About Us / What is WRI

Published: 18/12/2007

WRI is an independent research institution that employs feminist methodology and analysis by placing women and men in an equitable position in the social, political, economic, and cultural realms.

Why Does WRI Exist?

WRI was established in 2002 by a number of women activists who had concerns about three issues that marginalize women from decision making processes.


  • First, limited access of women to resources and decision-making.
  • Second, low level of women representation in public decision-making making institutions.
  • Third, limited capacity of women’s representatives to influence formal as well as informal policy making processes.


According to WRI, those three issues are the main obstacles for women to participate in public decision making institutions. For that reason, WRI conducts research and investigations that are related to the efforts to increase women’s access to resources and decision-making, to enhance the representation of women in decision-making institutions, and to empower women’s representatives to enable them to influence decision-making processes. WRI conducts researches and investigations by using feminist methodology. Since feminist methodology sets out from the experience of women, it allows WRI to look at, and amplifying, the interests of women.

Collecting data from the field on the condition and position of women in relation to the implementation of Regional Autonomy (decentralization) is crucial for the efforts to enhance the role of women in local governance. In many instances, the implementation of Regional Autonomy does not accommodate the voice and interests of women, and it ends up marginalizing them. Here are some examples of the marginalization of women that takes place within the context of decentralization:

  • In many districts and cities revitalization of customary institutions goes hand in hand with religious fundamentalism, hence increasingly limiting women’s freedom as autonomous individuals who have the rights to participate in public decision making processes;
  • The low level of women’s participation in public decision making has resulted in the low-level of women’s representation in government offices and the national and local parliaments;
  • Many bylaws and local budget allocations are not responsive to the interests of women. ***