Freedom of Expression for Women Environmental Defenders in the Indo-Pacific Region

Funding Agency:
Department of Labor

On October 6, 2017, the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017 was signed into law, which states “the political participation, and leadership of women in fragile environments, particularly during democratic transitions, is critical to sustaining lasting democratic institutions.” Within the context of this legislation and the U.S. Department of State's Plan to Implement the 2019 U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security, the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for projects that promote and defend freedom of expression and improve the equal participation and protection of women environmental defenders in the Indo-Pacific region, with a specific focus on mainland and maritime Southeast Asia.

The program’s goal is to improve the ability and security of women environmental defenders to obtain information about natural resource policies and projects; participate in decision-making processes by freely and peacefully assembling and expressing their ideas and concerns about natural resource policies, projects, and their impact on local communities and the environment; seek access to justice; and meaningfully contribute to gender-sensitive environmental policy and project development.

The program’s objectives are to advance women's leadership and advocacy on local and national priorities related to natural resources and the environment; equip women environmental defenders and civil society organizations (CSOs) with the necessary skills to conduct their work safely and effectively without threats of violence; and strengthen public and institutional knowledge of technical environmental information, such as environmental impact assessments, climate mitigation, environmental pollutants and their impact on health, technical environmental language and processes, and accountability and the impact of environmental policies on communities. The program’s expected outcomes are that women environmental defenders meaningfully and safely contribute to gender-sensitive environmental policy development and that women environmental defenders and CSOs are better coordinated in their local, national, and regional-level advocacy for responsibly and sustainably managing natural resources.

Primary organizations can submit one (1) application in response to the NOFO.


  • Duke Internal: Interested applicants from within Duke should contact as early as possible.
  • Sponsor Deadline: April 9, 2021

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

DRL welcomes applications from U.S.-based and foreign-based non-profit organizations/nongovernment organizations (NGO) and public international organizations; private, public, or state institutions of higher education; and for-profit organizations or businesses. DRL’s preference is to work with non-profit entities; however, there may be some occasions when a for-profit entity is best suited.



Amount Description

Funding Floor (lowest $$ value): $750,000

Funding Ceiling (highest $$ value): $1,500,000

Funding Type





Environmental & Life Sciences
International Opportunities
Social Sciences

External Deadline

April 9, 2021