Non-Governmental (Nonprofit) Organizations and Agencies

worldfBasic Terminology

  • Association
    A group of individuals who meet for a common purpose.
    An organized body of people who have an interest, activity, or purpose in common; a society.
  • Federation
    An organization formed by merging several groups or parties;
    The act of constituting a political unity out of a number of separate states or colonies or provinces so that each member retains the management of its internal affairs.
  • Network
    An extended group of people with similar interests or concerns who interact and remain in informal contact for mutual assistance or support.
  • Group
    An assemblage of persons or objects gathered or located together; an aggregation
  • Organization
    A group of persons organized for a particular purpose; an association: a benevolent organization;
    A structure through which individuals cooperate systematically to conduct business.
  • Liaison
    A close bond or connection; interrelationship.
  • Nongovernmental Organization (NGO)
  • Civil Society Organization (CSO) Any of the above that formalize their status as a legal not-for-profit organization. CSOs include NGOs, trade unions, faith-based organizations, indigenous peoples movements, and foundations.


Terminology for Women Graduates-USA and Graduate Women International


AGM Annual General Meeting for Women Graduates-USA – this meeting is conducted both in person and/or virtually in the fall of each year.
CIR Coordinator for International Relations – The representative of each IFUW affiliate on the IFUW Council, the governing body of IFUW.
GWI Graduate Women International – Replaced the organizational name of International Federation of University Women in 2015
NFA National Federations and Associations of IFUW – for list of all NFA members of GWI, see the website.
Nongovernmental Organizations

Associated Country Women of the World is an association of women-led societies and groups working collectively for the shared vision of an improved quality of life for women and communities in 73 countries. Giving voice to over 9 million rural and non-rural women. ACWW believes that through cooperation and understanding we can empower our members to create opportunities for women to exercise more power, make better decisions and change their own lives for the better. Particular concerns are the relief of poverty, relief of sickness and the protection and preservation of health and advancement of education.
The Advocates for Human Rights

The Women’s Program applies international human rights standards to advocate for women’s rights in the U.S. and around the world. They partner with local organizations overseas and in the U.S. to document and combat domestic violence, rape, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and trafficking in women.

American Association of University Women – membership organization of women graduates organized into local branches throughout the United States, using its voice on critical issues affecting women and girls. One of the founders of the IFUW, but no longer affiliated.

Associated Country Women of the World works in partnership with its members, offering mutual support, friendship and practical help to women and communities around the world. ACWW has over 460 member societies active in over 70 countries. ACWW gives women a voice at United Nations agencies due to its consultative status with ECOSOC. ACWW also funds small scale local development projects which are requested by local women to suit their needs.
American Civil Liberties Union

Through litigation, community outreach, advocacy, and public education, their Women’s Rights Project empowers poor women, women of color, and immigrant women who face pervasive barriers to equality. Provides publications and resources to learn more about women’s rights in the U.S.
Amnesty International USA

Amnesty International USA provides information on violence against women and women’s rights. Amnesty conducts a Campaign to Stop Violence Against Women, including action alerts and other ways to get involved.

The Association for Women’s Rights in Development – an international, multi-generational, feminist, future-orientated membership organization committed to achieving gender equality, sustainable development and women’s human rights. As a network of women and men around the world, AWID members are researchers, academics, students, educators, activists, business people, policy-makers, development practitioners, and funders.

Buck’s Coalition Against Trafficking

Business and Professional Women – worldwide network of business and professional women working to help women worldwide achieve economic independence and to create a powerful lobby for promoting women’s issues.
Brookings Institute

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization whose mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing a society at the local, national and global level. Brookings brings together more than 300 leading experts in government and academia from all over the world who provide the highest quality research, policy recommendations, and analysis on a full range of public policy issues. Brookings has convened a group of NGOs – including Graduate Women International – all working across the world to create a network of education champions.
Building Peace Forum


Building Peace Forum provides opportunities for discussion of peace and security, with special emphasis on the role of women in peacekeeping. Includes articles on whether UN Resolution 1325 Women, Peace and Security is making a difference.


CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of disease, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources.
Center for women’s Global Leadership  



Center for Victims of Torture works toward a future in which torture ceases to exist and its victims have hope for a new life. We are an international nonprofit dedicated to healing survivors of torture and violent conflict. We provide direct care for those who have been tortured, train partners around the world who can prevent and treat torture, and advocate for human rights and an end to torture.
Cities for CEDAW

In 1980, President Carter signed CEDAW, the international women’s rights treaty, but the U.S. Senate has never ratified it. Beginning in 1995, frustrated advocates passed resolutions endorsing CEDAW ratification in over 40 municipalities, 20 counties and 15 states. Then, in 1998, San Francisco passed a binding ordinance integrating CEDAW into city and county governance and establishing the Department on the Status of Women. A couple of years later, Los Angeles did the same. In both cities, CEDAW has made a measurable difference in public safety, budgetary allocations and employment. (See UN abbreviations for further information.)

Code Pink Women for Peace – grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect US resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities, doing so through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.

Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations – joins together non-governmental organizations from around the world. It facilitates the participation of NGOs in UN debates and decisions. CONGO is most active in the major UN centers of New York, Geneva, and Vienna, but extends its work to all regions of the world.

The Center for Women’s Global Leadership envisions a world in which all people are equal and gender equality is systemically realized by the achievement of human rights for all. CWGL strengthens and facilitates women’s leadership for human rights and social justice worldwide by working to advance economic and social rights from a feminist perspective; promote an end to gender-based violence and highlight linkages with militarism; and build coalitions and deepen capacity around those urgent issues that are critical to the global women’s movement to secure policy reform at the international and national levels.
Equality Now


Equality Now is dedicated to Gender Equality, Universality, Partnership and Speaking Up and Out.
Futures Without Violence



For more than 30 years, FUTURES has been providing groundbreaking programs, policies, and campaigns that empower individuals and organizations working to end violence against women and children around the world. FUTURES is one of WG-USA partners in the Gender-Based Violence Coalition.

Foreign Policy Association – a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring the American public to learn more about the world. Founded in 1918, the Foreign Policy Association serves as a catalyst for developing awareness, understanding of, and providing informed opinions on global issues. Through its balanced, nonpartisan programs and publications, the FPA encourages citizens to participate in the foreign policy process.

Foreign Policy in Focus – a “think tank without walls” connecting the research and action of more than 600 scholars, advocates, and activists seeking to make the United States a more responsible global partner. It is a project of the Institute for Policy Studies. FPIF provides timely analysis of U.S. foreign policy and international affairs and recommends policy alternatives, advocating diplomatic solutions, global cooperation, and grassroots participation to guide foreign policy.
Girls Inc.

A national nonprofit youth organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Provides vital educational programs to millions of girls, particularly those in high-risk, underserved areas.
Global Fund for Women


The Global Fund for Women is a publicly supported, nonprofit grantmaking foundation that advances women’s human rights by funding women-led organizations worldwide.
Global Rights for Women


Global Rights for Women collaborates with partners around the world to promote women’s human rights to equality and freedom from violence through legal reform and systems change. We influence law, policy and practice on women’s human rights and violence against women and girls. We establish partnerships locally and internationally with NGO’s, academic institutions, government agencies and intergovernmental organizations that share our goals. We work with partners to monitor the implementation of law, policy and practice on violence against women.
GovTrack (Civic Impulse)


Civic Impulse, LLC, tracks Congressional actions for the public. It is one of the worldʼs most visited government transparency websites. The site helps ordinary citizens find and track bills in the U.S. Congress and understand their representatives’ legislative record. We bring together the status of U.S. federal legislation, voting records, congressional district maps, and more. Once we get the information, we make it easier to understand and we let you track bills for updates with email updates and RSS feeds. GovTrack openly shares the data it brings together so that other websites can build other tools to help citizens engage with government.
Great Decisions by the Foreign Policy Association

Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs.  The program model involves reading the Great Decisions Briefing Book, watching the DVD and meeting in a Discussion Group to discuss the most critical global issues facing America today. Most communities have discussion groups, or one can form them oneself by contact FPA.

Graduate Women International is an international network founded in 1919 linking women graduates from all cultures, all fields of study, all professions and all generations with 62 national affiliates and members present in more than 120 countries. Women Graduates-USA is the USA affiliate.The founders believed in the importance of working together for peace, international understanding and friendship. GWI provides a global voice for women graduates, working for the adoption and implementation of international agreements that will protect and benefit all women and girls.
Human Rights Watch


One of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. HRW is known for its accurate fact-finding, impartial reporting, effective use of media, and targeted advocacy, often in partnership with local human rights groups.

International Council of Women – works to promote equal rights and responsibilities for both men and women in all spheres by removing all forms of discrimination based on birth, race, sex, language or religion; to promote recognition and respect for Human Rights; to support all efforts to achieve peace through negotiation, arbitration and conciliation and to encourage the integration of women in development and in decision-making bodies.

The Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy promotes a systems-based approach to peacebuilding, facilitating the transformation of deep-rooted social conflict. The Co-Founder, Ambassador John McDonald wrote a resolution which was presented by the Ambassador from Costa Rica to the UN General Assembly in November 1981 creating the International Day of Peace. With support from other world leaders, it was adopted unanimously and came into force in 1982.


Founded by Ambassador Swanee Hunt, the Institute for Inclusive Security is revolutionizing who makes decisions about war and peace. IIS supports women’s leadership as an essential tool to prevent violence, stop war, and restore communities after deadly conflicts. IIS supports policymakers by providing expert advice grounded in research that demonstrates women’s contributions to peacebuilding; strengthens women leaders through targeted training and mentoring, helping them to build coalitions, and connecting them to policymakers; and working with partners in the US and abroad.


Institute for Policy Studies – Since 1963, IPS has been turning Ideas into Action for Peace, Justice and the Environment in order to strengthen social movements with independent research, visionary thinking, and links to the grassroots, scholars and elected officials.



International Center for Research on Women

mission is to empower women, advance gender equality and fight poverty in the developing world. To accomplish this, ICRW works with partners to conduct empirical research, build capacity and advocate for evidence-based, practical ways to change policies and programs. The research evidence identifies women’s contributions as well as the obstacles that prevent them from being economically strong and able to fully participate in society. ICRW translates these insights into a path of action that honors women’s human rights, ensures gender equality and creates the conditions in which all women can thrive.



International Peace and Security Institute is founded on the core belief that education can mitigate violent conflict, IPSI facilitates the transfer of knowledge and skills to a global audience from the world’s premier political leaders, academic experts, practitioners, and advocates. The Institute develops comprehensive training programs, advances scholarly research, and promotes efforts to raise public awareness of peace and security issues. Has comprehensive weekly email updating current violence throughout the world.
Inter Press Service


A leading news agency of civil society and development, IPS devotes a large part of its editorial production to human rights worldwide. Within the framework of a rights–based approach, IPS has always devoted attention to the rights of women and to various forms of gender–based discrimination.


The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. The world’s more than 60 million displaced people, the highest number ever recorded, and more complex needs a transformation—a creative rethinking—in the global humanitarian response. The International Rescue Committee has taken on this challenge.

League of Women Voters – Nonpartisan political organization, founded in 1920 to improve our systems of government and impact public policies through citizen education and advocacy. The League is a grassroots organization, working at the national, all fifty states and local levels. The League is wholeheartedly political and works to influence policy through advocacy. It is the original grassroots citizen network, directed by the consensus of its members nationwide. Over time, the League’s legislative priorities change to reflect the needs of society and critical issues of concern. The organization remains true to its basic purpose: to make democracy work for all citizens.
National Women’s Law Center

Protect and advances the progress of women and girls at work, in school, and in virtually every aspect of their lives. Provides information on a variety of women’s issues.
NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security


The NGOWG on Women, Peace and Security advocates for the equal and full participation of women in all efforts to create and maintain international peace and security. Formed in 2000 to call for a Security Council resolution on Women, Peace and Security, the NGOWG now focuses on implementation of SCR 1325 and all other Security Council resolutions that address this issue. The NGOWG serves as a bridge between women’s human rights defenders working in conflict-affected situations and policy-makers at U.N. Headquarters.
Nonviolent Peaceforce


As an unarmed, paid civilian peacekeeping force, NP fosters dialogue among parties in conflict and provides a protective presence for threatened civilians. With the headquarters in Brussels and a U.S. office in Minneapolis, NP peacekeeping teams are presently deployed in the Philippines, South Sudan, the South Caucasus and Myanmar. Peacekeepers include veterans of conflict zones, experienced peacekeepers, and those new to the field with the right combination of experience, skills, aptitude and attitude. They live with civilians in violence-prone areas, working and training local people in the unarmed peacekeeping.

Organization of American States – brings together the nations of the Western Hemisphere to strengthen cooperation on democratic values, defend common interests and debate the major issues facing the region and the world. The OAS is the region’s principal multilateral forum for strengthening democracy, promoting human rights, and confronting shared problems such as poverty, terrorism, illegal drugs and corruption.
Office on Violence Against Women – U.S. DOJ

Works to provide federal leadership to reduce violence against women, and to administer justice for and strengthen services to all victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
Peace and Collaborative Development Network (PCDN)


PCDN is a global portal connecting over 31,000 individuals, professionals and organizations engaged in peacebuilding and collaborative development. This networking site fosters dialogue and shares resources in international development, conflict resolution, gender mainstreaming, human rights, social entrepreneurship and related fields. Materials posted include fellowship/ scholarship opportunities, information about relevant academic programs, training opportunities, news about new publications (policy and/or academic), questions about new or ongoing research projects, discussion of conflict regions, videos and photos, and more. Members can chat with each other, create blogs, add to discussion topics, and share current research, experiences and challenges from the field.
Peace X Peace

Peace X Peace is the international organization that lifts and multiplies women’s voices, strengthens women’s capacity to connect across divides, promotes leadership and gender equity, and nurtures a global network of peacebuilders in 120 countries.
Plan International


Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organizations that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We strive for a just world working together with children, young people and our supporters and partners. They work in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Polaris Project

Polaris, named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., disrupts the conditions that allow human trafficking to thrive in our society. From working with government leaders to protect victims’ rights, to building partnerships with the world’s leading technology corporations, Polaris sparks long-term change that focuses communities on identifying, reporting and eliminating trafficking networks. The WG-USA Trafficking Committee interacts with Polaris for our education and advocacy on human trafficking.
Shared Hope

Aims to confront the foundation of the sex trafficking industry by improving policy eliminating demand, training first responders and community stakeholders, and providing restorative care to victims.

Soroptimist International – a worldwide organization for women in management and professions working through service projects to advance human rights and the status of women. A program focus is to end human trafficking and all forms of violence against women and girls.
Together for Girls


Together for Girls is a global public-private partnership dedicated to ending violence against children, with a focus on sexual violence against girls.

United Nations Association-USA – a not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to building understanding of and support for the ideals and vital work of the United Nations. Its educational and humanitarian campaigns. Its policy and advocacy programs stress the importance of nations working together and the need for United States leadership in the United Nations. The association is affiliated with the World Federation of United Nations Associations.
UN Women – US National Committee

The United States National Committee (USNC) for UN Women is an independent non-profit, 501c3 organization that supports UN Women programs. These projects promote social, political, and economic equality for women and girls spanning 100 countries around the globe. It is one of 15 national committees that support UN Women in their mission towards gender equality and the empowerment of women globally.

The United States Institute of Peace was established by Congress in 1984 as an independent, federally-funded national security institution devoted to the nonviolent prevention and mitigation of deadly conflict abroad. USIP achieves its mission through its active engagements in the world’s conflict zones such as Afghanistan, Lybia and Myanmar, teaching and training, research and analysis, and global grant-making.  The USIP Library is named after Jeanette Rankin, a life-long proponent of peacemaking.

Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund – a charitable international fund that supports projects worldwide, focusing on women’s educational activities, leadership training, community development and the advancement of understanding and cooperation among women.
Vision 20/20

Vision 2020 is a national coalition of organizations and individuals united in the commitment to achieve women’s economic and social equality. It was founded and administered by the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership at Drexel University College of Medicine. In 2010, it launched a campaign to move America toward women’s equality by 2020, the centennial of the 19th Amendment of the Constitution, granting women the right to vote, and to advance equality initiatives of the Delegates representing all 50 states.

Women’s Action for New Directions – a nonprofit that empowers women to act politically to reduce violence and militarism, and redirect excessive military resources toward unmet human and environmental needs. Functions with chapters throughout the US.

Women’s Environment & Development Organization is a feminist movement calling for a peaceful and healthy a global women’s advocacy organization, headquartered in New York, and is a facilitator and convener, partnering with hundreds of women’s groups around the world, to demand a just and sustainable future. WEDO is also a service provider, administering logistical and coordination support for women advocates to engage in international processes; delivering leadership development and advocacy skills training to hundreds of women each year



Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – the oldest women’s peace organization in the world having been founded in 1915 with Jane Adams as its first president. It is an international NGO with Sections in 37 countries, covering all continents. WILPF works to achieve through peaceful means world disarmament, full rights for women, racial and economic justice, an end to all forms of violence, and to establish those political, social, and psychological conditions which can assure peace, freedom, and justice for all.



Women’s Learning Partnership – for Rights, Development and Peace. WLP is dedicated to women’s leadership and empowerment. At its essence, WLP is a builder of networks, working with 18 autonomous and independent partner organizations in the Global South, particularly in Muslim-majority societies, to empower women to transform their families, communities, and societies. The primary objectives are to increase the number of women taking on leadership and decision-making roles at family, community, and national levels, and to improve the effectiveness of feminist movements in Muslim-majority societies and globally by strengthening the capacity of our partner organizations. WLP has ECOSOC status.
Women Thrive Worldwide

Women Thrive Worldwide – Coalition to End Violence Against Women and Girls Globally is based in Washington, D.C. and works to bring the voice of women around the world directly to decision-makers in Washington, D.C. WG-USA participates in this coalition and has posted on our website the tool kit for Violence Against Women Act.
Women for Women International

As a philanthropy organization, Women for women International, helps women facing violence, marginalization, and poverty as a result of war and conflict. In countries affected by conflict and war, they support women to earn and save money, improve health and well-being, influence decisions in their home and community, and connect to networks for support. They work directly with women in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Sudan.

Connection Point is the powerful new Peace X Peace initiative that links Arab and Muslim women with women from Western countries in a vibrant online community.

Women’s Media Center

Makes women visible and powerful in the media. Ensure that women’s stories are told and women’s voices are heard. They are directly engaged with the media at all levels to ensure that a diverse group of women is present in newsrooms, on air, in print, and online, as sources and subjects.

Zonta International is a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. With more than 30,000 members belonging to more than 1,200 Zonta Clubs in 67 countries and geographic areas, Zontians all over the world volunteer their time, talents and support to local and international service projects, as well as scholarship programs aimed at fulfilling Zonta’s mission and objectives.