Vision, Mission & Change Theory

Vision: WISE envision a world in which Muslim women leaders are instrumental in creating a peaceful and prosperous world anchored in gender equality and human dignity.

Mission: WISE promotes Muslim women leaders who are on the frontlines advocating for women’s rights, religious pluralism and peacebuilding. We offer creative solutions to persistent societal issues by amplifying women’s voices at all levels of political, economic, religious, and social discourse.

Our Approach: WISE views diverse partnerships between genders and faiths as integral to accomplishing its mission and collaborates with stake holders including youth, faith leaders, govt. and secular institution.

Strategy: WISE approaches long term social change holistically by using a four-pronged Change Theory:

CollaborationFoster a culture of support among Muslim women to create long term strategic goals for women’s empowerment. 

Objective: To unite and encourage partnerships that promote solidarity amongst diverse Muslim women in order to maximize their individual power and collective strength.

Strategy: To convene global conferences that allow Muslim women to strategize around critical issues, formulate global and local coalitions, develop concrete tools for realizing the vision of gender equality, and increase their abilities to empower themselves and set their own development goals. To expand its reach, WISE also partners with other stakeholders ie. human rights organizations, interfaith groups, male scholars, and government entities.

Results: Our Annual Global Conferences held in 2006 “Inauguration of WISE”, 2009 “Muslim Women: Building Institutions, Creating Change”, and 2011 “Muslim Women Leaders at the Frontline’s of Change” convened hundreds of the most accomplished Muslim women change makers including scholars, activists, artists, and religious and civil society leaders from more than 75 countries. See more.

Education – Empowering Muslim women through the force of knowledge to advance gender justice.

Objective: To establish women’s authority in religious discourse by publishing opinion papers on social justice issues and women’s rights that are simultaneously faithful to Islamic jurisprudence and a vision of women’s empowerment.

Strategy: WISE Global Muslim women’s Shura Council employs extensive expertise in the Islamic legal traditions, humanities and social science to promote principles of gender equality.

Results: Published and disseminated position papers on domestic violence, female genital cutting, child marriage, adoption, women’s leadership, and violent extremism that educate Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Communication – Provide easily accessible and nuanced information about Muslim women, their activism, heritage, and legacy.

Objective: Amplify and increase the visibility of Muslim women’s ongoing advancement in order to counter widespread negative public perceptions. Provide authoritative information about Muslim women to reshape the discourse in the mainstream media.

Strategy: Highlight Muslim women leaders, past and present, in a way that is markedly absent. This first ever online portal for Muslim women provides an institutional online presence for the voice of Muslim women and is a authoritative clearinghouse on Muslim women’s history, contemporary issues and their advocacy efforts.

Results: Provided an online presence for the voices of today’s Muslim women through the profiles of more than 500 Muslim women of the past and present that call attention to the achievements of Muslim women around the world. This extensive directory of Muslim women and their organizations enhances cross-cultural education and connects and empowers Muslim women locally and globally.

Action – Develop culturally sensitive and innovative approaches to end gender-based discrimination and champion women’s rights.

Objective: Build the capacity of Muslim women leaders enabling them to incubate new initiatives to promote social justice and peace-building through the upliftment of women and girls.

Strategy: Work in partnership with women at the grassroots level to implement culturally sensitive projects aimed at transforming behaviors and patriarchical attitudes toward women. Build relationships of trust through dialogue and education with faith leaders to promote common values of social justice and gender equality.

Results: Implemented impactful projects in partnership with WISE Women to address region-specific women’s issues. In Afghanistan, WISE initiated a long-term Imam training program over three years on the five rights of women – education, inheritance, child marriage, forced marriage, mobility. In Pakistan, WISE developed a domestic violence awareness campaign for law enforcement. In Egypt, WISE  created a model to incentivize practitioners of Female Genital Mutilation to end the practice. In Gambia, WISE developed a long-term educational awareness campaign on the harm of Female Genital Mutilation resulting in a country-wide ban.

WISE’s 2018 Campaign, WISE Up: Knowledge Ends Extremism, is the most ambitious project which was produced in conjunction with 72 authors and includes all four prongs of WISE’s change theory – Collaboration, Education, Communication, and Action.