"As a woman leader, I lead with the strong belief that women bring stability and peace, at home, in their communities, and for the nation."

- Mu Sochua, Cambodia

"You have to trust your own courage, trust your own humanity and trust your own capacity to be more than you are."

- Inez McCormack, Northern Ireland

"Women in Africa are the greatest untapped resource of Africa. We are the future."

- Hafsat Abiola, Nigeria

"As we know from long and indisputable experience, investing in women has an amplifier effect on productivity and sustainable economic growth."

- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

"I believe gender inequity is a market failure. You have to take risks. If you don't let the unexpected to happen, you will never truly understand the miracles of life."

- Roshaneh Zafar, Pakistan

VVLead Fellowship Program


The program supports a global network of emerging and established women leaders who provide unusual and sustainable solutions to pressing problems that have impeded women and girls’ progress to participate fully in society and the economy.

Recognizing that in order to advance the causes of women, women themselves must connect with, empower, equip and inspire one another at all levels of society, Vital Voices — with funding support provided by the UK government’s Department for International Development — is committed to helping create a unified response, not just from women’s rights activists and sectoral experts, but also from a wide range of professionals and practitioners across fields and methodologies.

The VVLead Fellowship Program is a critical step in this response, offering participants unique opportunities to exchange information, obtain resources and tools, mentor and be mentored and receive vital training over the course of one year through offerings tailored to meet their needs, goals and objectives. Download the PDF.


Vital Voices seeks applications for the VVLead Fellowship Program from women leaders who are committed to tackling issues related to economic disparities, violence against women and harmful cultural practices — with particular focus on forced/early marriage — in order to create a more prosperous and secure world. Knowing that this work will take many forms, leaders may be engaged in this change through work in a variety of fields including business, non-profit/non-governmental organization, public office/government (elected or appointed), advocacy initiative or community-based organization.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Exchanges

The VVLead Fellowship has incorporated P2P exchange as a core program activity in order to foster expanded networks; enhanced knowledge; and extended avenues for collaboration. We use the P2P exchange methodology—paired with online coursework and networking—as a critical tool in women’s leadership development. Through the fellowship, we have organized seven in-person exchanges that have engaged over 50 women leaders. In addition to developing and implementing such exchanges, over the last eight months, the VVLead team conducted a research project focused on filling a gap in existing literature on the effectiveness of P2P exchange as a tool for women’s leadership development.

We are pleased to share these findings in our practice note below as well as best practices for designing learning exchanges.


Please contact Lucina DiMeco (LucinaDiMeco@vitalvoices.org), Senior Program Manager for the Global Leadership Network, with any questions or comments about the program.