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2020-2021 PROGRAMS

Women Forward International Programs consist of Two Phases:

 

Phase I:  Scholarly Research

 

Phase II: Client Implementation of the Key Scholarly Recommendations from Phase I

2020-2021 University Client-Based

RESEARCH 

Women’s Rights and the Peace Process in Afghanistan

Georgetown University School of Foreign Service

 

This project implements key recommendations from the WFI-supported Georgetown University School of Foreign Service scholarly teams in 2019-2020 for Women's Activities and Social Services Association and Women for Afghan Women. These recommendations include the promotion of women's rights in Islam as an integral part of the peace-building process. This year, WFI will support a team of scholars and students at Georgetown University under the direction of Ambassador Melanne Verveer and Dr. Ayse Kadayifci-Orellana to produce materials including  A Toolkit on Islamic Sources of Peace, Democracy and Women’s Rights for Afghan Women Negotiators that engage Afghan negotiators and other key actors such as religious leaders to create the unity required to stabilize Afghanistan.​

Promoting Women’s Leadership in Mexico for a Conscious and Regenerative Humanity

Harvard University Kennedy School of Government

in Partnership with the Ananda Group

 

In 2020, the Ananda Group benefited from the research and insights from a Harvard Kennedy School team as a result of its partnership with Women Forward International. The main recommendations from the HKS team include: a) Support for plant-based networks and associations; b) Investment towards gender-specific programming; and c) Further investment in advocacy and public relations partnerships.  With the support of WFI this year, Ananda is proceeding with the recommendation in collaboration with HKS to support plant-based business networks by spearheading the incorporation of an association that brings together this early stage, mission driven and majority women-led sector.  The association will provide information and training specifically designed for these entrepreneurs; it will offer a platform for networking, cross-learning and mutual support; and through the collaboration among members, the sector will accomplish projects with greater impact and boost the fulfillment of its shared mission for the benefit of humanity, animals and the planet. Ananda will also implement the recommendation regarding gender-specific programming through the development of trainings and events designed for the Mexican plant-based sector where around 75% of businesses have women founders.  In addition, the association will be led by a woman President and will include a formal Gender Equity Committee to promote the continued presence of women in leadership positions, especially as the sector and the businesses that comprise it grow.

Changing the System: Enhancing Participation of Young Migrant and Refugee Women in International Political Processes through Intercultural Feminist Action-Research

The Paris Institute of Political Studies in Partnership

with The European Network of Migrant Women & The Rights Lab 

Scholars from The Paris Institute of Political Studies (Science Po) will find, define, and analyze the major barriers and gaps that hinder migrant and refugee women’s participation in international decision-making processes, with a specific focus on young women, and come up with recommendations and methodology on how to bridge them. Their research will be designed as an action oriented plan for the European Network of Migrant Women, an organization that strives to combat discrimination and promote the rights and interests of migrant and refugee women within Europe through coordinated advocacy, exchange of information, capacity building activities, projects and events and representing ENoMW members at both the European and the National level. Could this global crisis provide an opportunity for addressing systemic flaws and barriers and creating a more equal society? The answer to this question lies in part in the participation of women migrants and refugees in regional and international decision-making processes. The research will culminate with a participatory workshop to conduct in-depth analysis and co-create jointly with young migrant women a methodology for their political participation and a toolkit for young migrant women’s participation in international processes on women’s human rights.

Breaking Barriers to Expand Opportunities for Women-Led Businesses in Latin America

Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)

in Collaboration with Pro Mujer

A leading women's non-profit development organization, Pro Mujer, will carry forward with WFI’s support recommendations from the 2019-2020 Columbia University School of
International and Public Affairs (SIPA) team
as it works with a new SIPA team this year to
develop innovative financial mechanisms for businesswomen in Latin America. This project will push forward strategies to break barriers limiting women entrepreneurs from raising and accessing investment capital in Mexico and Central America at large. These strategies included developing a gender strategy geared towards facilitating capital flows to women-led businesses such as gathering gender-disaggregated data and curating inclusive marketing campaigns; encouraging business development services (BDS) providers to expand opportunities for women- led businesses by forging international partnerships and inclusive programming; and deepening the relationship between BDS providers and investors to create an investment path for women entrepreneurs.

Women Forward International Programs consist of Two Phases:

 

Phase I:  Scholarly Research

 

Phase II: Client Implementation of the Key Scholarly Recommendations from Phase I

2020-2021 University Client-Based

RESEARCH 

Women’s Rights and the Peace Process in Afghanistan

Georgetown University School of Foreign Service

 

This project implements key recommendations from the WFI-supported Georgetown University School of Foreign Service scholarly teams in 2019-2020 for Women's Activities and Social Services Association and Women for Afghan Women. These recommendations include the promotion of women's rights in Islam as an integral part of the peace-building process. This year, WFI will support a team of scholars and students at Georgetown University under the direction of Ambassador Melanne Verveer and Dr. Ayse Kadayifci-Orellana to produce materials including  A Toolkit on Islamic Sources of Peace, Democracy and Women’s Rights for Afghan Women Negotiators that engage Afghan negotiators and other key actors such as religious leaders to create the unity required to stabilize Afghanistan.​

Promoting Women’s Leadership in Mexico for a Conscious and Regenerative Humanity

 

Harvard University Kennedy School of Government in Partnership with the Ananda Group

In 2020, the Ananda Group benefited from the research and insights from a Harvard Kennedy School team as a result of its partnership with Women Forward International. The main recommendations from the HKS team include: a) Support for plant-based networks and associations; b) Investment towards gender-specific programming; and c) Further investment in advocacy and public relations partnerships.  With the support of WFI this year, Ananda is proceeding with the recommendation in collaboration with HKS to support plant-based business networks by spearheading the incorporation of an association that brings together this early stage, mission driven and majority women-led sector.  The association will provide information and training specifically designed for these entrepreneurs; it will offer a platform for networking, cross-learning and mutual support; and through the collaboration among members, the sector will accomplish projects with greater impact and boost the fulfillment of its shared mission for the benefit of humanity, animals and the planet. Ananda will also implement the recommendation regarding gender-specific programming through the development of trainings and events designed for the Mexican plant-based sector where around 75% of businesses have women founders.  In addition, the association will be led by a woman President and will include a formal Gender Equity Committee to promote the continued presence of women in leadership positions, especially as the sector and the businesses that comprise it grow.

The Paris Institute of Political Studies in Partnership with The European Network of Migrant Woman & The Rights Lab

Scholars from The Paris Institute of Political Studies (Science Po) will find, define, and analyze the major barriers and gaps that hinder migrant and refugee women’s participation in international decision-making processes, with a specific focus on young women, and come up with recommendations and methodology on how to bridge them. Their research will be designed as an action oriented plan for the European Network of Migrant Women, an organization that strives to combat discrimination and promote the rights and interests of migrant and refugee women within Europe through coordinated advocacy, exchange of information, capacity building activities, projects and events and representing ENoMW members at both the European and the National level. Could this global crisis provide an opportunity for addressing systemic flaws and barriers and creating a more equal society? The answer to this question lies in part in the participation of women migrants and refugees in regional and international decision-making processes. The research will culminate with a participatory workshop to conduct in-depth analysis and co-create jointly with young migrant women a methodology for their political participation and a toolkit for young migrant women’s participation in international processes on women’s human rights.

Breaking Barriers to Expand Opportunities for Women-Led Businesses in Latin America

 

Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in Collaboration with Pro Mujer

A leading women's non-profit development organization, Pro Mujer, will carry forward with WFI’s support recommendations from the 2019-2020 Columbia University School of
International and Public Affairs (SIPA) team. 
This project will push forward strategies to break barriers limiting women entrepreneurs from raising and accessing investment capital in Mexico and Central America at large. These strategies included developing a gender strategy geared towards facilitating capital flows to women-led businesses such as gathering gender-disaggregated data and curating inclusive marketing campaigns; encouraging business development services (BDS) providers to expand opportunities for women- led businesses by forging international partnerships and inclusive programming; and deepening the relationship between BDS providers and investors to create an investment path for women entrepreneurs.

A New Horizon for Women’s Education in Afghanistan

 

Lynn University Social Impact Laboratory in Partnership with the Afghan Institute of Learning

Many universities in Afghanistan lack a quality curriculum, leaving them unable to provide quality educational services for women. Currently, a university just for women does not exist in Afghanistan. The university options are co-ed, restricting women due to tradition and culture, and leaving them unable to take full advantage of a university. A women’s university would not only encourage more women to pursue a higher education, but will allow women to begin or complete their studies free of distractions while still being able to obtain gainful employment. Lynn University’s Student Research Team will explore potential solutions to the obstacles that stand in the way of opening a women’s university in Afghanistan. This university would be run and supported by the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), with Women Forward International (WFI) in an advisory role. The research would answer the key questions necessary to proceed: What are some of the political, social and economic challenges present in Afghanistan that prevent the establishment of a women's university? What factors stand in the way of women pursuing their tertiary education in Afghanistan? What is the best curriculum that can be developed to provide women with the necessary education and skills to obtain employment after graduation? What are some of the most effective logistical strategies for opening a women's university in Afghanistan? What core values are important for AIL’s curriculum, and how will AIL ensure that the women’s university emphasizes these? What courses and skills are required for the successful development of a new curriculum for a women’s university taking into consideration the political, social and cultural context of Afghanistan?

All of Us Taking Care of All of Us: Food Rescue for Senior Women in the United States

 

Stanford University Community Health and Prevention Research Program in Partnership with the White Pony Express

Building on their 2019-2020 project, WFI will support the White Pony Express (WPE) to guide an impact study by a team of Stanford University’s Master of Science in Community Health and Prevention Research Program students on the effects of their Food Rescue program, specifically on their newly expanded services to the senior women population since the COVID-19 pandemic. They will answer the key questions: what happens to senior women with few resources who are among the most vulnerable population in American society, and how can communities put into practice the principle of “all of us taking care of all of us?” WPE currently helps 12 agencies that specifically serve low-income seniors, more than half of which contacted us after the pandemic hit with a desperate need for food. Through this project, WPE will put a more advanced measurement system in place to evaluate their performance and outcomes. This impact study will help WPE capture data at defined points through interviews, surveys, observation and literature reviews and articulating WPE’s deeper impacts on hunger, health and well-being. WPE will use this data to drive decision-making related to programmatic strategy and programming elements.

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in Morocco through Microfinance

 

William Marshall Rice University School of Social Sciences in Partnership with Silatech

In a turbulent world of political conflict and social unrest, young people have fallen prey to poverty, unemployment, and marginalization. During all this, it has become essential to find innovative solutions to the problem’s youth are facing. There is an urgent need to not only prevent the problems but to eliminate them entirely to help young people take control of their future and influence their communities positively. A student team from Rice University will carry out research focused on micro-finance and methods for empowering women-led businesses in Morocco for Silatech, an international social development NGO that promotes the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals through the economic empowerment of young entrepreneurs. The student team will research the impact of implementing policies and programs in Morocco for the creation of jobs for youth, and the challenges women face in particular in participating in this job market. Silatech is an International social development nonprofit non-governmental organization that works on connecting youth wherever they are to jobs and enable resources for them to establish and sustain successful enterprises through providing innovative solutions to its local, regional and international partners. The organization promotes large-scale job creation, entrepreneurship, access to capital and markets, and the participation of young people in economic development thus contributing to the attainment of several Sustainable Development Goals. 

Growing the Coffee and Cocoa Sector through Equity for Women Farmers

 

Gender Equity will partner with one of WFI's leading university partners. 

Preventing Gender Based Violence at the Border (Mexico and the United States)

National Defense University in Collaboration with Selected Nonprofit in the United States

Developing Cost-Effective Environmentally Sustainable Food Policy in Europe

 

Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in Partnership with the Sustainable Food Trust

A team of graduates from Cornell University’s Agriculture and Life Sciences graduate program will undertake a research project for the Sustainable Food Trust, a non-profit organization that works to accelerate the transition to more sustainable food and farming systems that nourish the health of both people and planet.  The student team will conduct research on approaches needed to ensure food producers are financially accountable for any negative impacts of their production systems on the environment and public health and appropriately awarded for equivalent beneficial outcomes. Specifically, the research study will focus on the fact that women, as the primary food purchasers, are the victims of a dishonest food pricing system which sends misleading messages to consumers and is compromising the health of the next generation.  efforts.

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Women Forward International is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation