The women we serve are leaders on the front lines, rebuilding war-torn societies from the ground up. They are passionate about advocating for other women and their communities, and with our help, they become agents of change.
We work with women to become community leaders and to advocate for the rights of other women and marginalized people in their communities.
In 2017, we developed and piloted a new program approach focused on grassroots advocacy. The Change Agents program trained women who graduated from our Stronger Women, Stronger Nations program in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria. The goal of the program is to give women in our programs the tools to take on community leadership roles and organize collective action to achieve the changes they want to see. Since then, we have adapted and replicated this grassroots advocacy approach, expanded to all country programs, and have reached 531,498 women.
Our intensive Change Agent training focuses on advanced leadership skills, effective communication, how to advocate for women’s rights, violence prevention, and creating economic opportunities for women. Following the training, Change Agents are mentored and supported by Women for Women International staff to undertake grassroots advocacy activities from planning to implementation. We also bring different groups of Change Agents together so they can learn from each other, share experiences, and connect with local women’s rights and advocacy organizations.
In Afghanistan, one group of 25 Change Agents advocated for the improvement of a local health clinic that didn’t meet the needs of the community. Doctors in charge of administering checkups rarely showed up for their shifts, and when they did, they refused to provide women with the medicine they needed. The Change Agent group took note of the lack of service and decided to intervene. The director of the clinic was hesitant to meet with them at first, but he eventually heard their demands and the courageous group of Change Agents was able to negotiate for equal and fair treatment. Their leadership and the leadership of other Afghan women are changing an entire nation.