Isobel Coleman works with a number of organizations doing remarkable work around the world. Here are several worth knowing:
Organizations Empowering Women
A global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family, calling for equality, non-discrimination, justice and dignity as the basis of all human relations; full and equal citizenship for every individual; and marriage and family relations based on principles of equality and justice, with men and women sharing equal rights and responsibilities.
Muslim Women’s Fund (MWF)
The Muslim Women’s Fund works to educate and empower Muslim women, enabling them to claim their rights in Islam. MWF’s work affects vast segments of society by investing in innovative grass-roots projects and movements.
Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE)
The Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality is a global program, social network and grassroots social justice movement led by Muslim women for Muslim women. WISE seeks to reclaim the legacy of Muslim women as leaders, caregivers, activists, and professionals.
Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP)
The Women’s Learning Partnership builds networks among women’s groups across the Muslim world. Its objectives include increasing the number of women in leadership and decision-making roles in Muslim-majority nations as well as improving the effectiveness of feminist movements in these nations more broadly.
Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL)
The Afghan Institute of Learning is the organization of Sakeena Yacoobi, a woman whose many achievements are highlighted in Paradise Beneath Her Feet. There are few better organizations on the ground now working to improve the status of women. AIL is a nonprofit organization that provides health and educational services to more than 350,000 women and children across Afghanistan.
Kashf, which means “miracle” in Arabic, is a foundation that alleviates poverty by providing microfinance services to women in Pakistan. Kashf allows women to realize their economic potential and achieve self-reliance. From its outset, 100 percent of its borrowers have been women, and women have always comprised at least half of its staff.
Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML)
Women Living Under Muslim Laws is a transnational organization that aims to share information and scholarship as a way of demystifying Islamic law. WLUML’s website is a smorgasbord of briefs, dossiers, and manuals providing information, in six languages, on a broad range of topics. The site offers one- stop shopping for activists seeking to defend a sharia case, launch a training program for women to learn their rights within Islam, or simply to change the mind of the local mullah.
Change for Equality/The One Million Signatures Campaign
The One Million Signatures Campaign is a grassroots movement that has been working to overturn discriminatory laws against Iranian women and educate Iranian women about pervasive injustices within their nation’s legislation. It thrives off of its face-to-face method which achieves legislative awareness amongst women and men alike through person-to-person conversations in coffee shops, parks, metro stations, and other public locations.
Organizations Enabling Global Grassroots Movements for Women
Global Fund for Women (GFW)
If you’re interested in supporting a grassroots organization in a developing nation around the world, the Global Fund is a great resource that has identified and vetted organizations for you to choose from. GFW is part of a global women’s movement that allows women to determine, propose, and achieve solutions for lasting change.
Women’s World Banking (WWB)
Women’s World Banking unleashes the power of women as entrepreneurs and economic agents by increasing female access to finance, knowledge, and markets. By giving women the tools to set up a business, build assets, and protect against losses, WWB empowers women and their families.
While Plan USA works on the promotion of child rights at large, it is also the publisher of the valuable annual report, “Because I am a Girl: The State of the World’s Girl.” The 2009 report focuses on the global economy and notes that failing to send girls to school is costing the world’s poorest nations billions of dollars each year.
CARE is a humanitarian organization that places women at the center of community-based initiatives that fight against global poverty. CARE works alongside women towards the improvement of education, prevention of HIV, increased of access to clean water, expansion of economic opportunity, and protection of natural resources.