International Women’s Day 2021

This International Women’s Day, we are celebrating and honoring women in leadership. VOW believes locally-driven solutions have the greatest opportunity for impact. That’s why we help fund community-based organizations through our granting partner the Girls First Fund. Since 2019, 150 community-based organizations in 6 countries have been funded. 90% are led by women. Meet Honest Fortunate and Gayatri – two of these amazing women.

Meet Honest Fortunate

After Honest Fortunate’s father died when she was a girl, she dropped out of elementary school because her family couldn’t afford the fees. Soon after, a new policy made education free for Ugandans, and Honest Fortunate returned to school. Without this bold action by legislators, her future could have been much different.

“So to me, policy is personal and that is why I became passionate. I want to nurture leaders who are going to be passionate about the day-to-day lives of the people they are leading.”

That’s why Honest Fortunate founded Girls to Lead Africa, a community-based organization supported by VOW through our granting partner, the Girls First Fund. Their programs provide trainings that encourage girls to break down barriers and become political leaders, starting in school.

When Honest Fortunate dreams of the future, she envisions strong women creating policies across Uganda and Africa that transform other women’s lives. She’s doing her part to realize that dream.

Meet Gayatri

Gayatri grew up in a remote part of India. She finished school with a degree in engineering and moved to New Delhi looking for advanced education opportunities. After she got pregnant, Gayatri put her education on hold and took a position as an IT support person with a women’s rights organization.

“For the first time, while fixing computers, I was hearing conversations about women’s rights and thought – what? This is something that people actually do?”

This was a turning point for Gayatri. Passionate about both feminism and technology, she was looking for a way to connect the two. That’s when she quit her job and founded Feminist Approach to Technology (FAT).

FAT believes that women should be equal participants in using, creating, and making decisions about technology. Through programs like their Tech Centers and Jugaad Labs for Girls, they provide skills for girls and allow them to explore their potential.

VOW is proud to support FAT through our granting partner, the Girls First Fund.