What We Do
Women's Learning Partnership helps individuals and organizations achieve their potential for promoting women’s advancement. Our training programs, advocacy campaigns, research, and publications reach tens of thousands of women and men each year.
Explore our program areas below:
Women’s potential—as decision-makers, civic leaders, and peacemakers— is the single most underutilized resource around the world. WLP works to increase the participation of women in leadership roles and to change the type of leadership women exercise. WLP promotes a leadership methodology that is horizontal, participatory, ethical, and inclusive. WLP’s workshops and training resources help women to discover their capacity to lead and the benefits women’s leadership brings to their communities.
WLP believes that when women are involved in political processes and decision-making, everyone benefits. Whether the goal is to be elected to political office, support a candidate’s campaign, or secure legislation, WLP provides a range of training workshops and networking opportunities to grassroots and professional women. WLP’s programming emphasizes principled, tolerant, and justice-oriented political action for the promotion of women’s rights.
WLP participates in a wide array of education and advocacy activities to raise awareness about women’s human rights, influence policy, and increase the visibility and impact of our partnership’s work on gender justice and equality. We collaborate with women’s organizations, social service organizations, legal advocates, government officials, and religious leaders on local, regional, and international human rights campaigns. We produce documentaries, publish books, and facilitate training workshops in dozens of languages to support the work of grassroots activists across the globe.
Since the tragic events of 9/11, the concept of “security” has become more polarized—with proponents of state security too often pitted against proponents of human rights. The result has been that the aspiration of security itself has become highly politicized, impeding a critical component of human progress. WLP is working to reintroduce an all-encompassing vision of human security, which links human rights and human development to policy initiatives at the local and international levels. We are promoting an approach to human security that is inclusive of social, economic, cultural, civil, and political rights.
Millions of women around the world are still subject to laws and practices that give the men in their family the power to control their right to marry, travel, work, inherit land and property, and to pass citizenship on to their children. WLP is supporting locally-led research on family law reform that will be published in an anthology, and is working with women’s groups across the Partnership on campaigns to reform family law. Our scholarship on family law is providing us with a road map for our local and international advocacy.
There are an estimated 65 million refugees worldwide, many of whom face extreme poverty and few opportunities for education or employment. Women and girls bear the brunt of the displacement, enduring the threats and realities of sexual harassment and assault, sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, early or forced marriage, and trafficking, among other rights violations. WLP partners are working with refugees on entrepreneurial and employment skills, and are providing them with counseling and other services. We offer refugees training in individual leadership and collective action to campaign for their rights, and we are strong advocates for their direct participation in refugee policy decisions in their host countries and internationally.
Combatting violence against women involves changing societal notions about women’s roles, changing customs and practices that promote violence against women, and changing laws that do not protect women. WLP and its partners are engaged in all three pursuits to eradicate gender-based violence. We are conducting workshops for grassroots women, training trainers on advocating against gender-based violence, and leading local and international campaigns to reform laws and increase resources to protect women.
Resilient, effective, and democratic civil society organizations (CSOs) are the world’s bulwark against the many threats posed by failing states. However, maintaining free and democratic institutions takes knowledge, resources, and time. WLP is strengthening the organizational, programmatic, and fundraising capacities of CSOs in the Global South. We are helping directors and staff of women’s rights and women’s services organizations to instill democratic values and sustainability practices into all of their operations and services.
WLP believes that young women and men can play an extraordinary role in bringing about positive change in their communities. WLP engages with youth directly, and with youth groups and organizations. Through our leadership, political participation, advocacy, and IT trainings, WLP is empowering youth to take a stand, speak out, and make a real difference in their future. With our partner in Jordan, we host annual youth technology festivals that combine information about how to use technology, the internet, and social media to advocate for social change, with coursework on youth-related rights and development issues.
While the women’s rights movement in the West has been well-documented, the vision, voices, and campaigns of feminists in the Global South have received less attention from scholars and activists. To address this omission, WLP is collecting hundreds of hours of multilingual materials and recordings pertaining to the global movements for peace, democracy, and women’s human rights. WLP is preserving the stories and lessons of women’s rights activists from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and South America who have left their mark on the struggle for women’s advancement.