This program has ended


To ensure women have equal opportunities and the capacity to fully participate in political life and decision-making processes, while also creating more public recognition and support for women in leadership positions.


Jordan, Lebanon, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe


Women worldwide experience serious obstacles that limit their chances to seek leadership positions in civic organizations, political parties and public institutions. This hinders their ability to put their needs, ideas and priorities on the political agenda and have them taken into account by political and policy decisions.


Women Empowered for Leadership (WE4L) uses a combination of advocacy, skills training, knowledge tools and coalition-building. The program works directly with potential women leaders, as well as with political parties, trade unions, civil society organization, the media and the creative sector. Hivos and our local partners provide strategic, media and communication expertise.

Results so far

WE4L has helped 140 aspiring women leaders enhance their communication skills and become more visible in mainstream media as experts in fields dominated by male experts. In Southern Africa, our program participants have targeted 150 political party representatives with evidence-based messages calling for strengthening women’s participation. In Jordan, Zambia and Lebanon, WE4L’s partners have worked with media outlets and women candidates to monitor gender-focused events and debates before, during and after general elections. Our partner LADE in Lebanon produced the first ever local monitoring report on municipality elections from a gender perspective.

WE4L has launched an online timeline highlighting unsung women heroes in Lebanon’s history. Women, power, and politics: Timelines and Milestones encourage readers, activists, writers, academics, and researchers to engage in this ongoing documentation process and to share with us events, figures and sources they deem significant to the women’s movement in Lebanon.

Period and budget

2016-2020, €15 million


Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (donor), implemented by 5 partners in Jordan, 5 partners in Lebanon, 3 partners in Malawi, 3 partners in Zambia and 6 partners in Zimbabwe