Call to GEST Alumni: The March 8 Fund 2022

8 March 2022
Call to GEST Alumni: The March 8 Fund 2022

The GRÓ GEST programme hereby invites its alumni to apply for The March 8 Fund 2022. The deadline for applications is April 19, 2022. Read more about how to apply, eligibility criteria and priorities here.

Every year on March 8, International Women’s Day, major organizations and stakeholders stand in line around the world to celebrate women’s rights and to commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women. However, as most gender equality professionals, including alumni from the GRÓ GEST Programme, know all too well; while it is easy to talk about the virtues of gender equality, it remains an area of human development that is still underfunded. Celebrating International Women's Day only by promoting general and vague notions of equality is not enough. Historically, March 8 is a day rooted in radical social reform and deserves more than gradual commercialization and dilution.

True commitment requires investment. The March 8 Fund is established following a pilot call under the name ‘GEST Alumni Fund’ in 2020, when €10.000 were awarded by GEST to Chinenye Anekwe, GEST alumna of 2018, for the project Business Booster Programme for 100 Rural Women Energy Entrepreneurs; a project which exceeded its outcome expectations. The project was jointly financed by the GEST Alumni Fund and Solar Sister Nigeria and was led by Ms. Anekwe. The success of the project gave witness to the effectiveness and necessity of continued financial investment in small-scale projects with big local impacts organized and led by young gender equality professionals in their home communities.

Therefore, on this day and henceforth, the GRÓ GEST March 8 Fund will be a symbolic reminder to organizations, policy makers and stakeholders to invest in gender equality beyond words and promises. The March 8 Fund finances projects promoting gender equality and social justice, led by GEST alumni. Through the fund, GEST will issue an annual call for proposals that focus on advancing gender equality and promoting gender transformative approaches to achieve social change.