AVPN Global Conference 2023 | 20 - 22 June 2023


Asia Gender Equality Fund

Advancing women’s economic empowerment in Asia through unrestricted funding


About the fund

The Asia Gender Equality Fund, is a transformative initiative catalysed by AVPN with support from Fondation CHANEL, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Target Foundation and members of AVPN’s Asia Gender Network which will invest in women’s economic empowerment across the Asia Pacific region. The fund aims to make lasting change in the lives of women and girls in Asia, particularly those from under-served and marginalised communities.

Women and girls continue to face staggering rates of fatalities linked to food insecurity, malnutrition, poverty and gender-based violence. That’s why we’re committed to raise and deploy US $25 million within the next five years to support initiatives and solutions by non-profit organisations focused on improving economic outcomes for women and girls in Asia.

We take a strategic approach and will work with organisations that have the greatest potential for impact and sustainability, so that we can transform key systems and make them more equitable and inclusive.


8 NPOs to Improve Economic Outcomes for Women and Girls in Asia

AVPN has selected eight exceptional non-profit organisations (NPOs) across South Asia, South East Asia, North East Asia as the recipients of the Asia Gender Equality Fund. The following NPOs have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to advancing gender equality, showcasing their dedication through intersectional solutions, including enhancing girls and women's education and skills, advocating for labour rights, addressing human trafficking, and enabling women from marginalised backgrounds to become self-reliant.

Azad Foundation
Badabon Sangho
dZi Foundation
Kenan Foundation
Nomi Network
Sindh Community Foundation


What do our selected grantee say about the Asia Gender Equality Fund?

Hello! I am Dolon Ganguly, Chief Functionary of Azad Foundation. In India, decline in women’s labour force participation has been a challenge for last several decades. Data shows, the female labour force participation for women ages 15+ years has declined from 37% (2006) to 19% (2021). Under this context, AVPN’s support will help Azad to deepen its impact by continuing to bringing marginalised women in non-traditional livelihoods (NTL) and to work with men and women change agents to challenge gender division of labour at home and in public spaces. These women entering decent jobs as chauffeurs or riders would have control over financial resources, greater decision making capacity in families and communities, freedom of mobility and would be able to lessen their burden of unpaid care work and lead violence-free lives. It will also support Azad’s efforts in advocating with the state towards building gender-inclusive infrastructures in public places. APVN’s support will enable Azad to create impact in national and global policy-forums through influencing policies around women and work with a focus on NTL for women. It will also enable Azad to build the capacity and leadership skills of its staff members and ensure their well-being. We are grateful to AVPN for the possibilities that such a partnership brings in terms of scaling up the impact of our work.
Dolon Ganguly

Chief Functionary, Azad Foundation

In Cambodia, women from underdeveloped regions are economically marginalized due to poverty, gender inequality, and low capacity to resist economic shocks. Our work globally shows that poverty is a primary driver that makes women vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation. Women need sustainable access to income-generating activities, skills development, and a robust network of safe employment opportunities. Communities need counseling, access to markets and support with sustainable micro-enterprises. AVPN's generous funding will support Nomi Network in refining and enhancing our deeply engaging Cambodia Women's Workforce Development Program to reach more women to provide social, emotional, and economic empowerment. AVPN's support will continue to allow us to be a learning organization, build our capacity from within Cambodia and strengthen the Network of local partnerships. Thank you AVPN for trusting in us to achieve our vision to empower women to rewrite the narratives for future generations and steps towards preventing trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable women.
Ishrat Jahan

Director of International Programs, Nomi Network

We are grateful to the Asia Gender Equality Fund, they will assist to facilitate training to women farmers’ association members on cropping, harvesting and markets, enable them to manage revolving funds, assist to prepare bankable documents, educate them on on-line transactions and linking them with banks and markets. In Bangladesh, due to climate change induced salinity, women farmers are being expelled from their traditional cropping and fishing, becoming more vulnerable to poverty and violence. We, Badabon Sangho is women’s rights and women-led organisation, mobilizing and organising those women in the women farmers’ cooperative association. It is a group-based approach and its members play strong roles not only women’s income generation but also to face abuse, sexual violence, hate speech and stigma. With support of the Asia Gender Equality Fund, we will be able to support 6,200 women throughout three years and members will receive training, coaching to be entrepreneurs, have access to bank and online transactions. Evidence of this financial resilience and gender equality model would be documented and shared for further advocacy.
Lipi Rahman

Executive Director, Badabon Sangho

We're delighted to have been selected for AVPN's Asia Gender Equality Fund. Advancing women's economic empowerment is at the heart of what we do at Enrich and we believe this is particularly important for women from marginalised communities. At Enrich, we empower migrant domestic workers to invest in themselves through financial and empowerment education. The fund will enable us to grow and refine our programmes, equipping more migrant domestic workers with the tools and skills to save, budget and plan for a future with greater financial security in Hong Kong and to increase their livelihood opportunities when they return home. The Fund will also help us to strengthen our organisational development and governance. We are also inspired by the fact the Fund is unrestricted funding - this is transformative and trust based funding, enabling nonprofits such as ourselves to have the agility and flexibility to best meet beneficiaries needs.
Lucinda Pike

Executive Director, Enrich HK

Kenan's WE INSPIRE program empowers women in Northern Thailand through health, digital literacy, finance, and business acumen. We support income generation through small business development and employment. With the AVPN Gender Fund, Kenan will shift its role to build the capacity of local civil society and government partners through a series of trainings, community of practice, fostering knowledge exchange and network expansion. This will also enable us to scale up the We Inspire model to reach new communities and build the evidence and investment case to channel partnerships and funding to rural areas across Thailand to promote inclusive economic growth.
Piyawan Chaiwisessakul

Head of Social Inclusion, Kenan Foundation

This fund supports The dZi Foundation to continue implementation of our established, successful agriculture and livelihoods program, which currently works with farmers to improve their economic resilience and food security in some of the hardest-to-reach farming communities in Nepal. dZi also seeks to test a new solution to accelerate income increases and access to markets for key women by providing specialized entrepreneurial training and small grants to launch agriculture-based businesses. This funding will enable dZi to build on the success of its agriculture program, while addressing critical challenges in helping farmers, especially female farmers, increase their income in an area that is isolated from larger markets. With unrestricted funding through this grant, dZi will strengthen organizational capacity and execute a new strategic plan, scaling this economic empowerment work to the Rural Municipality level and driving economic acceleration, inclusive participation, and community resiliency.
Rakesh Karna

Nepal Country Director, dZi Foundation

The fund is a great support to sustain the impact of decent work and women economic empowerment for the women cotton workers and outreach from the 1050 to 3000 more and institutional development of organization. The solution will increase the access of women cotton worker to better and decent working conditions and economic empowerment. The solution will organize 3000 women cotton workers on labor rights, decent working condition, social and occupational safety and climate change adaptation and 1500 women with literacy and organize them into group and get registered 30 more groups as trade union. This will increase women leadership to negotiation and protection social and economic rights. The 1050 more vulnerable women cotton workers will gain income generation skills to improve their economic status in offseason. We are happy to have this grant support to strengthen our organization capacity and working . This has dual positive impact on improving the lives of 3000 women cotton workers as well organizational sustainability.
Shahnaz Sheedi

Chairperson, Sindh Community Foundation

In this project, KSIF aims to provide tailored career development opportunities for "Career-disrupted Women." The objective is to maximize job opportunities for women by conducting all training and internship activities online. Through digital-based job training courses and internship opportunities, we believe that women in Korea and Indonesia will have access to women-friendly and decent jobs.
Soonyoul Lee

CEO and CSIO (Chief Social Impact Officer), KSIF


Who is eligible to apply?

Organisation Status

Impact Areas

Governance & Ask

Grant application timeline


Information Session

  • 19th January 2023  (this session has ended)
  • 9th March 2023 (view session recording here)

21st FEBRUARY 2023

Open Call for Application

31st march 2023

Closing Date for Application

Application will be closed at 23.59 SGT (GMT+8) 


Selection and Announcement of Grantees

Frequently Asked Questions


The Asia Gender Equality Pooled Fund is a transformative initiative catalysed by AVPN with support from the Fondation Chanel, The Gates Foundation, Target Foundation and members of the Asian Gender Network, that aims to make lasting change in the lives of women and girls in Asia, particularly those from under-served and marginalised communities. Through this fund, AVPN aims to raise and deploy USD $25 million within the next five years to provide unrestricted funding towards initiatives and solutions by non-profit organisations focused on improving economic outcomes for women and girls in Asia.

Funding that is not restricted and can be used for core support (indirect, overhead costs). However, organisations need to demonstrate how receiving the funding can further their mission aligned to the funds’ thematic areas.

Even though the fund is unrestricted in nature, the grantees will have to demonstrate how the unrestricted funds will support their organisation’s work in aligning with the thematic area of the fund.

Some examples of core support include:

  • Infrastructure support activities i.e. investing in fundraising capacity
  • Organisational capacity building
  • Human Resource
  • Office rent
  • Transportation
  • Others
Non-Profit organisations can apply for grants ranging from USD 100K and USD 500K.

For this round, the Asia Gender Equality Fund is focused on the following markets; Japan, South Korea, China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and India.

The Non-Profit organisation can be registered in any country, as long as they have operations in the priority markets of the fund.

Yes, additional funding from other sources are allowed to scale your organisation. 


  • For this round, the fund will only be supporting non-profit organisations. If you are a legally registered non-profit organisation, and meeting the eligibility criteria of the fund, you will be eligible to apply.
  • For this fund, you are required to verify your organisation’s Non-Profit Status by retrieving a validation token from the TechSoup Global Network, and submitting this token to us through the Non-Profit Verification Form. Refer to the Verification Form for further instructions.

Partnerships are a key criteria when we assess your application. While only a single entity can apply for the fund, we encourage applicants to demonstrate how they have built or have plans of building strong strategic partnerships with governments, impact organisations, CSOs, intermediaries etc, as long as the jurisdiction in which they operate allows for such partnerships.

We recognise that the definition of small and medium organisations is different in different markets, therefore this will be taken into consideration when your applications are being reviewed. At a minimum, we are looking for organisations that are at least two years in operations, with an operating budget of approx USD 250K and will be able to provide audited financial statements of the last two years.

If you are a legally registered non-profit intermediary with operations in the target markets of the fund, you are eligible to apply. In your application, you will be required to state how you are working with other organisations that you support and how their work is contributing towards improving women’s economic empowerment in the target markets. Additionally you will be asked to articulate how the funds will aid in your efforts to continue to build and grow these organisations.

If your organisation is a registered Non-Profit organisation, then you will be eligible to apply. Please evaluate if your organisation fulfils this criteria before proceeding to apply for this fund.

Legal documentation verified by national authorities of your country is accepted as proof.

The grant period ranges from one to three years. If you are chosen as a recipient of the grant, we will work with you to determine any necessary reporting requirements and milestones and provide assistance as needed.

The fund aims to provide single and multi-year funding for up to three years. This will be determined based on the needs, scaleup plans, and internal deliberation of the application.


Non-Profit Impact Organisations working at the forefront of women’s economic empowerment with sub thematics which could include but not limited to the following: .

  • Providing decent work opportunities for women
  • Enabling and supporting Women’s Entrepreneurship
  • Digital Inclusion 
  • Financial Inclusion 
  • Vocational & Life Skills Acquisition 
  • Access to Markets 
  • Access to Education 
  • Access to affordable child/elderly care
  • Others


Non-profit Intermediaries that are working on galvanising systems-change efforts in advancing women’s economic empowerment through approaches such as, but not limited to:

  • Supporting the organisational development, capability and effectiveness that would help impact organisations scale and unlock additional funding.
  • Providing strategic guidance, expertise and infrastructure to empower impact organisations to innovate, pilot and test initiatives within the focus area.
  • Enabling connections between impact organisations and the funding community.
  • Field-building through coordination and between local and regional stakeholders aimed at collectively advancing women’s economic empowerment in Asia.

Women and girls from the following target markets-Japan, South Korea, China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and India.

application process

The call for applications will be open from 21 February, 2023 and closes on 31 March, 2023 23.59 SGT (GMT+8).  

Before applying, you are required to verify your organisation’s Non-Profit Status by retrieving a validation token from the TechSoup Global Network, and submitting this token to us through the Non-Profit Verification Form. Refer to the Verification Form for further instructions.

You can apply for the fund via the Application Portal.

New Users on the Application Portal

  1. Register for a new Account Here.
  2. Login to your account, and create a Business Account.
  3. Click on the Asia Gender Equality Fund: Apply for the fund
  4. Fill up the form as complete as possible.


Existing Users on Application Portal

  1. Login to your existing account Here.
  2. If you forget your password, you may reset it by clicking the
  3. “Forgotten your Password” link.
  4. Click on the Asia Gender Equality Fund: Apply for the fund
  5. Fill up the form as complete as possible.

You will be able to upload all necessary documents through the online application portal.

Applications are evaluated by internal and external reviewers within the AVPN member community representing different markets and bringing in technical expertise within Gender as well. The applications will be assessed along the following lines


Whether the project will improve women’s economic empowerment through the proposed solution


Whether the project will tackle the issue it seeks to address in a new and creative way


How the project will impact women if successful and the extent of the impact on their economic empowerment and growth


If successful, the expected outcomes of the project in 5 years and whether the project can serve as a model for other communities


Whether the project has a well-developed, realistic plan of execution; Whether you have identified the right partners for implementation.


Please note that AVPN will not be taking any ownership or responsibility for your intellectual property. Hence, it is advised that you avoid including any confidential or proprietary information in your application.

Implementation Partners

The application portal, EnQuire™, is powered by our digital partner Tactiv. 

The Eligibility Review is powered by our Due Diligence Partner TechSoup.