Transformative Leadership for Women’s Rights Theory of Change

by Oxfam Canada | November 5, 2021
Background media: Person holding microphone with her left hand and a poster with her right hand. The poster is dark purple with the words "Gender Equality" written in yellow and the symbol for female equalling the symbol for transgender equalling the symbol for man. She is standing in a conference room with a poster in the background that says "Women's Voice and Leadership Pakistan" with the Government of Canada logo to the top left and Oxfam to the top right.
Photo: Megan Lowthers/Oxfam

Transformative Leadership for Women’s Rights Theory of Change

by Oxfam Canada | November 5, 2021

Leaders from different women’s rights organizations in Pakistan met to develop their projects for the Women’s Voice and Leadership program.

Women's rights and feminist organizations and movements have been recognized as vital catalysts for progressive change towards gender equality. However, only one per cent of gender equality funding currently goes to women's rights organizations.

In a context of shrinking civil society space in many countries and global spaces, women’s human rights defenders' work and personal safety are often under attack, putting them at risk of burnout, physical violence, and sometimes death.

In the wake of growing conservatism and rising right-wing populisms, there are also backlashes against gains made for gender equality. These attacks illustrate the need to support women's rights organizations and women’s human rights defenders, to hold the line, and defend previously hard-fought gains. This must be done while continuing the work to fully realize women's rights and gender justice and ensuring the safety of women’s human rights defenders who do this work.

Transformative Leadership for Women’s Rights is an approach and strategy for social justice which challenges and transforms power relations and structures (in all their different manifestations) into an enabling environment in which gender justice and women’s rights can be achieved. It embodies the principles and values of human rights, gender equality, participation, collaboration, and respect for the dignity of all people.

Oxfam Canada’s programming on Transformative Leadership for Women's Rights works with defenders, organizations, civil society and feminist movements to bring about fundamental change. Our programming facilitates collective efforts to transform inequitable institutions whether it is in the home, the community, or beyond.

This resource outlines Oxfam Canada’s Theory of Change for its Transformative Leadership for Women’s Rights programming. A theory of change shows how we expect outcomes to occur over the short, medium and long term as a result of our work.


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Oxfam Canada’s TLWR programming is supported by contributions from the Government of Canada, provided through Global Affairs Canada, and Oxfam donors. 

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