This article shares some insights from six projects that took part in Women Empowerment and Gender Equality (WEGE), a competence-building programme to support gender mainstreaming. WEGE was run by Digni from 2007 to 2010. The projects were run by churches and faith-based organisations in Madagascar, Ethiopia, Bolivia, and Ecuador. WEGE's goal was to promote women's empowerment and gender equality through the work of Digni, Digni's members, and their partners. The article suggests that by integrating gender equality and women's empowerment into projects which had other pre-existing aims, it is easier to raise gender issues later at the institutional level in organisations, and eventually make it a key issue in its own right: a ‘bottom-up’ approach, so to speak.