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Girls in School

Towards a Gender Equal World: the EU Gender Action Plan III

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ELLAS + FUND, promoting women’s political empowerment around the world

Ellas+ Fund

  • Gender marker: G2-Promotes gender equality as a primary objective

  • Period of implementation: 2021 as starting year. There is a call every year and the maximum initial duration of the execution period of each project will be 24 months, with a possible extension of 12 additional months.

  • Amount: EUR 5 M by 2023

  • Geographical area: Global

  • (Co-)funded by: Spain – Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) 

  • Link to the project:

  • GAP III’s Areas:

    • Equal participation and leadership


As reaffirmed by its Feminist Foreign Policy, Spain places gender equality and women’s empowerment at the centre of their external action. Therefore, and aware of the fact that women and girls worldwide do not fully experience equal rights, the Ellas+ Fund promotes women’s effective participation in political life contributing to the establishment and acceleration of women’s real leadership.

In line with Sustainable Development Goal 5c, Ellas+ supports countries around the world to adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation to promote gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels.

Nevertheless, the Fund not only benefits female leaders and women more broadly, but it also supports democratic institutions and processes by injecting greater diversity and inclusion and bringing them closer to the societies they intend to represent.

More specifically, this Fund finances initiatives worldwide that enable women to participate in and benefit from governance systems on an equal footing, helping to strengthen women´s leadership and participation in public life and decision-making. For example, it promotes women’s leadership in Colombia and Guatemala and their active participation in local governance in countries such as Senegal and Mali. But with a strong commitment to leave no one behind, it pays particular attention to improving the political participation of indigenous women in countries such as the Philippines, Perú or Ecuador and to promoting the active engagement of rural women in Argentina or young people in Jordania. Even more so, in Palestine, the Fund contributes to addressing institutional and economic barriers to women's political participation in Gaza and the West Bank or combats gender-based violence in politics in Bolivia.

From a more general perspective, Ellas+ also supports other initiatives in countries such as Tunisia to promote, from a feminist approach, the active participation of women and girls in public, cultural and economic life, or green female employment in Moroccan social and solidarity economy.  

Furthermore, in order to go a step further in addressing the root causes of gender inequalities, this global fund contributes to raising awareness of new masculinities with special attention to combating and preventing premature unions through women’s empowerment and leadership in Mozambique.

Recognising the key role of grassroots organisations and feminist movements from Ethiopia to the Dominican Republic, Ellas+ contributes to building their capacities and promotes alliances and networking. With a focus on politics, it also supports training initiatives for women in politics in Paraguay or Uruguay or strengthens and articulates the gender architecture within the agenda of political parties in Costa Rica.

All in all, a series of initiatives that highlight the transformative potential of the Ellas+ Fund in its commitment to women's rights and gender equality around the world.

"The Ellas+ Fund is a fantastic initiative to promote greater participation of women in all decision-making areas in those countries where Spanish Cooperation is present, removing the necessary obstacles for this and paying special attention to situations that, such as the feminization of care, represent a handicap for women to freely decide their future." José Luis Burgos Fresno, Head of the AECID Gender Unit and Manager of “Ellas+ Fund”.