FRIDA The Young Feminist Fund, aims to fund and support young feminist organisations internationally, and has produced various resources for empowering young women and girls to become activists leaders. The grantee organisations share their knowledge and experience with the FRIDA network, learning from older generations and from peers around the world. The goal is to create and fund a learning loop to empower young feminist leaders to take the stand.
The Young Feminist fund first and foremost exists to help finance, develop and support young female and non-binary leaders in feminist organisations. However in support of their funding activities, they produce a lot of freely accessible learning and developmental resources. These form a toolkit which can help empower and educate young women and girls and non-binary persons, to become advocates for feminism and take on leadership responsibilities. A lot of the resource is centered around the stories portraying FRIDA activists and grant receiving organisations, There are also more specific tool kits around digital security, online safety and tech principles, safeguarding of girls and non-binary youths etc. The materials are all available on the website. The site itself, and its guides, annual reports and insights into the grant making and leadership supporting process, are all beautiful and inspiring with accessible language and lay out inviting the reader into the FRIDAverse.
Tokenistic shows of support for underrepresented voices is as empty a gesture, as inviting people to provide feedback with no intention of taking it on board, or encouraging leadership and ambition for a new world if there is no regard for what that may look like when the time for leadership change arrives. Remember this when looking to FRIDA’s tool kit for ways to start making some changes in your organisational leadership development, and consider these questions: How do you encourage more young women and non-binary persons to become leaders? In encouraging young women and non-binary persons to take leadership roles in your organisation, which patriarchal structures and systems are in place affecting their progress? -Are there any institutional glass ceilings and dark discriminative corners which need addressing and removing before you in earnest can expect a change away from hierarchical structures of patriarchy? What can we learn from the next generation of leaders? Is your organisation or institution ready for new approaches to management and the changes that entails? -And what can the future leaders learn from the current ones? How can we pass the baton to the young people whose world and futures we’re still affecting while we remain in positions of power and authority? If we really want young women and non-binary persons to want to lead, how does this affect the future we’releaving to them, whether in our organisations, society or the planet? Use the tools and resources to research other organisations’ take on young female leadership, how to support it and encourage it. Bear in mind the extra layers of care which goes into encouraging young women and non-binary person to step into the limelight in feminist leadership roles: The reality sadly is that these types of leaders, from these types of situations are often horrifically harassed and attacked for their position.
“FRIDA provides young feminist organizers with the resources they need to amplify their voices and bring attention to the social justice issues they care about. We enable the support, flexibility and networks to sustain young feminist visions.” FRIDA is the the young feminist fund, it is an international organisation which has activities across all continents and was seeded in 2009 at a by feminist conference in Marrakesh, and initaiated by Fondo Mujeres Centroamericano and the Association for Womens Rights in Development. The fund was launched with Amina Doherty at the helm and the name FRIDA was chosen. The first funding round was made possible through a collective Action Fund from the Tides Foundation, this was used to award 16 grants to young feminist organisations who all as part of the application process had to participate in awarding the grants. This participatory model became a core principal in FRIDA’s grant giving, and at present this has awarded a total of 1.3 million US dollars to 150 organisations in 80 countries. All of the grant recipients being initiatives led by young women and non-binary persons. By making the grant giving process transparent and participatory the aim is to shift the power balance from standard philanthropy to a fairer, less predictable and more open process. In addition to its funding activities FRIDA has created platforms for peer support and exposure and produced toolkits for further leadership development within the FRIDA community. Through its work the young feminist fund has developed a huge international network of organisations, activists and collaborators. Their stories are both aspirational and inspirational.
The website can be a little labyrinthine, so for the most easy access to educational and empowering resources the News page is the best place to start. Otherwise take the time to get yourself a little lost in FRIDA and see where you end up!