Invest in Muslim Women: WHAT, WHY, HOW
Invest in Muslim Women pioneers tipping point projects targeted to economically empower Muslim women.

  • Identifies challenges and opportunities facing Muslim women and girls.
  • Focuses primarily on the S. Asian countries of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and in the United States.
  • Experiments with an entrepreneurial business model.
  • Measures outcomes: individual transformations, social paradigm shifts, return on investment.
  • Advances peace.
The IMW Difference
What differentiates IMW is that we work strategically at the nexus of human rights and economic empowerment of Muslim women. We make grants to NGOs in areas that secular non-profits are apprehensive to approach such as self-governed, hard-to-reach, conservative Muslim populations.

Many non-profits use a secular approach to empowering women. In contrast, IMW uses a framework embedded in faith-based edicts of social justice, and human and women’s rights to empower Muslim women.

This strategic approach is vital for two reasons:

  • First, it recognizes that traditional women, including Muslim women – take their cues and guidance in daily life from their faith – because they trust their religion.
  • Second, these realities guide IMW in communicating motivational messages on the importance of education and job training–– through a credible, faith-sensitive, human rights lens.
In 2011, one of IMW’s early grants was awarded to the International Center for Religion and Development (ICRD) in Washington, D.C. for a project in Peshawar, Pakistan. Thirty-five women madrasa teachers were trained using an updated educational curriculum for girls’ madrasas in Pakistan.
Pilot Training in Karachi of Madrasa from Balochistan
One teacher from a conservative madrasa in Baluchistan summed up her transformational experience with this curriculum in Karachi:
After my experience here, I will go back and talk to my sons and tell them not to fight any more, because I realize this is not Islamic jihad (in Afghanistan)… I have realized that it is only through hard work and personal sacrifice that we can rebuild our countries, and I will make this a regular part of my teaching… but if you don’t engage us teachers, it will be very hard to stop the fighting. As mothers and sisters, it is we who can influence the men more than anyone else.
IMW’s Theory of Change
Currently, economic exclusion of women in their societies leads to religious stagnation. This reinforces social regression, which excludes women economically, creating a self-sustaining vicious cycle.

Invest in Muslim Women, however, intervenes by giving Muslim women the opportunity to gain skills and participate in the economy. IMW embraces a progressive religious perspective, reinforcing women’s human rights in Islam. These two interventions support each other. They create a new dynamic based on economic inclusion, religious renewal and social advancement for the community. The impact of this virtuous cycle then ripples beyond the immediate family and benefits the broader community.

IMW is at the intersection of Muslim Women, Philanthropy & Charitable Giving

Invest in Muslim Women focuses on three outcomes in its grant making: education, employment and empowerment of Muslim women.

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