Leading from the South

The first call for applications for the Leading from the South programme has been concluded successfully! We are thrilled to be working with 16 fierce women's organisations undertaking ground-breaking work on issues such as labour rights, LBTIQ rights, sex workers' rights, indigenous women's rights, rights of women with disabilities among others. This is the first time SAWF has supported women and trans rights groups in South East and East Asia, which is also very exciting for us! We look forward to seeing the impact of the work of our new partners in the expanded region in the years to come.  



The organisations that were selected under each grant category are as follows:


  1. Cordillera Women’s Education Action Research Center, Philippines for training of indigenous women human rights defenders to emerge as trainers and leaders on land and resource rights
  2. Feminist Approach to Technology (FAT), India for building feminist leadership among women from marginalised communities
  3. Nari Unayan Shakti (NUS), Bangladesh to address gender based sexual and domestic violence against women in the family and communities in the slums of Dhaka
  4. National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF), Nepal for feminist participatory action research for empowerment of indigenous women, in collaboration with National Indigenous Disabled Women Association (NIDWAN)    
  5. People Serving People Foundation (PSPF), Thailand for training women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in Vietnam on their rights and how to effectively report human rights violations
  6. People Empowerment Foundation (PEF), Thailand to strengthen young LBTIQ leadership, with a focus on the well being of WHRDs as well as to strengthen intersectional solidarities among the diverse women’s movements
  7. Suriya Women’s Development Centre, Sri Lanka for challenging power and mobilizing women for feminist economic alternatives in Sri Lanka


  1. Asia Pacific Network of Services Workers (APNSW), Thailand for addressing violence against female sex workers through sex worker led organisations
  2. All Women’s Action Society (AWAM), Malaysia for leadership training of young women university students to counter patriarchy and politicised ethnicity and religion in Malaysia
  3. Centre for Women’s Development Studies (CWDS), India for research and knowledge building on violence against women and girls with disabilities in India, for greater understanding of the issue and for promoting legal empowerment
  4. Mongolian Gender Equality Center (MGEC), Mongolia for empowering women and girls to make informed choices and to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights
  5. Sampada Grameen Mahila Sanstha (SANGRAM), India for strengthening sex worker-led interventions through formal or informal institutions of justice, building cross movement alliances for secure livelihoods and creating access to affirmative action and justice
  6. Worker’s Information Center (WIC), Cambodia for mobilization of women workers, particularly those working in the informal sector and in stigmatised industry, to push for structural and policy level changes 


  1. Shirkat Gah, Pakistan for strengthening women’s movements by deepening feminist understanding, expanding the number of activists, creating strong solidarity linkages and inserting feminist thinking into other social movements/organisations in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, and East Timor
  2. International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW-AP), Malaysia for strengthening implementation of CEDAW with a focus on women’s economic, social and cultural rights, access to justice and the Sustainable Development Goals in the region, with a country focus on Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Timor Leste
  3. The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW), Thailand for strengthening the capacity of women-led organisations to deepen their understanding and recognition of women’s autonomy and strength in making decisions regarding their migration experience and mobility, and bringing about policy and attitudinal change towards women’s labour migration through collective advocacy in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Laos, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam 

The call for applications for the first phase of grant-making under this programme is now CLOSED. The next call for applications will be in October 2018.