Leading from the South 2021 - 2022

**DEADLINE EXTENDED to 9 April 2021, 11:59 PM Sri Lanka time (GMT+5:30)**

About Leading From the South

Leading from the South (LFS) is a special consortium created to resource feminist activism in the Global South, initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands (MFA). It supports activism devised, implemented, and led by women, girls, and trans rights organisations in the Global South. Through grantmaking, capacity building, and other resourcing, LFS will strengthen movements, networks, and organisations—especially their advocacy capacity. 

The consortium comprises four women’s funds: three regional funds—African Women’s Development Fund (Africa and the Middle East), Fondo Mujeres del Sur (Latin America and the Caribbean), and Women’s Fund Asia (Asia)—and one global fund, the International Indigenous Women’s Forum.

Notes on our constituencies:

  • WFA acknowledges that there is no consistent and agreed upon definition of “girls.” WFA supports girls at two levels: through directly funding groups led by girls between the ages of 18 to 24, and through supporting work on rights of young women and girls aged 13 and above.

  • “Trans” is used by WFA as a placeholder to cover a diversity of gender identities and forms of gender expressions claimed by people across the region and the world. WFA supports trans rights, including that of transfeminine, transmasculine, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people, amongst other identities.

Grant Priorities

To effectively work towards achieving Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goalsworking towards gender equality through empowering women and girls—in an expansive and sustainable manner, it is critical to have a framework rooted in the voices, experiences, and leadership of women, girls, trans, and intersex people. The programme framework is also rooted within the three main principles of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)—substantive equality, non-discrimination, and state obligation.

We will prioritize grants that aim to address one or all of the following three objectives:

  1. Addressing all forms of violence against women, girls, trans, and intersex people and advancing their bodily integrity and autonomy.
  2. Protecting and ensuring full economic rights and justice for women, girls, trans, and intersex people.
  3. Expanding democratic space, sustaining inclusive governance, and equal participation of women, girls, trans, and intersex people.

The four women’s funds of this consortium have agreed to track outcomes related to the following indicators:

  • Laws, policies, and strategies blocked, adopted, or improved to promote women’s voice, agency, leadership, and representative participation in decision-making processes in the public, private, and civic spheres;
  • Success of CSOs in creating spaces for CSO demands and positions on women’s voice, agency, leadership, and representative participation in decision-making processes in public, private, and civic spheres, through agenda setting, influencing the debate, and/or movement building; and
  • Strengthened capacity of organisations to advance women’s rights and gender equality. 

All applicants should align their programme design and results framework to these commitments of LFS.  

Grant Type, Size and Duration

Grants will range from USD 55,000 to USD 486,000 for a period ranging from 1 – 3 years. The grants are available in the following categories:

  • Frontline Defenders grants (small-sized grants) for organizations working at community and subnational levels; the front line of defence against rights violations who are mobilizers of women, girls, trans, and intersex movements.
  • Amplifying Voices grants (medium-sized grants) are directed to national and sub-regional organizations and networks working to advocate with key stakeholders and states to affect policy change, as well as campaigns focused on the human rights of women, girls, trans, and intersex persons. 
  • Promoting Regional Feminist Agenda grants (large-sized grants) for cross-national, sub-regional, and regional groups and networks that are committed to advocating for state accountability, and to building the capacities, knowledge, and leadership needed to advance women, girls, trans and intersex rights. 

Eligibility Criteria

All applicants must fit the following criteria, in addition to grant category-specific criteria laid out in the LFS Call Guidelines:

  • Registration: Must be registered and based in one of these 17 countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. If you are from an unregistered group, you can apply as part of a consortium.
  • Focus: Must have advancement of women, girls, trans, and/or intersex rights as a focus of their vision, mission, and programme. 
  • Approach: Must be committed to feminist principles and rights-based approaches.
  • Consortium Grants: In case the application is for a consortium, the board and staff lead and the board and staff composition of the lead organisation should comply with the criteria set out under the respective grant category. Additionally, the rest of the consortium members’s board and staff should be led by women, girls (ages 18-24), trans, and/or intersex persons and be based in one of the 17 countries. 
  • Feminist/Women’s/Trans/Intersex Funds: Funds need to be registered and working in the region for a minimum of three years. They cannot provide sub-grants under the Leading from the South grantmaking programme, and can only apply for the Amplifying Voices and Promoting Regional Feminist Agendas categories.

Individuals are not eligible to apply for this call. 


**DEADLINE EXTENDED to 9 April 2021, 11:59 PM Sri Lanka time (GMT+5:30)**

All applications must be submitted by 2 April 2021, 12 midnight, Sri Lanka time (GMT+5.30), via the online application form.

Call Package

Please review the guidelines and frequently asked questions before beginning your application.

Before beginning your application, please refer to the Checklist to ensure you have the required documentation. If your organisation does not have the complete required documentation, please write to us before you apply at applications@wf-asia.org with the subject line "LFS Call 2021 Inquiry" at least two weeks before the deadline.


You may want to watch our webinar we organised to go over the basics of our application process, as well as tips for developing a stronger application.

Presentation (PDF)

Video recording (YouTube)

How to Apply


As part of your application, you will need to submit the following documents in addition to the online proposal format:

  1. Budget template (Under "Call Package" above)
  2. All other required materials listed in the Checklist of Required Documentation (LFS) 
  3. Please note that you will be asked to submit a letter from your bank to confirm that your account is able to receive foreign funds, should your application move forward in the process.

All required documents must be submitted in the online application form. After the online proposal format has been submitted, you will receive an email with a reference number for your application. If you do not receive this email, please write to us at applications@wf-asia.org with the subject “LFS Grant Application 2021: Missing Reference Number” before the submission deadline. For any other enquiries, please use the subject “LFS Grant Application 2021: [ADD YOUR REFERENCE NUMBER]”.

The LFS application form is only available online, and can only be submitted in English.


Please write to applications@wf-asia.org with the subject line “LFS Call 2021 Inquiry” for any queries while the call is open.