WomenStrong International is a global community of organizations working with women and girls to end extreme urban poverty. We start and end by listening to urban women and girls, who know best what they need, in order to thrive. WomenStrong finds, funds, nurtures, and shares women-driven solutions that can transform lives.
Mission and Vision
Empowering women and girls to lead the way toward a poverty-free world.
We envision a world in which all women and girls are free to prosper and to live their lives in dignity and peace.
WomenStrong International grew out of the Millennium Cities Initiative, a project of Columbia University’s Earth Institute designed to help 11 sub-Saharan cities achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Over a dozen years, we saw the women in impoverished Millennium City communities rely on their own creativity, perseverance, and grit to provide for their families; these women became our go-to source of knowledge of what works, to earn a decent living and build a just and more prosperous world.
WomenStrong expanded the geographic and sociocultural focus of this urban development agenda to include member organizations in India, Kenya, Ghana, Haiti, and the United States, where girls and women in impoverished settings have acquired and utilized effective tools and resources to improve their lives. Now, WomenStrong has broadened our compass again, as we invite many more organizations to share and learn what they know, what they do, and what they have learned, as part of our WomenStrong Learning Community.
Board of Directors
Chair of World Connect, supporting local leaders in the developing world; Former Executive Vice President, the International Rescue Committee
Director, Specialization on Gender & Public Policy, School of International & Public Affairs; Senior Advisor, Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University
Washington DC physician, Associate Professor, George Washington Medical Center; Fellow of the American College of Physicians
Senior Environmental Counsel at Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP, Adjunct Professor at Brooklyn Law School and at NYU's Center on Global Affairs
Micheline Klagsbrun is a visual artist who focuses on transformation.
Attorney & Founder/Manager of Lee International Business Development; Expert on effective climate change mitigation strategies and women’s issues
Adjunct Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, Columbia University; Founder/President of two nonprofits to help poor communities realize their social capital
Physician; Co-Founder of South Africa’s Black Consciousness Movement; lifelong community activist; Former World Bank Director; renowned author & scholar
Pam Schutz, a seasoned financial services executive, is the retired CEO of Retirement and Protection for Genworth, a spin-off of GE.
Community activist, environmental health researcher and advocate, Co-Founder and Executive Director of WE ACT For Environmental Justice (WE ACT)