About the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

About the UN Trust Fund

Photo: NFFCK
Photo: UN Trust Fund Grantee/NFFCK, Kyrgyzstan 

The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund), managed by UN Women on behalf of the UN system, is the only global grant-making mechanism dedicated to eradicating all forms of violence against women and girls. Since its establishment in 1996 by UN General Assembly resolution 50/166, the UN Trust Fund has awarded USD 225 million to 670 initiatives in 140 countries and territories. 

In 2023, the UN Trust Fund supported projects reached 15,353,322 people, including a minimum of 7,723,854 women and girls overall and 176,246 women and girls were empowered to exercise agency for change in their own lives—specifically, through accessing specialist support services, prevention initiatives, and as co-creators in the design and implementation of projects to end violence against women and girls, including efforts to improve effectiveness of legislation, policies, and national action plans.

Focusing on preventing violence, implementing laws and policies, and improving access to vital services for survivors, the UN Trust Fund invests in life-changing initiatives for millions of women and girls around the world. Over two decades of persistent effort from global activists have resulted in improved international legislative frameworks and standards on ending violence against women and girls, as well as an increased political will to address the issue. Yet, resources to translate these successes into effective practices remain woefully inadequate and far below the demand arising from the field.

Globally, an estimated 736 million women—almost one in three—have been subjected to physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both at least once in their life (30 per cent of women aged 15 and older) according to a 2018 report from the World Health Organisation on "Violence Against Women Prevalence Estimates". No country is untouched by this grave human rights violation.

The UN Trust Fund takes a human rights approach towards the goal of ending violence against women and girls. Its work contributes to achieving the bold 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development agreed by UN member states in 2015, specifically focusing on targets related to ending violence against women.

These ambitions must be met by robust funding, but challenges remain. A survey by the philanthropic Foundation Center found that in 2014, only 8 per cent of all human rights-related donations by private foundations is allocated to ending violence against women and girls. In other words, of every US$100 raised for human rights, just US$8 goes to efforts to end violence against women and girls.

The UN Trust Fund is committed to advocating for adequate, sustainable funding for efforts to end violence against women and girls. It is committed to funding organizations that are operating at the grassroots level, focused on women’s rights, and that are women-led. The UN Trust Fund invests in sustainable change through demand-driven initiatives implemented by civil society organizations around the world.

For financial and programme information, visit the UN Trust Fund’s online grants management system.

For information on grant applications, visit Application Guidelines.