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Women’s participation and transformative leadership

Oxfams water and sanitation committee (Credit: John Ferguson)

At a glance

Supporting women to gain the individual and collective power to end poverty and challenge inequalities.


We work to enable women, from community to national level, to gain the individual and collective power to end poverty and challenge inequalities while benefiting from an enabling environment that promotes and sustains women's participation and leadership.

All around the world women's voices are absent from the many places and spaces in which the decisions that affect their everyday lives are made. Oxfam aims to change this by strengthening the way in which women's individual and collective voices influence decisions about services, investments, policies and legal frameworks so that worldwide, those in power, from village leaders to politicians and law-makers, become more accountable to them.

Oxfam strongly believes that when women and their organisations are supported to access and influence decision-making (and can shape their own visions and strategies for change) there are proven practical and long-term benefits in terms of advancing gender justice and reducing poverty for all. These include more public money, better spent and improved local and national services. For these reasons, Women's participation and transformative leadership is foundational for all our work on gender justice and women's rights. 

Oxfam develop programmes, humanitarian responses and advocacy and campaigning so that that more women, especially those living in poverty, achieve and hold effective and transformative leadership positions at all levels and in all sectors; and both men and women work towards greater gender equality.

Women's participation in peace-building

Watch this animation looking at the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 as a global framework for Women, Peace, and Security.