Global and Regional Conferences
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“Muslim Women Leaders at the Frontlines of Change”
More than 180 Muslim women from 45 countries, which include Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, attended panels on Muslim women’s leadership. The Conference specifically focused on religious & spiritual, political and business & civic leadership, with an emphasis on highlighting how Muslim women are shattering stereotypes by playing significant roles as key leaders in these areas.
Download Conference Materials:
- 2011 WISE Conference Report
- Conference Media:
- Conference Press:
- Shahnaz Taplin Chinoy (bio), “Women are half the population and they raise the other half on their lap"
- All Africa, "Africa: The Face and Challenge of Muslim Women's Movements"
- The Huffington Post, "The WISE Women of Islam: What a Conference in Istanbul Can Tell Us About the Future of Women in the Muslim World"
- Today's Zaman, "WISE Muslim Women Shatter Stereotypes at Istanbul Conference"
- Today's Zaman, "Two Dissidents -- One Syrian, One Libyan: The Power of the People Will Prevail"
Kuala Lumpur, 2009
“Muslim Women: Building Institutions, Creating Change”
Building upon the excitement generated by the 2006 WISE conference and launch, WISE held its second international conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from July 16 – 19, 2009. Over 200 women from across the world participated in the conference entitled “Muslim Women: Building Institutions, Creating Change.”
The conference was structured around the five WISE modules for creating change: Change through Communication, Change through Interpretation, Change through Philanthropy, Change through Collaboration and Change through Action. The conference facilitated several types of information-exchange for participants, including the sharing of best practices; panel discussions and presentations on the most relevant issues facing Muslim women today; skill-building trainings in such areas as media engagement, running for political office, spiritual development, transformative leadership, cultural consciousness and social movement-building.
In addition, the conference showcased a number of groundbreaking WISE initiatives including the presentation of the WISE Compact and endorsement by the conference participants; launch of the WISE web portal; introduction of the global Shura Council and its “Jihad against Violence” project; presentation of funding opportunities with the Muslim Women’s Fund; peer learning “Chair.Chai.Chats,” which enabled participants to directly engage with high-level Muslim women.
Download Conference Materials:
- 2009 WISE Conference Report
- Conference Press releases
- Conference Program
- Conference case study abstracts and PowerPoint presentations:
- The Yemen Times Early Marriage Campaign: the Story of Nujood - abstract; article; and powerpoint
- Beliefnet: New Media & New Understanding of Muslim Dress Code - abstract and powerpoint
- Achieving Prosperity & Dignity: From Economic Empowerment to Social Movement - abstract and powerpoint
- Leveraging Corporate Social Responsibility for Women's Progress - abstract and powerpoint
- The Pakistani Marriage Contract: Filling in the Salient Clauses & Teaching Girls their Rights - abstract and powerpoint
- Advancing Gender Equality in Muslim Mindanao: Training & Promoting Gender-Sensitive Religious Leaders to Affect Change - abstract and powerpoint
- Links to articles covering the conference
- Elass, Rasha (2009, July 17). Guiding light for gender progress. The National.
- Elass, Rasha (2009, July 18). Muslim women call for change. The National.
- Elass, Rasha (2009, July 18). Conference targets end to violence. The National.
- (2009, July 20). Kuala Lumpur Conference Speaks Out Against Domestic Violence in Islam Wilson Center Expert Sources.
- Elass, Rasha (2009, July 20). Conference told of plan for female muftis. The National.
- Fatany, Samar (2009, July 29). Women's meet offers WISE advice. Arab News.
- WISE videos shown at conference
- Conference photos
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.