Our Approach

At WomenStrong, we support local women-led organizations across the globe in deepening their service to the women and girls in their communities. We take direction from our partner organizations; they tell us what would help them hone their skills and strengthen their evidence-based, gender-responsive programming focused on enabling local girls and women to live healthy, fulfilled, and empowered lives free of violence.

By providing our partners with capacity strengthening, trust-based funding, and membership in a community of practice through our Learning Lab, we assist them in obtaining new resources, technical support, networks, and visibility. We accompany our partners as they enhance their abilities to achieve the goals they set for themselves, in pursuit of the ultimate goal: gender equality. Together with our partners, we seek a world where women and girls can thrive.

We seek partners who work in four intersectional areas that, when progress is achieved in all the areas, contribute to girls’ and women’s equality:

Educating and empowering girls are essential activities, if we are to enable girls to become women who thrive, have meaningful incomes of their own, better health outcomes, and greater levels of freedom, mobility, and agency. Pandemic and economic shocks around the world have contributed to severe setbacks in girls’ education during the past several years. According to UNICEF, around the world, 129 million girls are out of school, including 32 million of primary school age and 97 million of secondary school age.

Interventions to support girls’ education and empowerment work best when they are locally led and involve girls in the planning and programming. That is why WomenStrong funds partners with effective programs to keep girls in school, empower them with necessary knowledge and skills, engage boys and men in girls’ empowerment, train educators in gender-sensitive teaching, and encourage leadership among girls and young women.

Advances in women’s health have suffered setbacks in recent years, with the pandemic, climate change-related disasters, and political retrenchment across the globe. Every two minutes, a woman somewhere dies from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications. Lack of access to quality and affordable healthcare remains a significant barrier to meeting the health needs of women and girls, particularly those living in lower income urban and peri-urban communities.

WomenStrong provides grants to women-led, community-based organizations that work to improve access to quality sexual and reproductive health healthcare for urban women and girls. Our partners’ services range from offering comprehensive sex education, to enabling access to contraception, to training midwives to providing quality pre- and post-natal care. Understanding the intersectional impacts of gender inequality, these organizations also focus on educating girls, women, families, and communities about the care they deserve and require and protecting their right to access that care.

Violence against women and girls is a global issue, with one of every three women believed to experience gender-based violence in their lifetimes. VAWG is a leading cause of death, disability, trauma, and poverty for women of all ages. Women who experience intimate partner violence are at higher risk of depression, have low birth-weight babies, and are more likely to live in lower income communities.

As part of our commitment to strengthening the capacity of women-led organizations to improve girls’ and women’s lives, we provide funding for organizations that address the underlying intersectional drivers of violence, among them, harmful gender norms, and lack of education, health care, and economic security. In addition to their thoughtful and sensitive work with women and girls, our partners engage and enlist educators, fathers, brothers, and public officials as key actors in stopping gender-based violence.

Economic security and opportunity comprise one of the pillars of gender equity. Our partners implement transformational programs to help women and their families escape poverty by raising awareness among working women of their rights and training them in organizing, advocacy skills, and negotiating for better pay and social protection.

Our grantee partners work with women in worker cooperatives, associations, and unions in sectors such as manufacturing, seafood-processing, housekeeping, care work, and entrepreneurship. By developing leadership skills, promoting financial inclusion, and through the multi-pronged training programs described above, these women-led partner organizations support women and girls in building collective assets and achieving durable economic independence.

About WomenStrong International

WomenStrong International provides trust-based funding, capacity strengthening, and a peer learning community to grantee partners addressing some of the most critical needs of women and girls: keeping girls in school, accessing lifesaving reproductive health care, preventing gender-based violence, and creating pathways to economic security. Learn More