Closing space includes actions that curtail democracy and human rights activism, such as efforts to restrict access to foreign funding for organisations working on these issues. To date, efforts to understand the drivers, enablers, and impact of what has become a global trend have not consistently applied a gendered analysis.
This report seeks to contribute to the current discourse by addressing this gap. The report is based on fifteen interviews with activist groups led by women and trans people working from a feminist perspective in six countries where closing space is a pressing reality: China, Egypt, India, Russian Federation, Turkey and Uganda. All activists interviewed are grantee-partners of either Mama Cash or the Urgent Action Fund. Following individual interviews, the activists later came together in a separate convening to review and validate the findings and develop shared analysis and recommendations. As such, the report documents the perspectives and experiences of these women’s rights and trans rights activists, and provides examples of the gendered impact of closing space. The report includes activists’ recommendations to the funding community on ways to support their organising and counter the closing space trend, and shares lessons and strategies that may be useful to other activist groups facing threats.