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Women for Women International, Transformed

In 1993, Zainab Salbi saw a vision for the future of Bosnian women, women who had seen their lives shredded by genocide, rape, and war. Zainab, an Iraqi activist and survivor of war herself, stitched together an organization to support women as they rebuilt that future for themselves. Since that moment, Women for Women International has reached over half a million of the most marginalized women on Earth, and Zainab’s vision of women’s power is shared around the world.

It’s amazing to watch our values flourish and that so many are now focusing on the momentous potential that women hold. A larger movement means a greater opportunity to spread our vision, but it also challenges us to show our unique value.

In 2019, we decided we need a brand that symbolizes our growth and reflects the transformative nature of women survivors of war and conflict. We knew this new brand should capture our collective vision for a world in which women can realize their full potential to achieve a more peaceful, prosperous, and equitable society for all of us.

We envisioned an evolved identity for our organization that shows supporters past, present, and future the power of those women who have survived against the odds and how they keep our world turning. When we give women survivors the reins and resources to create their futures from nothing, the world will see progress like none before. The potential and power that rests in the hands of women is a growing force that is changing our world for the better.

Our Collective Power

Join me on the Bridge, Rwanda. Photo credit: Mark Darrough
Photo credit: Mark Darrough

Since our founding, we have served one woman at a time, connecting directly to see she has the tools to activate her inner potential and agency. Our sisterhood sponsorship program has also facilitated an individual, direct connection between participants and supporters. But a vital element of our approach has been the collective power of our sisters. Our program brings women together into tight-knit groups to support each other and, increasingly, to advocate together.

Now, in the context of a fast-growing women’s rights movement, we are emphasizing this collective power, power in solidarity. We want to open more windows for our supporters to be activists together, for women in our program to become Change Agents, and for our global community to unify and propel this movement even further. And we believe, before we look to creating change in our community, we must be confident in our inner identity and modern vision. That’s why we consulted our supporters and staff around the world to inform this new iteration of our brand.

So, what has evolved?

A Dynamic Logo

gif of old logo transitioning to new logo

As our global network grows and reaches new audiences and we form more partnerships, we want our woman-powered identity to be at the forefront. Our logo is a snapshot of our values and vision. We feel that this new iteration of the brand is more than just an update, rather it’s a representation of both our history and our future. It’s a distillation of what we want to be and what we see in women around the world.

The gradient shading and leftward tilt characterize transformation and forward momentum, and, as a unique fusion of green and blue, teal symbolizes peace and trust, and sets us apart from our peers. The essence of our founding brand remains to remind us of our roots in the transformative power of women.

Spreading the Word

As a centering force in this evolution, our brand narrative and messaging has also been modernized. Our narrative helps us communicate our vision for the future and how our work and community help us achieve our collective goals. This narrative homes in on women’s power—our shared power.

Numeracy and business class in Rwanda
Photo credit: Serrah Galos

Women have the power to transform the world. But across the globe, our voices are silenced, our role is ignored, and our contributions are undervalued.

Conflict and war deepen these injustices towards women. A woman who survives violent conflict is then forced to rebuild her life in communities who put her needs last. As conflicts rise, so does the number of women brutalized. This must end.

From war-torn towns to the halls of the United Nations, our global community invests in women survivors of war and conflict, connecting them with each other through our Stronger Women, Stronger Nations program to realize their own power. Together, they learn to save, build businesses, understand their rights, improve their health, and change societal rules. They pass on this knowledge to their families and communities, creating a world that’s more equal, peaceful, and prosperous.

That is the power of women, for women.

Putting the Power in Her Hands

Our economic and social power trainings are the core of our program. The women we work with have built unbreakable connections around this training that have grown into graduate networks and Change Agent alliances. The program needs a brand that will capture all these nuances. We want the world to know that women survivors have the power to rebuild their lives, communities, and nations, so our Signature Program is being reborn under a new title: Stronger Women, Stronger Nations Program.

Iraqi participant and her child
Photo credit: Aidan O'Neill

This is not a blank slate; instead, it’s a chance for us to scale and put the power in the hands of those who will meet women where they are. With the right support and knowledge of their own power, women are the ones that know best how to use the resources that we can provide. As we move forward, this new brand will bind us closer to our values and signal to others that we are a global community that connects supporters, staff, and women equally.

Two years ago, we couldn’t have guessed what our world would look like today, but we’ve always remained an organization on the frontline of the fight for women’s rights, and we always will. Today, we have a chance to thank our forebears and founders—and retire our beloved green and orange—but tomorrow, we look ahead to a brighter future for women and our world.

This is not just about relabeling; it’s the beginning of a new strategy, a chance for us to internalize our refreshed messaging and converse about what this shift is, what it means, and why it’s important. This growth would not be possible without your dedication and aspirations for a greater Women for Women International and the raw tenacity of women who have lived through it all. Together, we have shaped this organization into a leader in the global women’s rights movement.