Call for Proposals: Support Civil Society Organisations’ Capacity to Address the Advancement of Women’s Rights to Equality

Foundation for Human Rights
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Friday, 15 June, 2012
Opportunity type: 
Call for proposals

The Foundation for Human Rights (the Foundation) is a grant-maker to the Human Rights Sector. The Foundation was established in 1996 in terms of a joint agreement between the Government of South Africa and the European Union to address the legacy of apartheid and promote a human rights culture through support to civil society organisations in the human rights sector. The Foundation successfully concluded two programmes of support between 1996 and 2008, and is currently implementing a third programme, ‘Access to Justice and Promotion of Constitutional Rights – Strengthening Civil Society’, which is aimed at vulnerable and marginalised groups. The programme is funded through the Budget Sector Support by the European Union to the Department of Justice & Constitutional Development, with the Foundation as the implementing agency.

Under this programme, the Foundation intends to provide grants to civil society organisations (CSOs) which promote a human rights approach in their work, and to partner with CSOs in providing services to vulnerable and marginalised groups. In particular, the work supported by the Foundation will:

  • Enable people living in South Africa, particularly members of vulnerable and marginalised groups, to access information and understand policies and laws impacting on their rights as set out in the Constitution;
  • Strengthen policy dialogue and engagement with government on issues of human rights and good governance, poverty and inequality, as well as local democracy initiatives;
  • Strengthen the capacity of civil society to engage in related activities.

Reference No: AJPCR/R3.3/SO1
Women frequently suffer from various forms of discrimination. Nevertheless, women do not consist of a homogenous group of rights holders, and factors such as race, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, geographical location, and poverty and inequality result in women's experience of multiple discrimination and increased vulnerability of certain groups. In addition, there are also a great number of women that live under a dual legal system who are subjected to religious, cultural and traditional practices that have a harmful impact on their human rights within the family and society, and also affect their ability to access the benefits of laws aimed at improving their status.

The State has set up Gender Machinery to assist with the advancement of women’s rights, but this must be strengthened if we want to promote women’s rights. It is imperative that we assess the current state of the gender machinery to ensure that there is proper implementation and monitoring of policies that affect women’s rights.

Through this call the Foundation intends supporting programmes that include advocacy, campaigns, development of policy and/or participatory research that highlight and address the harmful impact of policies, laws, traditional, cultural and religious practices on the rights of women.
The Call also intends to support projects that are aimed at assessing the efficacy of the current gender machinery, given its mandate to promote and advance the rights of women, and to make recommendations on strengthening the institutional framework to do so. This call will support particular activities that focus on women’s rights in respect of:

  • Investigating, documenting and exposing human rights abuses of women vulnerable to traditional and religious practices, policies and legislation;
  • Supporting women’s rights organisations to strengthen the voices of women to lobby government to generate and implement policies, shape legal reform, engage with strategic partners and educate relevant stakeholders to ensure that religious and traditional practices and policies advance women’s interests and rights;
  • Monitoring government responses to harmful laws, policies and traditional and religious practices to ensure state compliance with national, regional and international human rights law instruments that protect and promote women’s rights;
  • Creating cutting-edge media campaigns to influence public policy agendas and debates among stakeholders, including media campaigns; and
  • Initiatives led by women’s rights organisations aimed at assessing the current status of the gender machinery and its ability to expose women’s rights abuse, monitoring government institutions, strategically engaging and educating relevant stakeholders on the rights of women, and amplifying the voices of women facing multiple forms of discrimination.

Duration of activities:

The proposed activities should take place over a minimum period of six months and a maximum period of 12 months.
Amount available per contract:

Successful applicants will be awarded a single grant between a minimum of R250, 000 and a maximum of R350 000. A maximum of five or six organisations may be funded.
The Foundation reserves the right to cancel this Call for Proposals at any stage and not make grants in respect of this call.
Applicant organisations should meet the following criteria in order to be considered eligible:

  • Be registered, or in the process of registering as an non-governmental organisation (NGO), community-based organisation (CBO), Section 21 Company, or a non-profit trust (funding will only commence for successful applicants once proof of registration is provided to the satisfaction of the Foundation);
  • Have a proven track record of working in the human rights sector with a focus on women’s rights; and
  • Have as their core work and/or are engaged in the following focus areas; improving access to justice for women, and raising awareness of constitutional rights and women’s rights in particular.


  • Applications from Advice Offices will not be considered under this call;
  • Applications relating to the celebration of women’s rights day, the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, and education programmes that are not aimed at increasing awareness on areas raised in the advert will not be considered for funding.

For the full guidelines for applications to this call for proposals, refer to Alternatively, copies of the document may be requested from the Foundation. For more information contact the Grants Unit at 011 339 3560 or e-mail to

Applications that do not comply with the guidelines may be rejected immediately. The Foundation also reserves the right to cancel at its discretion this call through the media.

All posted or hand delivered applications must be placed in a sealed envelope indicating the same name of the applicant and reference number of the call and delivered on or before the application deadline to:

Physical address:

The Grants and Services Manager
Foundation for Human Rights
8th Floor, 209 Smit Street (corner Rissik Street)

Postal address:

The Grants and Services Manager
Foundation for Human Rights
Private Bag 124

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