WOMAN, LIFE, FREEDOM, three words behind a revolution, three words to define the year. On 16 September, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in the custody of the Iranian morality police. Mahsa had been arrested for wearing her hijab incorrectly. What followed is what many are calling the first women-led counter-revolution as intergenerational groups of Iranian women bravely take to the streets.
Meanwhile, in Afghanistan over the past few days more draconian measures have been taken by the Taliban - to bar women from universities as well as employment in the non-governmental organizations that are distributing international humanitarian aid. And in Ukraine, the brutal and unprovoked attack by Russia continues to destroy the homes and lives of Ukrainian people.
Amidst the long and growing list of global crises, the media tends to focus exclusively on one crisis at a time, jumping to the latest sensational attack and abandoning coverage of the news elsewhere. While the news cycle is short, our attention and investment in solving these crises must be longer. We have to be able to deal with more than one problem at a time.
2022 was a busy year in the fight for women's rights. Women and girls, from the United States to Afghanistan, fearlessly stood on the frontlines, aware of the risks of speaking out but also knowing that silence and inaction come at a much greater cost. In this year, we have seen geopolitical conflict, major legislative setbacks, and many lives lost. As the year closes, we all carry the weight of these challenges. But this year has also shown us the courage of women to stand up for themselves, to be in solidarity with one another, and to refuse silencing, relegation, and inequality. We stand with these fierce women and girls around the world as they intrepidly march into 2023.
The frontline work of our partners continually inspires us. This year, their work has increased and intensified, and we have expanded, adding new partners and grantees to our ever-growing network. We are committed to centering the important work of our international partners and grantees and would like our organizational name to be more reflective of our dedication to our partners. For this reason, in the New Year we are changing our name from Donor Direct Action to the Frontline Women’s Fund. It is our belief that Frontline Women's Fund is more representative of our mission to support and invest in frontline women’s rights organizations that have historically not had access to the funds needed to maintain and grow their life-saving work. It is our hope that our new name will help draw focus and attention to our partners and grantees.
2023 is dedicated to those women and girls who have been marginalized, oppressed, and excluded from existing power structures. It is dedicated to those women and girls demanding their fundamental human rights and envisioning a new world. WOMAN, LIFE, FREEDOM!
Thank you for your support and best wishes for the New Year.