Women's Empowerment

Asia / Middle East

Women’s Empowerment seeks to advance the role of women, strengthening and empowering them on the individual and collective level to foster human values, sustain peace, and develop families, communities and societies around the world.

“The role of women in the development of society is of utmost importance. In fact, it is the only thing that determines whether a society is strong and harmonious, or otherwise. Women are the backbone of society.” – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, IAHV Founder

IAHV’s Women’s Empowerment programs promote women as key enablers of peace and stability through leadership, education, and community partnerships. Using a holistic approach to transforming lives, the program establishes clarity of mind, calm focus, and centeredness as the foundation of leadership. Women and men who have participated are committed to their personal and community responsibility to promote and protect women and enable them as catalysts for change addressing key issues such as education, health, employment, political representation, protection of human and legal rights and service delivery. The Women’s Empowerment program has innovative educational initiatives including:

Al Azhar Program, Iraq

Al Azhar Program mobilizes and supports Iraqi national and community leaders in launching initiatives that promote and protect Iraqi women. The program aims to strengthen Iraqi families and civil society by advancing Iraqi women’s leadership and eliminating gender-based violence on a local and national level. This program draws support from all levels of the community. National Taskforce Members underwent a transformational leadership training, team building, and visioning program which resulted in a National Action Plan to counter gender-based violence, emphasize women’s role throughout the policy development process, provide legal assistance to women victims of violence, find peaceful solutions to conflict, and elevate women into leadership positions. To help women survivors of violence, Life Skills Training and vocational training are taught to women community members. Through community partnerships and the mixed-gendered National Taskforce, the program demonstrates the unique role women leaders can have at both a national and local level to advance peace and the status of women in Iraq.

Advancing Career Women Project, Iraq

Advancing Career Women Project despite relatively strong female workforce participation in the 1960s and 1970s, certain traditional-minded elements of Iraqi society retain the attitude that women should work in the household and men work outside of the home; this mindset results in a limited number of Iraqi women entering into the workforce or obtaining leadership roles once in the workforce. This project aims increase the financial security of Iraqi women, promote them within the industries where they work, and encourage their participation in the rebuilding of the Iraqi economy. Partnered with IAHV-Jordan and the University of Jordan, IAHV seeks to enhance the skills of 400 Iraqi women private sector banking, aviation and hospitality in Baghdad and Kurdistan through accredited academic programming. Participants, with the support of their employers, will receive 200 hours of concentrated academic training in their industry from the University of Jordan with the objective of increasing their knowledge in their field and leadership skills that will earn them promotions and salary increases in their place of work.

International Women’s Conference

The International Women’s Conference (IWC) is a forum that aims to promote women as agents of peace, development and ethical leadership. More than 3,000 women from 40-80 countries have participated in the bi-annual events in Bangalore India since the Conference series was first launched in 2005. Creating connectivity between women leaders and unsung heroines, IWC provides a horizontal platform that dissolves traditional barriers between people and shines a spotlight on women who selflessly serve the world through grassroots activism, entrepreneurship, public policy and spiritual knowledge. Through partnerships with the Art of Living Foundation, UNIFEM, and the World Bank Institute, IWC has created a global network bringing together women leaders in government, multilateral organizations, the private and non-governmental sectors. IWC led to the education of more than 4,300 rural girls across India for a holistic K-12 education through scholarships since 2005, launched a national campaign against female feticide, advanced leadership through training that integrates meditation and yoga to harness the power of a stress-free mind and spiritual wisdom, and honors traditional art and culture from around the world.

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