Our goal is to inspire a network of young Muslim female leaders to become catalysts for the advancement of their communities and the world. Through leadership, self-defense, and social entrepreneurship trainings, we strengthen the skills of young women to overcome violence and become ambassadors for female empowerment.
While volunteering at a domestic violence organization for Muslim women in 2010, Rana Abdelhamid experienced an act of violence when a man aggressively attempted to remove her headscarf. She realized that Muslim women not only face private gender based violence but also, public harassment, aggression and discrimination. In fact, according to the FBI, hate crimes against Muslims in the US increased by 1600% after 9/11. Given that anti-Islamic sentiments and discrimination continue to alienate Muslim youth in some of the most formative years of their lives, Rana formed WISE to provide young Muslim women a space to to heal from their negative experiences of violence, hone their individuality, and learn ways to turn negative experiences into a drive for positive social change. Through entrepreneurship, leadership and self-defense trainings, WISE provides young Muslim women with the skills they need to propel themselves into leadership roles.
Since 2010, WISE has expanded nationally and internationally. In the US, current chapters operate in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Texas. Internationally, WISE chapters operate in Spain, Scotland and Ireland.