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Letter from our CEO

Letter from our editor in chief

Authority Areas

Impact Highlights

Since we launched in 2015, our reporting has influenced new legislation, helped end life-threatening practices, and led to large scale release of public data. We report exclusive stories centered on women that otherwise would not be told. Our long-standing focus on women, especially those facing racial or other forms of bias, leads to journalism that by challenging conventional thinking inspires action.

Our exclusive TIME magazine cover story about waitresses making as little as $2.83 an hour in Philadelphia fueled subsequent changes to the law governing the minimum wage. The article sparked widespread national media coverage and commentary from U.S. Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey and former senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, who had made the wage hike a central issue in his administration. An independent regulatory review commission and the Pennsylvania attorney general approved the governor's proposal to increase the minimum wage for tipped workers in 2022; the regulations took effect in August.

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Fuller Project health and data reporter Erica Hensley warned earlier this year that government data failed to include suicides and drug overdoses in maternal mortality, hampering efforts to prevent these deaths. In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention overhauled sites guidance to states on how to report on maternal deaths. The CDC report showed that 8 out of 10 maternal deaths are preventable, while a quarter are due to underlying mental health issues, including suicide and overdose. This is the first time national data showed these two factors as major causes of maternal mortality. Hensley's article earlier this year pointed to overdose and suicide as leading causes of death among pregnant and postpartum people and underscored that with few states keeping track, it's harder to prevent future fatalities. CDC's new guidance suggests federal momentum to help states improve their data collection and marks what experts say is a big moment for maternal mortality prevention.

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When we revealed widespread abuse inside Hippo Knitting, a Lesotho garment factory that supplies Kate Hudson's athleisure brand Fabletics, the company took responsibility, launched an investigation, and fired the perpetrators. Soon after the company issued a corrective action plan, including a new anti-intimidation and anti-retaliation policy and grievance procedure for reporting workplace violations. Numerous media outlets cried our reporting, and in an interview on CNBC, Kate Hudson called the abuse "horrendous and unacceptable." The impact continued throughout the year. The 2021 Lesotho Human Rights Report cited our reporting, and confirmed that the Ministry of Labor, Hippo Knitting, and local trade unions signed a memorandum of understanding to eradicate gender-based violence and harassment in the factory, and appointed a local NGO to oversee its implementation. Lifestyle influencer Melanie Murphy, a former brand ambassador for Fabletics with hundreds of thousands of followers, cut ties with the company, saying she no longer felt comfortable representing the brand.

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Spotlight: Co-Reporting

How our Groundbreaking Journalism Catalyzes Positive Change

In 2019, The Fuller Project's newsroom partnered with the editorial team at Nation, the flagship paper of the largest media company in East Africa. The Fuller Project supported the launch of Nation's Gender Desk, the first in the region, with investigative and long-form reporting centered on women.

Our editors and reporters collaborated and jointly assigned reporting teams with journalists from both newsrooms. The Fuller Project editorial team brought these stories to influential global outlets, including Foreign Policy, TIME, and The Guardian. The articles were cited and linked to an average of 30 times each by institutions including Harvard University and the United Kingdom's Home Office.

Our co-reporting reached an influential global audience and catalyzed positive changes such as the creation of a new financial vehicle for widows and state funding for a volunteer group addressing the most harrowing aspects of reproductive care failures.

The Fuller Project and Nation reported local stories in a global context that would otherwise be untold. The Gender Desk set a new standard for reporting on women in the region through over 1000 articles centered on women. The partnership amplified the visibility of the Gender Desk and Kenyan reporters, and informed The Fuller Project's partnerships in India, Afghanistan and beyond.

The Fuller Project commissioned AKAS, a leading audience strategy consultancy, to complete an independent evaluation of our partnership and the Gender Desk, leading to the findings stated here. The full evaluation report shares lessons learned that can inform other partnership models and is now available on our website.

“Through this common cause, we have changed the lives of many women, told thousands of their stories from a local, regional and global lens; and realized that women’s issues, worldwide, are similar. Lessons we have learned are more than we would have on our own – they are immense.” 

Dorcas Muga-Odumbe,
Nation Gender Desk Editor

Partnerships

Our journalists spotlight critical issues and expose injustice with in-depth reporting published in renowned news outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and Foreign Policy, and in partnership with the largest and most respected newsrooms around the world, from India to Afghanistan to Kenya. Partnering with legacy news outlets ensures our rigorous reporting reaches the broadest global audiences. Our reporting is relied on by policymakers, corporate leaders, influencers and individuals across the globe, leading to better outcomes for women and their communities.

Our exclusive reporting on spikes in early puberty during the pandemic reached millions of Washington Post readers. Our reporting from Poland on the link between the limitations on reproductive services and the erosion of democratic rights was read by influencers and policymakers in the pages of Foreign Policy. Our publishing partnership with TIME on abuses of women at a Lesotho factory that supplied Kate Hudson’s Fabletics line reached the highest echelons of the company and spurred significant reforms.

As women’s standing in society improves, so does the potential for stronger democracies, and economic and political stability. A single authoritative story about women can create awareness to spark change.

Health Policy Watch

Nation

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Rukhshana Media

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Star Tribune

Vice World News

The City

The Cut

The GUARDIAN

The Wire


Awards

Multiple United Nations agencies have warned that climate change will increase the exploitation of minors, including trafficking. For the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove rainforest and one of the most climate-vulnerable locations on the planet, this fear is already reality. Thousands of girls are recorded missing each year — and the numbers are growing. In a joint investigation for The Fuller Project and The Wire, Ritwika Mitra spoke with child trafficking survivors, activists, lawyers, environmental experts and government officials who described how repeated cyclones, floods and environmental changes have pushed families out of their homes and into desperate poverty, making them increasingly vulnerable to human trafficking. The reporting won the 2022 Lorenzo Natali Media Prize honoring brave journalism.

“This Woman is Fighting to save Bangladesh’s oldest brothel,” published with The Economist’s 1843 Magazine, won the 2022 SOPA [Society of Publishers in Asia] Award for Excellence in Feature Writing and a second for Editorial Excellence, and was a Fetisov Journalism Award Finalist. The piece profiles Monowara Begum, who was trafficked into a brothel in Bangladesh in 1988, when she was 12 years old. Over the following three decades, it became her home. Today, she’s one of the brothel’s leaders - and she’s fighting for its survival, up against the threat of local moralists, corrupt officials and the coronavirus.


In The Media

Our journalism has been picked up by the wider media, allowing our stories to inform a broad international audience about the issues we cover. Our story about precocious puberty, co-published with The Washington Post, was featured in CNN’s As Equals and WebMD, and cited by The New York Times. Our map detailing state-by-state abortion restrictions was highlighted in Yahoo News and in several industry newsletters. Minnesota Public Radio and WNYC’s The Takeaway interviewed our reporter about her investigation into the child welfare system’s impact on Native families. CNN Reliable Sources, Fortune’s Broadsheet, Politico Playbook and Talking Biz News wrote about Eva Rodriguez’ arrival as our new editor in chief. And many more Fuller Project stories have been cited by other news outlets, shared across social media and informed the broader field of gender journalism.

Fuller Project Co-founder and CEO Xanthe Scharff was interviewed about the coverage of women in war in Foreign Policy, pegged to her OpEd and a Foreign Policy event on the same topic. Fuller Project leadership and reporters have moderated panels and spoken at numerous events on climate reporting, labor rights, abortion access and other topics.

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Download Past Impact Reports

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Fuller Impact Report Jan - June 2021
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Impact
2021

Historic challenges to the U.S. election process, racial injustice further exposed by police brutality, and the pandemic define this year.

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