Our Change Theory

Collaboration– Foster a culture of support among Muslim women to create long term strategic goals for women’s empowerment. WISE’s global convenings and local country forums unite diverse Muslim women with women of other faiths to facilitate knowledge-sharing and skill-building tools to increase the effectiveness of women as leaders.

WISE is working to establish a global network at the local grassroots level, which will serve as a reporting mechanism for region-specific women’s rights issues. In 2017 WISE will inaugurate this global network and will collaborate with local partners to provide them with support and training while simultaneously learning more about country specific contexts.

Research – Provide research and evidence-based reports for Muslim women’s advocacy efforts. WISE’s Global Muslim Women’s Shura Council’s publishes opinion papers using faith-based arguments to end corrupt customs which violate women’s rights and the dignity of all people.

Distorted religious interpretations continue to endanger the rights of Muslim women. Religious authority largely resides within male-dominated institutions and remains in the hands of male scholars, some of whom promote damaging attitudes toward women.
Consequently, there is a pressing need for religiously grounded arguments advocating women’s rights and responsibilities as legitimate alternatives to the oppressive religious
arguments.

WISE established a global Shura Council comprised of solely Muslim women scholars and activists fluent enough in the language of Islamic law to promote equitable positions within an Islamic legal framework. The Council has issued position papers on female
genital cutting, adoption, domestic violence, and other topics concerning women. The goal is to educate and encourage women to assume a leading role in dialogues and debates that concern their rights and responsibilities.

Communication – Function as an authoritative source and clearinghouse on Muslim women’s history and issues. WISE’s online platform showcases the positive contributions of Muslim women past and present, and publicizes reliable information on Muslim women’s contemporary issues and their advocacy efforts.

WISE fosters, amplifies, and provides greater legitimacy to Muslim women’s voices by calling attention to the positive work of Muslim women around the world (see profiles of 100 Extraordinary Muslim Women). To engage young women WISE is developing an interactive forum for women to ask questions and discuss media, lifestyles, education, health, political and economic empowerment, law, theology, and other topics relevant to Muslim women. To form alliances and partnerships with diverse stakeholders, WISE partners with human rights organizations, interfaith women’s groups, male scholars and
government ministries in Muslim countries. WISE engages the mainstream media on issues relating to Muslim women through a targeted media outreach program.

Action – To facilitate culturally sensitive approaches for championing women’s rights at the grassroots level. WISE’s global network of grassroots women uses a multi-pronged approach to incubate new and innovative projects for the upliftment of women and girls. WISE trains and partners with women NGO’s and influential male faith leaders to champion women rights and to promote peace building.

In order to de-legitimize discriminatory practices in the name of religion, our approach will be multi-pronged and sensitive to the context of each country. WISE chapters will serve as reporting mechanisms to the Shura Council concerning country and region-specific women’s rights issues. In addition, they will seek funding to support WISE initiatives. Since 2010 WISE has collaborated with local partners in Egypt, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to address women’s issues relevant to each country.

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