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Women Empowered for Leadership (WE4L) is a five-year programme (2016-2020) managed by Hivos and implemented together with local partners in Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Jordan and Lebanon.

The programme aims for women to have equal opportunities and the capacity to fully participate in political and societal decision-making processes. This also means women should be recognised and supported by politics and society as leaders and agents of change. We are careful to invest in leadership opportunities and political processes at the sub-national level because this is where decisions are made and policies are implemented that directly affect people’s daily lives.


  1. More women participating fully and effectively in politics and public administration at sub-national level.
  2. Female leaders, linked with women’s rights organisations, have more influence on political and societal developments and on public opinion.
  3. Civic organisations such as trade unions and political parties promote full and equal participation of women in leadership positions and demonstrate a significant change in their own policies and practices.
  4. More recognition and support from the general public for women in leadership positions.


Women Empowered for Leadership is funded through the ‘Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW)’ fund of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This fund aims to create opportunities for women and girls and foster a transformation towards an enabling environment in which women’s rights are better protected. At both local and national levels the programs will contribute to sustainable, inclusive development and to fight against poverty and the lack of equal rights for women and girls.