Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Jo Cox Memorial Grants announced

09 March 2020


CLGF was delighted to join a number of other beneficiaries and Baroness Sugg, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, at an event to announce the Jo Cox Memorial Grants (JCMG) on 3 March.


Women's empowerment in Southern Africa


CLGF made a successful bid with its partner, Gender Links, to develop networks to empower women politically and economically. The four target countries are: Eswatini, Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe and the project will be managed by CLGF Regional Programme Manager for Southern Africa, Ms Nyasha Simbanegavi, and will run until the end of 2021..


The Jo Cox Memorial Grants were launched by DFID in March 2018; a £10 million UK aid fund as part of the commitment by UK Aid Direct to support organisations working around the world on two themes close to Jo’s heart: 


• women’s social, economic and political empowerment; and 

• strengthening civil society capacity for early prediction of identity-based violence. 


Eighteen grants in total have been made.


Baroness Sugg said: “Jo cared passionately about gender equality and preventing identity based violence. These causes are absolutely fundamental to ending violence against vulnerable groups and giving every girl in the world the chance to go to school and realise her full potential. With funding from UK AID in Jo Cox’s memory, these projects will help to achieve that.”


Bringing communities together


Jo’s sister, Kim Leadbeater, and Ambassador of the Foundation, said: “It is truly heart-warming to have something so special in her name. The Jo Cox Memorial grants will go to projects that encompass some of the passions Jo had in terms of women's empowerment and bringing local communities together.”


CLGF Deputy Secretary-General said: “We are delighted to receive this grant, which will enable up to support women in political leadership and in local economic development. It also complements the work of our Commonwealth Women in Local Government network (ComWLG), which is all about supporting women at all stages of their political careers.”


Building links with other projects


There were presentations about preventing identity-based violence and empowering women and girls from Women for Women International; Zimbabwe Educational Trust; International Centre for Integration and Cohesion (ICIC); and Minority Rights Group International. CLGF and Gender Links very much look forward to building links with other projects in this cohort. 



The Project

The Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) is working in partnership with Gender Links (GL) to enhance the political and economic empowerment of women and girls in Southern Africa through the development of interlocking networks linked to centres of excellence for gender in local governance. The project focuses on increasing the political and economic participation of women in four countries: Eswatini, Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe; and will establish networks of women in local government, young women in local government, and women in local economic development. The partners will establish a community of practice to track service delivery targets and will provide a platform for over 100 women to share their stories of change. The aim, overall, is to reach 10,450 women, 1868 of whom will be directly taking part in project activities; with a view to sustaining networks for women to support each other in achieving gender equality in local governance. 






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