Women’s Action for Voice and Empowerment

Women’s Action for Voice and Empowerment (WAVE) is a ground-breaking women’s leadership program that brings together – and supports – individual women, organisations and movements in Asia and the Pacific region to increase the representation of women in diverse leadership positions.

Funded by the Government of the Netherlands, WAVE supports 18 women’s rights organisations in five countries with the resources, skills and networks they need to amplify their collective voice and create a more enabling environment for women’s leadership.

WAVE is also a movement, bringing women’s organisations and the public together to challenge widespread imbalances of power and priority that negatively affect women and their human rights. WAVE has five years (2016-2020) to deliver on its promise to women, including to women already in politics, women and young women with potential for political or civil leadership, and advocates for women’s empowerment spanning all genders and tiers of society. Women are drastically under-represented in formal and informal positions of leadership in Asia and the Pacific region. Yet we know that when women lead, outcomes are better for all.

To learn more, read WAVE Annual Report – 2019.

At a glance


% of women in Pacific parliaments as of April 2019 – the lowest proportion in the world

WAVE brings about sustainable change by:



Supporting individual women’s leadership

WAVE’s goal is for individual women’s leadership to influence political, economic and social decision making



Making political and governance systems work for women

WAVE’s goal is for power holders and institutions to be responsive to and accountable for women’s rights and status



Strengthening women’s organisations and movements

WAVE’s goal is a vital, visible and vocal women’s movement that aggregates and amplifies women’s power and priorities



Building evidence on women’s lives, priorities and leadership

WAVE’s goal is for evidence on how change towards gender equality happens to inform individuals, institutions and movements



Women’s Political Leadership Strategy

The Women’s Political Leadership Strategy shows how decisions around women’s political leadership are made within the WAVE program.


WAVE partners across Asia and the Pacific

IWDA’s role in the WAVE program is as ally, strategist, convenor, funder and partner at regional and international levels.

IWDA works by supporting programs and initiatives that are devised by local women and organisations working for change, because women are strong together and local knowledge drives long-term solutions.