WISE Conference 2006
2006 WISE Conference in New York Top
“Launch of WISE”
The 2006 launch of WISE represented an important turning point in the history of Muslim women’s activism and movement-building. It helped to inaugurate the WISE program as a leader in the global movement to improve the status of Muslim women.
The inaugural WISE conference convened 150 of the most accomplished Muslim women scholars, activists, artists, and religious and civil society leaders from 25 countries – spanning Afghanistan, Jordan, Senegal and Morocco to Turkey, the Netherlands, Belgium and the US. The gathering facilitated seminal discussions on the unique challenges facing Muslim women globally and developing concrete tools for realizing the vision of an Islamic expression of gender equality and justice. Collectively, these leaders assessed the needs of their specific constituencies, identified ways to expand their own work and developed recommendations for creating an effective global change movement.
Conference panel discussions included “Women Empowering Women,” “Women’s Spiritual Leadership,” “Ijtihad,” “Learning from the Struggles of Others” and “Mobilizing for Action.” Numerous prominent Muslim women attended, including Baroness Uddin, the first Muslim woman to enter the UK’s House of Lords; Dr. Massouda Jalal, a presidential candidate in Afghanistan and former Minister of Women’s Affairs; Fatin Bundagji, the first municipal female candidate in Saudi Arabia and founder of the women’s section of the Saudi Chamber of Commerce; Ingrid Mattson, the first female president of Islamic Society of North America; Dr. Nafis Sadik, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General; and Nogi Imoukhuede, the prestigious Nigerian lawyer of the Amina Lawal stoning case.
As a collective, this initial group of WISE women breathed life into a holistic and comprehensive vision for improving the position of Muslim women around the globe. The WISE movement was born.