Solidarity Care Fund
Activism works to create change. Even during a crisis. In the midst of all the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen solidarity in action around the world. Women peace activists have continued to mobilise collective power at the local level which proved essential to providing immediate support but also contributing to conflict prevention and peacebuilding work.
To support this work, in April 2020 WILPF set up our first ever short-term Solidarity Care Fund to offer financial resources to Sections and Groups that were working with communities in response to the crisis. We distributed 24 grants which helped members run awareness campaigns and find ways to support their communities to access equipment, food and shelter where governments and other relief programmes were unable to meet the needs of the population. In many countries, members also mobilised to address the rise in gender-based violence and integrated domestic violence information into COVID-19 prevention materials.
All this work shows how women are leading, organising locally and how activists are caring, and working tirelessly to prevent violence in diverse contexts.
We are proud to share the videos and pictures on this page to give you a glimpse of the work done by WILPF activists during the pandemic.
Support on a Global Scale
Like other crises, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities, decreased equitable access to essential services and threatened the fulfillment of human rights. In many contexts, that has come against an already difficult economic and social backdrop.
In 2020, the Solidarity Care Fund supported 24 Sections and Groups in the following countries: Afghanistan, Argentina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ghana, India, Italy, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Palestine, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Sweden, Togo, Uganda, Zimbabwe.
“The Solidarity Care Fund gave us an opportunity to exercise our autonomy and provide a concrete response to the demands of grassroots women who have been severely affected by COVID-19.”
– Salimata BA, Coordinator of WILPF Senegal Group
Our Achievements: Advocacy, Awareness-raising, and Action
WILPF members have worked tirelessly to support and advocate for people – particularly women and girls – impacted by the pandemic. They adapted to the circumstances and used their networks to raise awareness, counter misinformation and support people directly affected by the economic fall-out.
WILPF DRC supported community actions including a mother-child health care centre, WILPF Cameroon worked with internally displaced persons and was one of the first organisations to warn of the dangers of stigma and discrimination in the response to COVID-19. In Europe, WILPF Italy worked to support homeless people and refugees during the first lockdown. WILPF Afghanistan organised and advocated with women and girls with disabilities. WILPF members in many countries, including Argentina, Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe, raised awareness of gender-based violence and some worked to address domestic violence by creating support mechanisms. In Ghana, Sudan and Senegal, members facilitated awareness sessions for women street vendors who were disproportionately affected by the containment measures.
As part of the COVID-19 response, Sections and Groups also stepped up their advocacy and awareness-raising efforts to document the human rights and gendered impacts of COVID-19 and drawn attention to existing root causes and faultlines like conflict, regressive economic reforms, militarism, and patriarchy. This thinking, analysis and activism in the face of different and multiple crises has shown a shared narrative of the causes and brought forward the knowledge of what needs to happen for structural transformation.