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BRINGING GENDER EQUALITY INTO FOCUS

2023 IMPACT REPORT

Dear Readers,
Almost 180 years ago, Margaret Fuller – a groundbreaking journalist, transcendentalist leader, and feminist – wrote these words as part of her lifelong literary crusade to lift women from the puritanical straits of 19th-century American expectations. Her foresight and determination were unmatched: She was, after all, the first female foreign correspondent for Horace Greely’s New York Herald-Tribune at a time when women were largely consigned roles as wives and homemakers.

What does Fuller’s “new hope” look like today? Her admonition to relentlessly delve deeper into the conditions that constrain and harm women forms the inspiration for our effort that bears her name – The Fuller Project. We embrace her calling, to use our journalistic talents to look behind the curtain to examine the plight of far too many women around the world: the brutal, often backbreaking working conditions, the unequal pay, the sexual violence, and harassment at work and by abusive partners at home.

LAURIE HAYS

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/CEO


Every Fuller Project story starts with a profoundly important question: what about the women? Too often unasked, this simple question forms the core of our work. As the only global nonprofit newsroom dedicated to investigative journalism on and about women and reaching mass audiences, we are uniquely equipped to identify, prioritize, and share important stories that do not surface in other newsrooms. We report with a systems focus, going beyond an investigation into, for example, a single instance of abuse, to examine factors such as systemic bias, corrupt incentives, or negligent regulation structures. Policymakers and corporate leaders rely on our reporting to make better-informed decisions and advance women’s rights. Since launching in 2015, our work has repeatedly sparked policy and practice change, including expanded health care for women, historic levels of maternal care funding, removal of perpetrators from corporate leadership, and repatriations of foreign workers who say the reporting saved their lives.


Global Impact

As the only nonprofit investigative news organization covering women globally, The Fuller Project offers a unique perspective, bringing untold stories to light. We work with journalists who are from the countries or regions where they report, and we center the experience of the women who tell us their stories, amplifying the authentic voices of those affected by systemic injustice. Rather than reporting from a Western point of view, as is often the case in traditional outlets, we dig deep to reveal stories and issues from the most vulnerable communities around the world. Our work with on-the-ground, local reporters, who provide deep regional expertise, enables us to offer unparalleled authenticity and nuance as we expose the challenges, battles, and successes of women from communities across the globe whose stories may otherwise never be heard. Throughout this report, you’ll see excerpts and summaries of stories we’ve covered this year.

Authority Areas

The Fuller Project focuses on four “authority” issue areas, revealing how these issues interact in the lives of women, often exposing compounding challenges. We arrived at these four areas through an analysis of the largest structural barriers women face, areas of coverage that are largely underreported, and issues where the policy environment and other conditions promote our potential to spur impact. We call these issues areas our “authority areas” because our editorial work in these areas is backed by expertise built up through the course of our long-term reporting.

CLIMATE/ENVIRONMENT

ECONOMY/LABOR

HEALTH

MOVEMENTS

Climate & Environment

Climate change doesn’t just affect our planet, it affects every aspect of human life on its surface, from public health to economic mobility – and those impacts fall first and fall hardest on women. With the first climate and gender beat of any global nonprofit newsroom, we pinpoint the ways in which climate change is entwined in women’s lived experience: in hunger and food production, in labor, in health, and more. This year, our investigation into the U.S. green economy found that women continue to be under-represented by more than two to one, while in the Global South, decades of progress in maternal health may be at risk from climate change–induced extreme weather – and extreme weather events themselves, as our original reporting discovered, are linked to violence against women.

But we also highlight innovative solutions from across the globe, which often not only protect our environment, but also empower women. This was the case in India, where our reporter found that solar technologies are enabling rural women to independently earn money, gain confidence, and build better lives for their children, demonstrating the inextricable link between a sustainable world and an equitable one.


New California law requires diversity among venture capital investments

In October 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law making the Golden State the first in the nation to require venture capitalists to disclose the gender and race of the founders they fund.

“The way that we engage with the issues we are writing about goes beyond just highlighting a problem — this is journalism as a public service.”

Hanisha harjani,
reporter


Nearly Three Decades of Data on Women in Construction is Missing — Here’s How That Could Change

Following dogged reporting by Fuller Project reporter Hanisha Harjani, the Biden administration has started tracking how often women and people of color get hired to work on federally-funded construction projects each month — for the first time in 30 years.

Hanisha’s reporting followed a Fuller Project expose co-published with The Guardian in December, which found women account for less than a third of people employed in the burgeoning green energy field, a sector where the Biden administration is investing hundreds of billions of dollars of public funds.

Two U.S. states crack down on cash apps that trap women in debt

In May 2023, we reported on the Earned Wage Access industry, a $9.5 billion, fast-growing sector that was almost entirely unregulated. The story showed how paycheck apps, including those backed by billionaire investor Mark Cuban, NBA star Kevin Durant and actor Ashton Kutcher, offer high cost cash advances, which like payday loans, are disproportionately used by women of color.

“If I hadn’t been at the Fuller Project, I don’t know that I would have the support to stay on the story until we got the results that women all around the world deserve.”

AARON GLANTZ,
California Bureau Chief
& Senior Editor

“We can finally exhale.” Women left out of 9/11 benefits finally eligible for health care, compensation

For the last decade, every survivor and first responder of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City who later developed cancer has been eligible to receive health benefits from the U.S. government. Everyone except women with uterine cancer.

“I always try to approach storytelling with empathy and curiosity, meeting people where they are. Our sources don’t owe us their stories, we have to earn them. That means spending time in communities, earning trust and listening, rather than parachuting in and extracting – not only is that approach the right thing to do to respect people’s autonomy and lived reality, it makes for better storytelling.”

ERICA HENSLEY, REPORTER

Theory of Change

At The Fuller Project, our goal is to catalyze positive change for women through our groundbreaking reporting.

For that to happen, the world needs to see changes in policies and practices at the system level. Among governments, corporations, and institutions, unjust and unequal policies must be improved, and unjust and unequal practices must be stopped or changed. That’s how we define impact: positive changes in systems and structures. This includes everything from shifts in social norms and behavior to the balancing of power relations to the reform of policies and practices.

How do we get there? We believe the pathway to long-term impact is exposing unjust or negligent policies and behaviors, and getting information into the hands of decision-makers who can deliver change. Through our reporting, decision-makers are equipped with evidence on the issues we cover, and academics, advocates, civil society organizations, and funders are armed with our reporting as they pursue their work advancing gender equality.

Impact is our north star. Our rigorous, data-driven reporting centers stories affecting women that would otherwise not be told, and we persistently follow up on those stories to drive impact and accountability. By doing so, The Fuller Project brings overlooked injustices and inequalities into the light of the public sphere and puts vital information into the hands of those who are placed to change an inequitable status – ultimately leading to sustained improvements in the lived experience of women and their communities.

The work we do…

resulting in…

creating pathways…

to impact…

Rigorous, data-driven reporting and investigative series

Exclusive stories centered on women that otherwise would not be told

Persistent follow up on stories to drive impact and accountability

Partnership with renowned outlets and local journalists

Groundbreaking journalism in each of our focus areas:
Health
Economy & Labor
Climate & Environment
Movements

Decision makers are equipped with evidence on the issues we cover

Academics, advocates, and funders use Fuller’s reporting in their work advancing gender equality

Unjust or negligent policies and behaviors are exposed

Unjust and unequal government, corporate, and institutional policies are improved

Unjust and unequal government, corporate, and institutional practices are stopped or changed

Partners

Partnership is at the heart of The Fuller Project. The exclusive in-depth stories reported by our journalists are published in renowned global outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Guardian, and Foreign Policy, and in partnership with leading outlets around the world, from India to Afghanistan to Kenya. Through these partnerships, our work reaches the biggest digital and print news audiences in the world. Our reporters are from the countries or regions where they report, and they bring deep gender and regional expertise to our partner organizations. Deeply rooted in their regions, they can report authentically and from a place of trust when dealing with vulnerable populations, offering our partner outlets a nuanced perspective on stories that they may otherwise be unable to tell. Our publishing partnerships are not only mutually beneficial for outlets, reporters, and readers; they also shift newsroom practice worldwide toward a more equal representation of women’s perspectives.

Support Us

Our vision is to catalyze positive change for women and their communities through groundbreaking reporting that exposes injustice, changes policies, and shifts practices. If you share our goal, we ask you to consider making a gift to The Fuller Project to support our work.

or send a check made out to:
Fuller Project for International Reporting
7920 Norfolk Avenue, #310
Bethesda, MD 20814.

The Fuller Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and all contributions are fully deductible within the limits of the law. For questions about supporting our work, please email Leslie Bernard at lbernard@fullerproject.org.

As more than half the population consists of women and girls, it is vital to address and highlight the challenges, successes, and innovations of women facing inequities around the world through investigative reporting. The Fuller Project, as a global newsroom, is an essential resource, giving me the full story about these issues. I am grateful for its significant role in driving change towards a world with greater dignity and equity for all of us. – GINA MAYA, BOARD MEMBER

We are proud and happy to support The Fuller Project, both because of their commitment to deeply researched, high-quality investigative journalism, and because of the real and meaningful positive impact their work has on some of the most vulnerable and marginalized communities in the world. – JOE SLAUGHTER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, THE HORACE W. GOLDSMITH FOUNDATION

2023 Reporting

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