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OUR APPROACH

MADRE’s unique feminist approach prioritizes and centers the grassroots partners in our far-reaching global networks. We focus on building long-term relationships with the local leaders who are experts in their own communities’ needs. Together, we pursue a holistic approach to change, integrating grantmaking, capacity bridging, and advocacy to achieve gender, racial, climate, and disability justice.

three Indigenous women from Kenya smile while adjusting and sewing beads on to the center woman's traditional clothing

Poppy Miyonga

Grantmaking

We direct funding to people who are left out of places of power.  We provide trust-based grants to women- and girl-led groups that are often small, located in remote areas, and below the radar of large aid agencies, resisting resource hoarding that is rooted in white supremacy and colonialism.

MADRE has provided $65 million and counting to support groups in over 40 countries.

a Syrian woman refugee holds an infant child while smiling at him

MADRE resources visionary, innovative and intersectional, grassroots strategies that meet immediate needs and create lasting change. We focus our partnerships on organizations that prioritize the leadership of women and girls, Indigenous women, Afro-descendant women, LGBTQIA+ people, and people with disabilities.

What we fund:

OUR EMERGENCY FUND

MADRE’s Emergency and Disaster Relief Fund lets us act urgently to put funds in the hands of the local organizers in marginalized communities that can do the most good in times of crisis. We bring crucial resources — like food, water, medical care and shelter — directly to the women and families most in need.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR FUND
a group of Indian woman are lined up waiting for services with masks on during the covid pandemic

Talukdar David

Advocacy

MADRE strategically integrates legal, communications, and advocacy expertise while facilitating connections with policymakers, governments, and international players. We work to make local to international law relevant and accountable to the people it is meant to serve.

With MADRE, our partners win lasting change through laws, treaties, and feminist policy implementation.

a group of women rally for women's rights in Nepal

Partnering to Advocate for Change

We work with our community-based partners and with our allies in our network of legal advocates to identify opportunities for changes to laws and policies that will help advance community priorities and build more just societies. We assist our partners with crafting the language and framework to identify the human rights violations and the skills and strategies to take the next step. Crucially, we open doors to marginalized women’s participation in policymaking, by providing legal aid, training, translation, and accompaniment through advocacy processes.

a woman holds a poster showing support for wrongly imprisoned human rights defenders

Making it Happen Long-Term

When we win a legal or policy change, we know our work has just begun. To realize these changes, we use multi-tiered advocacy, we mobilize with our local partners to hold governments accountable to the promises they’ve made and to make sure that improved policies are actually implemented at the community level. We do not treat human rights as a mechanistic check-list but as a work in progress and an ever-evolving framework that is ours to define and redefine in pursuit of our vision of a just world.

Learn more about some of our recent advocacy wins

The US has an outsize role in global affairs, which means US foreign policy is critical to the wellbeing of global women and girls, Indigenous women, Afro-descendant women, LGBTQIA+ people, and people with disabilities. With our partners, MADRE is demanding a feminist US foreign policy rooted in care and repair for the harms of the past.

We create the space for progressive policymakers to hear directly from women whose communities are impacted by US policies and who offer solutions to some of the most urgent crises of our time. We know that when we listen to women and girls at the grassroots, we can create policies that are better for everyone.

Our feminist foreign policy initiative focuses on three priorities:

  • Offering a global gender justice perspective on climate policy, including the Green New Deal
  • Advancing the voices of women peacebuilders on the frontlines of war to bring lasting peace and stability
  • Advancing feminist economic justice policies rooted in an ethic of care

Capacity Bridging

Through its deep networks around the globe, MADRE builds solidarity and creates community among its partners, building upon the expertise and lived experiences within communities to implement change.

We are conveners with robust, shared resources and accessible knowledge. We facilitate interwoven experiences through smaller, critical spaces and larger global initiatives, collaborating with our partners to create powerful momentum forward. Our effectiveness is only possible with the sharing of knowledge and experiences informing our best practices.

MADRE’S capacity bridging work is a newer initiative to foster collaboration activities with and between our partners. As we develop this approach, we regularly monitor and evaluate its effectiveness according to definitions of progress and success driven by partners, not donors.

Our priorities:

  • Organizational strengthening through local expertise
  • Cross-collaboration and leadership in the Global South
  • Advocacy and network-building
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