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Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality & Equality (WISE)

The Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE) was established in 2005 as a faith-based grassroots social justice movement. In 2015, WISE became an independent organization and currently operates as a partner project under the Fund for the City of New York (FCNY), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


Vision: Muslim women leading the creation of a peaceful and prosperous world anchored in gender equality and human dignity.  


Mission: WISE convenes and promotes solidarity among Muslim women leaders so they can collectively pursue social change. We amplify Muslim women voices at all levels of political, economic, religious, and social discourse. We provide faith based knowledge and toolkits to end injustices such as female genital mutilation, child marriage, domestic violence, and violent extremism.


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


Strategy: WISE addresses the pressing challenges facing the global Muslim community, particularly gender-based inequality, with our holistic four-pronged Change Theory:


Collaboration Foster a culture of support among Muslim women to create long term strategic goals for women’s empowerment.WISE’s global convenings and local country forums unite diverse Muslim women with women of other faiths to facilitate knowledge-sharing and skill-building tools to increase the effectiveness of women as leaders.   


Education – Provide research and evidence-based reports for Muslim women’s advocacy efforts. WISE’s Global Muslim Women’s Shura Council’s publishes opinion papers using faith-based arguments to end corrupt customs which violate women’s rights and the dignity of all people.


Communication Function as an authoritative source and clearinghouse on Muslim women’s history and issues.WISE’s online platform,, showcases the positive contributions of Muslim women past and present, and publicizes reliable information on Muslim women’s contemporary issues and their advocacy efforts.


Action To facilitate culturally sensitive approaches for championing women’s rights at the grassroots level.WISE’s global network of grassroots women uses a multi-pronged approach to incubate new and innovative projects for the upliftment of women and girls. WISE trains and partners with women NGO’s and influential male faith leaders to champion women rights and to promote peacebuilding.

Since 2006, WISE has convened hundreds of Muslim women leaders from around the globe to build their capacity as leaders, equipping them with knowledge of their rights and enabling them to use their voice, pen, purse, and power to elevate the status of Muslim women and girls around the globe.

WISE delivers its programs through support from family foundations, and institutional and individual donors. Our innovative projects have been featured in major media, including CNN, the BBC, MSNBC, Huffington Post, The New York Times, and Time Magazine. The Clinton Global Initiative awarded WISE’s Imam Training Program in Afghanistan its “Commitment to Action” award.  

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