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Offer: Call for Proposals: Addressing the Situation of Women and Girls with Disabilities in Post-Conflict Countries

The Open Society Foundations’ International Women’s Program and the Disability Rights Initiative are pleased to announce a call for proposals addressing the situation of women and girls with disabilities in the following post-conflict countries: Nepal, Palestine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Colombia. Only proposals from these countries will be considered for support. Deadline for proposals: December 5, 2011.

The International Women's Program promotes the advancement of women's human rights, gender equality, and empowerment as an integral part of the process of democratization. The program uses grant-making and programs to promote and protect the rights of women and girls around the globe, particularly in places where good governance and respect for the rule of law have been weakened or destroyed by conflict. The program aims to strengthen institutions that are responsive to and inclusive of women and to create conditions that allow women to control their own political, economic, and social development.

Activities focus around three primary objectives: reducing discrimination and violence against women, strengthening women's access to justice, and increasing women's role as decision-makers and leaders. The program pursues these objectives through a combination of strategies including grant-making, advocacy, capacity building, organizing meetings and exchanges, and building coalitions.

The Disability Rights Initiative aims to promote full and effective inclusion and participation in society of persons with disabilities by supporting a rights-based approach to disability that challenges discrimination and promotes equality. The approach is three-tiered: promoting universalization of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; drilling down into national implementation; and focusing on the most marginalizing practices and marginalized groups, based on the principle that an important indicator for whether the rights-based approach to disability has been internalized in a given society is whether persons from these groups are able to exercise their human rights on an equal basis with others.

Focus of the call for proposals:

The International Women’s Program and the Disability Rights Initiative invite proposals focusing on one or more of the following objectives:

1) Reducing discrimination and violence against women and girls with disabilities

We seek to support efforts that improve the status of women and girls with disabilities by:

Strengthening legal frameworks and enforcement mechanisms to enforce the rights of women and girls with disabilities;
Strengthening civil society’s capacity to hold governments accountable to implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), particularly CRPD articles 12, 13, 19 or 24 as they relate to women and girls with disabilities;
Increasing women’s and girls’ capacity to understand and claim their rights under CRPD articles 12, 13, 19 or 24, with priority given to projects that work with populations of particularly marginalized sectors of the disability community, such as women and girls with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities.

2) Strengthening access to justice for women and girls with disabilities

We seek to support efforts that strengthen judicial responses to rights violations against women and girls with disabilities and reduce their obstacles to accessing justice by ensuring:

Legal aid, counsel and assistance is available and resourced;
Judges, lawyers, prosecutors and police understand the barriers to accessing justice that women and girls with disabilities face and take steps to ensure these barriers are mitigated;
Transitional justice mechanisms are equitable and inclusive of women and girls with disabilities.

3) Increasing women’s and girls’ with disabilities self-determination and role as decision-makers and leaders[*]

We seek to support efforts that encourage and increase women’s and girls’ with disabilities role as decision-makers by:

Challenging policies and practices that limit the right of women and girls with disabilities to be recognized as persons under the law as established in CRPD Article 12;
Ensuring enforcement of the right to political participation for women and girls with disabilities, and that appropriate accommodations are guaranteed to ensure their free and private exercise of the right to vote, on an equal basis with others;
Ensuring the active participation of women and girls with disabilities in public policy formulation and implementation.

Grant Support

Preference is given to:

Organizations managed and led by women with disabilities;
Organizations that have a track record of approaching disability from a rights-based perspective and demonstrate sustainability;
Organizations that forge partnerships with other civil society groups;
Local or indigenous independent non-governmental organizations or initiatives that link local and international organizations.

Grant amount and funding timeline

Organizations can apply for one to three year grants from $25,000 to $200,000 per year. Please note that multi-year proposals require an annual assessment report prior to releasing the subsequent tranche of funds.

Proposals must be received using the accompanying narrative and financial proposal templates in English by email (preferred), fax or mail on or by December 5, 2011. Incomplete proposals or those received after December 5 will not be considered.

Please email the completed templates to: iwpdri@sorosny.org. Please write: December 2011 Call, the country of focus, and your organization’s name in the subject line of your email.

If your organization does not have email access, please fax or mail the application to:

International Women’s Program / Open Society Foundations
400 West 59th Street
New York, NY 10019, USA
Fax: 1.646.557.2601

Successful applicants will be notified of a decision within six months.

About the Open Society Foundations

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. To achieve this mission, the foundations seek to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights. On a local level, the Open Society Foundations implement a range of initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media. At the same time, we build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information. The foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.

Investor and philanthropist George Soros established the Open Society Foundations, starting in 1984, to help countries make the transition from communism. Our activities have grown to encompass the United States and more than 60 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Each foundation relies on the expertise of boards composed of eminent citizens who determine individual agendas based on local priorities.

Additional information on the Open Society Foundations is available at www.soros.org.

[*] Please note: The Open Society Foundations does not provide funding for electoral purposes.

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