Women's Transformative Leadership

It's time for women to make a power play. We need more women at the table when decisions are made in government, organizations and homes.

Women are far more likely than men to be powerless and poor because of a system rigged against them.

The research makes it clear: our world is better when women exercise their rights. It is less poor, more peaceful, and more just. It's a better place for everyone. Supporting women to be leaders is the key to ending poverty.

But increasing the number of women in the room or elevating more women to power is not enough. To press forward with lasting change, we must address the reasons why women are not there in the first place, including:

  • Discrimination and gender inequality
  • A system that rewards wealth and power, which women have less access to
  • Deep-rooted social norms, attitudes and behaviours

Why Does Women's Transformative Leadership Matter To Women's Rights?

Worldwide, women represent fewer than 21 percent of national legislators.
During peace talks, women make up on average 10 percent of negotiators at the table.
Women represent only 9 percent of police and 27 percent of judges worldwide.
I am an empowered and employed woman, and very passionate about sharing and exploring ways to support other women, young widows and young generations who are currently being suppressed by the cultural and traditional expectations we’re subject to." 
Ipaishe, Zimbabwe Farmer and participant in Oxfam's livelihoods and leadership programs

What Is Oxfam Doing?

Our work enables women and men to work together to create policies and practices that are fair, lasting and sustainable. Everywhere we work, we emphasize human rights, gender equality, participation and respect for dignity.

Together with local organizations in 87 countries, we invest in projects that break power dynamics and transform entire communities. Our projects support women to become leaders in every aspect of their lives.

Women-Led Design

We design programs for women, in consultation with women and women's rights organizations.


We break down the barriers that stand in the way of women having power over their lives.


We get down to the root causes of poverty and inequality and work with communities toward lasting change.

Three Steps You Can Take Now

A man with a jerry can of water at a well.

Join Us

Join Oxfam Canada's email list to get up-to-the-minute updates.

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