When women prosper, humanity thrives.

THE WOMANITY FOUNDATION is ranked 138 in TOP 200 World by NGO Advisor

NGO Advisor’s Opinion

Growing at rocket speed

To get a full view of Womanity’s operations is like trying to take a snapshot of a car on the highway – the nonprofit is lean, agile, and moving at great speed. Add evidence-driven into the mix, and you’ve got one of the fastest-growing organizations in the sector today. Womanity takes after its founder, Yann Borgstedt. He wants to empower disadvantaged girls and women. He believes that we can achieve sustainable, efficient results when business and the social impact sector work together. Womanity is there to invest in audacious solutions that accelerate sustainable social change

Borgstedt is passionate about his topic. Give him the floor and you will see people in the audience joining Womanity’s hard work from Afghanistan to Brazil, from Palestine to India. He highlights that women’s empowerment is not just about compassion or blind support: he goes for hard facts, asks for more numbers, commissions studies, and monitors the feedback. He wants to make sure that Womanity’s case for women’s empowerment is solid. So far, he is doing extremely well at that, convincing thousands of people of the impact of women’s empowerment every year at the Womanity gala.

Womanity is run as a foundation, a nonprofit, a business, and a corporate holding all at once. As such, Womanity both runs its own programs and supports or allies with others. Its projects run from Radio Nisaa, the first women-run radio station in the Middle East, to WomenChangeMakers, a social enterprise program for entrepreneurs working in women’s empowermerment. Womanity brings funds and expertise to each project, analyzes the results, learns from what works in-house or at others, and replicates the best practices across other programs. It tests its results in academic reports and shares the findings broadly, for instance the 2015 IHEID report about its educational program in Afghan schools. It does so while still operating efficiently with a well furbished portfolio of activities and assets.

Womanity welcomes people with ideas related to its core objective with open arms. It constantly challenges itself to make sure that no time, no money, no inspiration is left out to no avail. And it is quickly evolving into a nonprofit that you will not want to miss.


Organization Name
Formerly Known As
When women prosper, humanity thrives.
English-Language Website URL
Other-Language Website URLs

Type of organization
nonprofit, foundation,
Year Founded
Lead Photo For Profile
HQ Location: City, Country
Geneva | Switzerland
HQ Physical address
55 Route des Jeunes | 1212 Grand Lancy | Switzerland
HQ Mailing Address
55 Route des Jeunes | 1212 Grand Lancy | Switzerland
Name of Official Representative for Profile
Aurelia Ovan
+41 22 544 39 60
Primary Contact and General Inquiries
+41 22 544 39 60
Is Your Organisation Membership-based ?

The Womanity Foundation exists to rapidly address the gender inequality crisis across the world.

The Womanity Foundation was established in 2005 by Yann Borgstedt, a successful businessman and entrepreneur who believes the best way to sustainable growth is through collaboration with the social sector and business world.



Originally called the Smiling Children Foundation, Womanity began working in Morocco, supporting girl domestic laborers to return to their families and attend school. The Foundation also supported rural communities to professionalize their olive oil production and increase their exports.

In 2007 Womanity expanded into Afghanistan to work with one of the biggest girls’ school in Kabul, the Al-Fatah School for Girls. Through its work training teachers, rebuilding infrastructure, and providing equipment to improve the quality of learning, Al Fatah became a model school in the country.



While “gender equality” is one of the highest priorities across nations, the systems and structures in most countries across the world haven’t changed enough to make societies equitable for women and girls. From unequal pay, to imbalanced right to education, to gender-based violence, almost all factors affecting the chance of a better life for women is currently under-resourced, and under-funded globally.


Our global team is developing targeted projects across Afghanistan, Middle East, North Africa, India and Brazil to build scalable and sustainable programs in these five need gaps.


We work on a hybrid 2-track model where we scale and strengthen existing programs through funding and strategic support; and develop and pilot new programs in under-explored issues.



  1. WomenChangeMakers: A program that supports social ventures and grassroots organisations working on gender equality through institutional development and capacity building of program partners. WCM has worked with 15 social ventures in India and Brazil. Collectively, during the WCM fellowship period, social ventures have supported 26m people and achieved a cumulative reach of 8 million on social media campaigns.
  2. Girls Can Code: A skill-building program for young girls in Afghanistan, training them in English, Computer Literacy and Coding, to improve their career choices and prepare them for information and communication technology (ICT) careers in the labour market. 1300 girls trained in one or more courses and 614 graduated from the Coding course since 2016.
  3. Womanity Award: A funding and institutional strengthening program that supports innovative solutions to prevent violence against women and girls. It focuses on the power of collaboration between organisations that work in partnership to adapt programs across different countries in the Global South. Through Womanity Award, four outstanding organisations adapted programs centred on critical areas for prevention of VAWG such as harmful gender norms and online violence. Awardees have substantially increased their visibility and voices and created tools and documents of both local and global relevance.
  4. Women Land Rights Program: We are developing a strategic program with experts and on-ground partners that can enable access to land rights for women, and thereby unlock massive growth potential for women and address issue at a systemic level across rural India.
  5. Disruptive Media: A program that creates progressive media platforms and pioneering content to create fairer societies in the Middle East and North Africa region where women can play an equal role.
    1. Radio Nisaa
      Produced and presented by women, Radio Nisaa is the first women-led community radio station in the Middle East that puts women’s voices and issues on the public agenda. It launched in 2010 and is a platform for women’s voices to be heard and to drive public conversations on women’s rights and gender roles.
    2. B100Ragl
      In 2013, Womanity launched 30 episodes of an Arabic radio fiction “B100Ragl”. The B100Ragl series confronts gender discrimination in the workforce, family, and social sphere as well as challenging prejudice, stereotypes and female oppression. The show continued for 2 more seasons as a digital animation series.
    3. Khateera
      Khateera is a digital and social media platform dedicated to producing and distributing content challenging existing gender stereotypes and promoting a more inclusive society for both women and men. Khateera’s bold content has resulted in 425k followers on its channel.
    4. Smi’touha Menni
      This is a 10 episode satire series that addresses gender stereotypes in the region and their consequences on society. Topics include harassment, domestic violence, masculinity, marriage. Episodes are narrated by a main character who adopts humour as she explores each topic. The episodes generated 16 million views.



Why do we matter?

There’s a critical need for the work in the gender space to be more recognised and visible.

Teams building projects on-ground often work in silos, with boot-strapped resources, limited collaboration opportunities, and lack of support for organisational development. While several programs have had regional success with the potential to scale, the teams developing them lack the expertise and network to multiply their reach and impact.


We are a lean, highly experienced global team specialising in investing and developing solutions to address gender-based issues. Our team has extensively worked in strengthening high-impact on-ground projects across India, Brazil, Afghanistan, the Middle East and North Africa Regions. We have a strong understanding of the unique social challenges in the developing nations and have the right global network and on-ground partnerships to tackle them.


We take pride in our rigorous selection process to identify skilled, highly driven organisations to support and guide. Womanity’s programs enable and strengthen powerful collaborations. We focus on building capacity within our partners to aid organisational growth, and increased program reach & efficacy.


Over the past 15 years, we have channelised over USD 35 million investments into high-impact programs and guided organisations to extend their reach to over 145 million women and girls across the world.



Measurable change through our work

We have helped several organisations across the global south test their solutions and grow from small size to mid-size organisations, thereby increasing their impact on the ground.


In Afghanistan, we have collaborated with the government to introduce ICT skills training for 16-18yr old girls so that it prepares them to leverage career opportunities in technology. We currently run the program in 4 schools in Kabul and have trained X girls. we will be building on the success of the program by taking it to women university graduates and the wider ecosystem to translate this to job placements for Afghani women.


In the MENA region, we have disrupted the stereotypical perceptions of gender by building awareness and knowledge through our media platforms. We reached 20% of Palestinians through our Radio channel (Radio Nisaa) and have 425,000 followers on our digital platform Khateera. Our flagship satire series Smi’touha Menni resonated well with young women and men through its witty, disruptive content, and garnered 16 million views and 3 million engagements online!


Gender equality is a pressing moral, economic and social issue. We work to accelerate gender equality through innovative investments. Join us.

Please Briefly Describe Your Economic Model.
Scale and strengthen existing programs through funding and strategic support.
Develop and pilot new programs in under-explored issues.



The Womanity Foundation exists to rapidly address the gender inequality crisis across the world. 

Country (or countries) where active
Afghanistan, India, Middle East and North Africa, Mexico, South Africa
Date of Publication of Latest Annual Report or Activity Report
Latest Annual Report PDF
Alliances, Networks, and Affiliations

Women Moving Millions, Win-Win Coalition, Ariadne Network

Contact Information for Press Inquiries
Meghna Rakshit
Contact Information for Fundraising Inquiries
Melissa de Roquebrune
Contact Information for Development and Partnership Inquiries
Melissa de Roquebrune
Contact Information for Inquiries from Private Sector
Melissa de Roquebrune

Human Resources

Full name
Yann Borgstedt
Short Biography
Yann Borgstedt Yann Borgstedt is a Franco Swiss entrepreneur, philanthropist and advocate of women’s empowerment and education. Life and career Yann Borgstedt was born and raised in Geneva and received his higher education in the United States. In 1996, he co-founded the web design firm Netarchitects, which was later sold to Altran Technologies. He then worked for a private fund on the redevelopment of the former United States Air force base Bentwaters in Suffolk, England. He went on to create, invest and manage a variety of diverse business activities in real estate development and exhibition management in France, England, Switzerland and the UAE. Him and his partner have backed the development of the Nobu Hotel in London and are launching Blakes Hotel Shoreditch and the W Hotel Ibiza. He is also a shareholder of the Wine Merchant one of the leading négociant in Bordeaux along with Dona Bertarelli and has a portfolio of social investments (MicroDON, The Helm, Allbright, les Eclaireuses...). Sustainable projects Yann started a series of green development projects, including the most recent plans for the development of a green neighbourhood in Geneva’s Praille-Acacias-Vernets (PAV) district, creating 400 residential apartments (two-thirds of which are for social housing) and a green residential tower. Philanthropy In 2005, Yann started the Womanity Foundation which is dedicated to realising women’s economic empowerment and their right to education and safe living in Afghanistan, India, Brazil, the Middle East and North Africa. In 2015, the Womanity Foundation was awarded 187th spot in the Top 500 NGOs list across the globe. Board appointments Yann is on the board of the Foundation and Internews, an international non-profit organisation whose mission is to empower local media across the globe, to give people the news and information they need as well as the ability to stay connected and the means to making their voices heard. Awards and recognitions Yann has been welcomed by Women Moving Millions , as the first European and one of the few male members, in recognition of his contributions to women’s empowerment. In 2016, Yann was awarded the BNP Paribas prize for Individual Philanthropy. In 2018, he was awarded the Global Philanthropic Philanthropy Prize for his innovative work with women.
Photo Portrait
Full name
Rana Askoul
Short Biography
Rana Askoul is a development executive and women’s right advocate with 20 years of experience within the public, private and non-governmental sectors. Rana held various leadership roles with Dubai Government, McKinsey & Co. and General Electric.In 2012, she left her corporate career to provide consulting and advisory services to eliminate gender inequalities between men and women in the MENA region, working with cross-sector organizations including Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Islamic Development Bank, the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture and Dubai SME to name a few. Rana is currently the Chief Executive Officer for The Womanity Foundation, driving the Foundation's mission of accelerating gender equality through innovative investments. As a relentless advocate for social justice and narrowing the inequality gap, Rana is a published writer, expert speaker and key contributor to regional and international newspapers and publications. Rana holds an MPA from the University of Liverpool, UK and a BBA from the University of New Brunswick, Canada.
Photo Portrait
Number of Employees
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Average Age of Paid Staff
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Bylaws & Legal

Legal Status
Year of Registration
Are Your Bylaws Publicly Available ?
Are Your Bylaws Provided On Request ?
Countries Where Legally Represented
Is Your Organization Accredited to ECOSOC (UN)?


Latest Yearly Income (All Countries and Entities)
USD 3,700,000
Latest Surplus/Deficit
(USD 1,800,000)
Previous Yearly Income
USD 82,000
Latest Net Assets
USD 4,300,000
Latest Financial Statements
Latest Audited Fiscal Year
Contact Information for Auditors

KPMG Switzerland