • Henriette Geiger, Director for People and Peace at the European Commission Directorate-General, International Cooperation and Development
  • Lisa Williams, Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Team Lead, Development Co-operation Directorate, OECD
  • Mendy Marsh, Co-founder and Executive Director, VOICE
  • Erin Kenny, Head of the Technical Unit, Spotlight Initiative to Eliminate Violence Against Women and Girls
  • Aldijana Sisic, Chief, United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women
  • Ghita El Khyari, Head of the United Nations Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund Secretariat
  • Nathalie Margi, Senior Advocacy Officer, Urgent Action Fund

Moderated by Cindy Clark, co-Executive Director of AWID

Click here to watch a recording of “A Missing Brick for Peace and Sustaining Women’s Movements: Flexible Institutional Funding for Local Women’s Organizations” here.

On March 18, in partnership with Urgent Action Fund Africa, Women’s Fund Asia, and the Gates Foundation, we co-organized a parallel event called “Global promises, local realities: 25 years of BPFA journey.”

In this interactive conversation, representatives from community-based feminist organizations and feminist funds discussed the role of intersectional feminist movements in the Generation Equality Forum and Bejijng +25/26 processes, providing tangible recommendations to ensure outcomes are rooted in a transformative feminist agenda. The discussion highlighted the critical importance of amplifying the voices and strategies of groups that have been structurally marginalized and continue to be excluded from global policy processes.


  • Cybèle Lespérance –  Syndicat du Travail Sexuel STRASS France
  • Dumiso Gatsha- Success Capital Botswana
  • Srinidhi Raghavan Rising Flame India
  • Tikhala Itaye- HerLiberty Malawi

Moderator: Tulika Srivastava – Women’s Fund Asia

Click here to watch a recording of “Global promises, local realities: 25 years of BPFA Journey” here.