Vision, Mission & Change Theory

Vision: We 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 at the forefront of addressing pressing challenges facing their community. We create long lasting social change by amplifying women’s voices at all levels of political, economic, religious, and social discourse.

Our Approach: WISE accomplishes its mission by collaborating across faith and gender lines, and in cooperation with both private and public secular institutions.

Strategy: WISE addresses the challenging issues facing the global Muslim community, particularly gender inequity, using our four-part 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 foster solidarity amongst a diverse group of Muslim women in order to maximize the power and strength of these women, individually and collectively, to bring about desired social change.

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 education, we conduct research and publish reports on pressing societal issues to empower Muslim women to lead the fight for gender equality.

Objective: To establish women’s authority in religious discourse and to offer analysis that is 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 address the most pressing issues facing Muslim women today and to promote principles of gender equality in Islam.

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 – Function as an authoritative source and clearinghouse on Muslim women’s 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 easily accessible and nuanced 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 champion women’s rights.

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

Strategy: Identify WISE women partner’s 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.