Five Dutch feminist women founded Mama Cash in 1983. Before long, this small, feisty women’s fund began giving grants to emerging radical women’s groups all over the world.
We fund and support groups that work at local, national and international levels. They educate, advocate, break down sexist stereotypes and build cultures of peace, justice and respect.
She’s on a mission: Courageous women’s and girls’ rights organisations need funding and supportive networks in order to grow and transform their communities. Mama Cash mobilises resources from individuals and institutions, makes grants to women’s and girls’ human rights organisations, and helps build the partnerships and networks needed to successfully defend and advance women’s and girls’ rights globally.
For three decades, Mama Cash has pursued the vision that every woman and girl in the world will have the power and resources to make her own choices, have control over her body, and participate fully and equally in creating a peaceful, just and sustainable world.
Today, Mama Cash works together with activists, organisations, funders and supporters to strengthen collective action to defend, promote and advance the human rights of women, girls and trans people. We are committed to capturing and communicating what we have learned about how social change happens and how to support it.
She changes the world: For Mama Cash and our grantees, change is not a buzzword or a distant dream. Change is the work we do every day to end exclusion and violence in homes, villages, cities and countries – and in our own social movements. Change is what we ask of ourselves, not just what we demand of others.
Resources in Action
Courageous organisations that stand up for women’s, girls’, and trans people’s rights possess abundant energy, vision and ambition. But they often lack the funding, supportive networks, and access to learning opportunities they need to maximise the impact they have and transform their communities and nations. Mama Cash’s mission is to fill that gap.
Mama Cash’s role is to provide the money and support that will enable our grantees to grow stronger, to professionalise, to take their work to the next level and to increase their spheres of influence.
By partnering with like-minded individuals, organisations, women’s funds, and foundations, Mama Cash also aims to inspire greater philanthropic commitment to women’s rights movements. Our goal is to significantly expand the pool of resources available to girls, women, and trans people
The Cutting Edge
Most women’s rights groups have to confront the challenge of insufficient resources and representing marginalised individuals and groups. Some organisations, however, are even further marginalised because they represent stigmatised groups, advocate controversial positions or pose a threat to established power structures.
Mama Cash provides support to groups at the margins of their own communities and women’s rights movements. Their status on the edge often means that they have a harder time accessing resources and making their voices heard. For groups that tackle issues that are considered by some to be controversial, we are often the first international funder. We support sex workers’ rights in Peru, girls’ education in rural Kenya, lesbian and bisexual women’s rights in low-income areas of Manila, and land rights for women in isolated, militarised zones in Pakistan.
“Mama Cash has always been there… During the Bush era it was getting very complicated to fund issues around sex work, very complicated to fund abortion. Mama Cash stayed the course and would support groups that were doing advocacy around that, pushing more progressive responses… Mama Cash is different.” Interview with Jessica Horn, Mama Cash Board member
Supporting self-led groups means that Mama Cash and those who fund our work put resources and decision-making power into the hands of people who are most affected by injustice. In other words, Mama Cash funds groups led by the people they work for: rural women organising and supporting other rural women; girls designing projects for girls; trans people leading and making decisions about trans people’s rights.
Mama Cash supports about 100 organisations, networks, and women’s funds each year. Since 1983, Mama Cash has awarded more than €37,000,000 to advance women’s and girls’ human rights internationally.
Read more about Mama Cash’s facts and figures in our latest financial overview and recent annual reports.