Dorothy Griffiths of Feminist Review Trust: Feminism means challenging the abuses of women in all their forms

By Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik. In the following my interview with Prof. Dorothy Griffiths of Feminist Review Trust about feminism and the objectives of her organisation which finances projects to help women all over the world, and to struggle against violence and oppression of women.
Milena Rampoldi: What does feminism mean to you?
Dorothy Griffiths: For me personally it is about equality, empowerment, challenging the abuses of women in all their forms, etc. etc.
Which is the main objective of the Feminist Review Trust? 
Our objectives are to finance projects to support women all over the world. In the following you can find the list of the projects Feminist Review Trust will fund:
Hard to fund projects. Some types of projects are difficult to fund. Typically these projects have no other obvious sources of funding. This might mean, for example, that traditional academic sources are either not interested in the area or that it is an activist project or that it is too feminist for most conventional funding sources. For example the Trust supported the writing and publication of the history of Rape Crisis in Scotland and the translation and updating sections of ‘Women and Their Bodies’ into Arabic and Hebrew.
Pump priming activities. This means that we will provide a small amount of funding to help start an activity in the hope that it will then be able attract sufficient funding to continue. For example we funded a project in Argentina to strengthen the capacity of organisations promoting women’s rights and a project to provide audio visual equipment for a feminist social centre in Madrid. In each case these projects have hopefully helped to create a sustainable activity.
Interventionist projects which support feminist values. It is often difficult for projects around core feminist concerns such as abortion rights and domestic violence to find funding. For example the Trust has supported Asylum Aid (an independent charity workshop with asylum seekers in the UK) to promote its ‘Charter of Rights’ for Women Seeking Asylum. We supported the 40th Anniversary Campaign of Abortion Rights in the UK, a documentary about abortion in Trinidad and Tobago and a feminist art studio in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Training and development projects: we will fund projects which provide training in relevant areas. For example, the Trust has funded English lessons for sex workers in London; leadership skills training for women in the voluntary sector. and volunteer training as Glasgow Women’s Library.
One off events: we supported Cine25 as part of the celebrations of 25 years of Women’s Studies at the University of York (UK); a seminar for the Lileth Project (a violence against women housing related project), and a workshop on the gender dimensions of Bulgarian Immigration Policy.
Dissemination: we will fund the production and distribution of relevant material. Too often wonderful work has had a more limited impact than it should because it was not well of fully distributed The Trust will fund dissemination. . For example we have supported the production of a booklet on Asian women’s experiences of higher education in the UK and the distribution of publications by the Rights of Women (a non-profit UK group)
Core funding: we realise that many groups struggle to raise core funding. The Trustees are willing to offer core funding to cover staff costs, accommodation etc., except in instances where applicants are seeking core funding to replace funding lost as a result of public sector cuts.
Other projects: if your application does not easily fit into any of the above categories we may still support it. For example, the Trust has funded a project to capture oral histories of women’s experience of the menopause. Contact the Trust to discuss eligibility prior to submitting your application.
In the next two years 2017 and 2018 our organisation will fund in particular projects in the following fields:
Lesbian and transgender rights
Violence against women and girls
Disabled women and girls
ProMosaik often speaks about feminism in plural because feminism is different in different cultures and religions. What do you think about it? I think feminism is very complex.. there are many forms in many places..I would not venture to make any judgements between them and about them.
What have you achieved until now with Feminist Review Trust?
We have been able to provide support for a number of projects in a number of countries. We fund projects across the globe. Again all the projects we have ever supported are listed on our website.
Which are the most important dreams you have for the future?
Very hard to answer. I would like to live in a world where there is no longer any violence against women and where power is shared equally between the sexes.
One example is our funding of Asylum Aid. To raise awareness and increase implementation of the UK’s policies regarding women seeking asylum, the Feminist Review Trust supported Asylum Aid.  Without the work of Asylum Aid, unsupported women face the prospect of stressful appeals, vulnerability to sexual exploitation and destitution in isolation.