Women’s Fellowship

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new fellowship aimed at empowering women leaders to enhance community resilience to environmental crime. The initiative, titled 'Strengthening women’s resilience to organized environmental crime', seeks to address the critical intersection of gender and environmental crime by championing the voices of women working to protect the environment. Deadline: 14 June 2024.

Women's Fellowship

The Fellowship is part of the GI-TOC's flagship Resilience Fund, which provides grants and support to civil society individuals and organizations working to counter the impacts of criminal governance and violence across the world.

Five individual proposals that address different contexts of environmental crime will be selected and supported through the following mechanisms:

Grants: This Fellowship aims to directly address the lack of financial support for initiatives targeting gender-inclusive projects that address environmental crime by providing grants of £12 000 to women leaders actively working to reduce environmental crime by empowering local women.

Capacity building: The grantees will have access to tailored capacity-building sessions. The Resilience Fund will provide each grantee with a mentor to support them in navigating the challenges unique to their context and projects and to help them with opportunities to raise the profile of their work.

Networking and collaboration: In October 2024, the Resilience Fund will invite grantees to Vienna, Austria, to participate in global policy-making forums and attend the 12th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The Fund will facilitate dialogues and meetings with grantees to identify ways to work together to prioritize gender issues and develop innovative strategies to protect their environments. They will also be invited to join the Resilience Fund Community Platform, which will give them access to funding opportunities, global dialogues and multilateral engagement after the grant ends.

Strengthening women's resilience to organized environmental crime

This Fellowship is specifically designed for women working on environmental projects that have a clear link to environmental organized crime or the illicit trade in natural resources.

Environmental crime is estimated to be the third most lucrative criminal economy in the world, generating more than US$250 billion annually. Although it is often considered to be ‘victimless’, it has a significant impact on communities living near or in ecologically important areas, with women disproportionately affected due to persisting structural inequalities. Despite this, the gender dimensions of environmental crime remain under-researched, as evidenced by the lack of gender-disaggregated data. Women are also often under-represented in environmental policy-making and law enforcement, resulting in policies that fail to address issues unique to women or to make use of their specific knowledge and expertise.

By championing the voices of women working to protect the environment, we can ensure a more inclusive approach that promotes gender equality. Ways of building women’s resilience to environmental crime include facilitating women’s networks at the local level to address gender-based violence and discrimination, establishing institutional mechanisms to protect women environmental defenders, and developing community resilience to withstand, adapt to and recover from adversity and threats.

The following examples of possible projects illustrate how civil society actors from different sectors are actively responding to the specific challenges that women face. This list is not exhaustive and priority will be given to innovative strategies that go beyond these examples.

  • Victim support services and alternative economic opportunities to counter sex trafficking in the illegal mining and logging industries.
  • Village-level committees to address gender-based violence against men from local communities involved in extractive industries.
  • Strategies to improve the safety of women environmental defenders.
  • Facilitating the participation of women in conservation initiatives.
  • Facilitating the participation of women in natural resource management at local and national levels.
  • Initiatives that promote gender-responsive legal frameworks and improve women’s access to justice in environmental matters.
  • Fostering inclusive community engagement to ensure that women’s voices are heard in community decision-making processes related to environmental management and crime prevention.
  • Grassroots campaigns and journalistic investigations for accountability and reform to tackle the illegal trade in natural resources, corruption and related gender-based violence.

Selection criteria

The Women’s Fellowship aims to support five women leaders working locally to protect the environment and address community needs arising from illicit natural resource economies, particularly by developing women’s resilience.

Applicants should have a background in one of the following fields: journalism and media; activism, advocacy and community mobilization; creative arts; community leadership; academia; or community-based human rights.

The Resilience Fund invites applications from women of all ethnic backgrounds, ages, religions or other defining characteristics who are actively working in communities affected by environmental crime. Applicants must have full or professional working proficiency in English.

Applicants will be shortlisted for interviews on the basis of the following four criteria.

  • Contextual relevance
  • Problem identification
  • Solution feasibility
  • Capacity to build community resilience

Each Fellow will be awarded a total of £12 000, payable in three instalments of £4 000 each. The use of these funds should adhere strictly to the principles of professionalism, integrity and transparency, be consistent with the plan proposed in the application form, comply with the terms and conditions of the Fellowship agreement, and used to engage in collaborative activities with other Fellows.

How to apply (ONLINE FORM)

Interested parties must submit an application through the online form available at the end of this section. This form includes questions for applicants to showcase their background and experience in addressing different contexts of environmental crime.

Please make sure that your responses are clear, succinct and do not exceed the maximum of words stablished.

You will not be able to attach any documents to your application. Please make sure that you have included all relevant information in the online form. It will not be possible to edit it once it has been submitted.

Applications will not be received by email. They must all be submitted via the online form.

If you have technical issues uploading your application or if you have any questions, please contact: fellowship@globalinitiative.net

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