Launch of the Arise Fund to invest in women's leadership

19 October 2021

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ActionAid UK is thrilled to launch the Arise Fund, the first-ever global fund to invest in women’s leadership by directly supporting women-led responses in emergencies.

When a humanitarian disaster strikes, local women leaders know what the most marginalised women and girls in their communities need most. They are often the first to respond but when aid arrives, women’s roles are likely undermined and their voices ignored. 

But when women are given the opportunity to lead, more lives are saved, women and girls are better protected from violence which surges following a disaster and the position of women in society is also transformed. 

ActionAid’s Arise Fund aims to train more women around the globe to become leaders in preparing for disasters, to ensure women’s rights are protected, and to build women’s resilience to future crises, including climate-related emergencies.

Over the next 10 years, our ambition is to raise £5 million to reach two million people around the world through women’s leadership. When women rise, amazing change is possible. 

We are delighted to be working with the Leadership Circle, a board of senior women volunteers who will be key to the growth of Arise over the next ten years. The Leadership Circle members are:

  • Chair Joanna Coates, Consultant and women and girls activist
  • Dr Miranda K Brawn, Independent Non-Executive Director of Switch Mobility Ltd and Founder, President and CEO of
  • Samantha Hicks, Head of International Account Management at Spotify  
  • Dr Ruth Holdaway MBE, Chief Executive of St Kilda Mums 
  • Rowena Samarasinhe, CEO of World 12s and Partner at LEVEL
  • Louise Holden, Vice President, Humanitarian and Development, Mastercard Strategic Growth

Find out more and about how you can join Arise.