A bi-lingual (Bahasa Indonesia and English) website, wherein you can find more detailed an colourful reports of the development of the WELDD programme in Indonesia was launched: Goto www.perempuanmemimpin.com

Multi-country Capacity Building programme

This programme received a grant of 50,000 euros  from the WRRC programme funded by Dutch government's MDG3 Fund, November 2009 – 30 June 2011


a. Context:

This programme  was  based on the work that was being done by the ‘network members’ of IWE, principally, but not exclusively, within the five-year research and action programme ‘Women’s Empowerment in Muslim Contexts’ (WEMC) (http://ww.wemc.com.hk).   This loose network  encompasses  formal and informal organisations in Pakistan, Indonesia, Iran and Afghanistan, as well as in cross-border contexts among Indonesian migrant workers.

From the beginning of the WEMC programme in July 2006, field researchers and resource persons had been engaged in participatory processes with women in various urban and rural communities in the countries and contexts mentioned above. These processes included interactive learning, documentation and understanding of women’s context-appropriate empowerment strategies.  In the four and a half years of the progamme, much was learnt and documented about women’s own initiatives to empower themselves, the challenges they need to overcome, and the resources they have been able to mobilise.  The knowledge acquired  included conceptual, methodological, strategic, comparative and political aspects of women’s empowerment processes.

This programme was IWE’s  attempt to organize a sharing and application of the  learning  described above.  These exchanges, properly documented, will be a great asset to others embarking on similar (research cum action cum advocacy cum organisation) projects in future.


b. Intended Impact:

This programme is the beginning of a continuing capacity building process to be developed systematically by IWE.  Organising around the expressed need for reflection and consolidation of  experiences, as well as seizing the  opportunities that presented themselves, this  programme seeks to enhance  the conceptualising, planning and advocacy strategies that are rooted in women’s local needs and concerns.  IWE believes that such processes will throw light on women’s indigenous strategies of empowerment  under context-specific conditions, as crucial factors for the mobilisation of women at the grassroots and for policy advocacy.  

In the long run, this form of knowledge-based and reflective capacity building will strengthen and sustain women’s organising and movement building in their various contexts and addressing the multifarious issues that persist to obstruct efforts of both men and women to build a liberating and equal society.  

c. Strategy and Objectives:

As related above,  IWE’s capacity-building  programme  integrates methodologies and relevant substantive themes.  It also makes a deliberate choice to support the growth of young feminists and enhance their  perspectives  of engaging on a global scale.

Hence, the decision to undertake these particular activities:

  • Reflection and sharing of transformative methodologies: the programme focuses on participatory processes which have been tried and proven to be effective in catalyzing consciousness and action at grass-roots levels in the framework of the WEMC research programme; one important and successful approach was the training in and production of multi-media (video) documentaries. (Projects 1&2)
  • Supporting a group of 12 young women to participate in the Asia-Pacific NGO Forum on Beijing+15, Manilia 2010  illustrates the firm commitment of IWE to develop and nurture a new generation of feminists with an international perspective who will hopefully bring innovative and creative solutions to the persisting issues facing women all over the world. (Project 5)
  • In the process of capacity building it is also necessary to take the opportunities which arise to address  the relevant and persistent issues which affect the women’s lives;  one such opportunity is the formalisation of the ASEAN Region Human Rights mechanism, under which issues of the rising threat to women’s human rights from the growing religious and cultural fundamentalisms in the region. Hence IWE collaborated with concerned groups, who will continue to monitor the situation and coordinate responses, to organize a workshop on adoption and implementation of Sharia Laws in Southeast Asia. (Project 4).

d. Outcomes

“Empowerment” for IWE means the capacity of women to take (autonomous, independent) decisions to undertake action towards  changing  the power relations that affect  their lives.  Underlying all the capacity building activities, though in different contexts and with groups addressing different themes, are the fundamental processes of KNOWING, ENABLING, TRANSFORMING:  the basic elements of “empowerment”. The programme increased paricipants’ capacities to acquire the knowledge and information that they need in order to analyse and understand their own situations, and then make their own decisions as to how to address the situations facing them, as well as look for and find the resources needed for their action.


e. Useful Link and Resources:

Report (for download: IWE-WRRC_Capacity_Building_final report july2010.doc))