The course we now call Engendering Change was first pioneered by the Engender organisation in Scotland and was adapted by Oxfam for a pilot project delivered by Mewn Swansea in Wales in 2004. As a result of the success of this pilot, a partnership of Oxfam, Welsh Women's Network Coalition (WWNC) and the National Federation of Women's Institutes (NFWI) united to establish the Women Making a Difference project. WMAD were originally funded in December 2005 for 18 months by Oxfam, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Lloyds Bank, and the NFWI.

Since then the project has become a respected stakeholder advancing equality in Wales and broadening women's experiences and opportunities to; engage in public and political roles, volunteering and community participation, gaining meaningful employment, and accessing higher education.

In the first year alone, Women Making a Difference successfully attracted over 50 women to the training programme; those who would not normally have the opportunity to take part in this level of training. The participants came from a wide range of backgrounds, young women, women who live in high areas of deprivation, diverse ethnic minorities (including Iranian, West African, Chinese and Sudanese women), as well as women with disabilities; both learning and physical. All of them had the desire and potential to 'make a difference' in their own local communities.

Since 2005 we have trained over 800 women across Wales. These women are the trailblazers for the project, working together on social action projects to celebrate our diverse communities and supporting each other in their endeavours. Of the 800+ trainees, our commitment to diversity and inclusion has transpired in that:
  • 36% of the alumni are BME women
  • 26% consider themselves as disabled
  • 24% have a Muslim, Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist religion
  • 3% are LGBT
  • 20% aged 50+
  • 11% aged 18-24
Participant data produced in May 2013.
Welsh Government               theWI SyM bil               national assembly

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wmaduk Join our free course in Bridgend and gain a qualification in community development. http://t.co/kGB83F30Lq
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wmaduk @EverydaySexism founder Laura Bates responds to the typical comments on feminist blogposts. http://t.co/8vqQ9DxUpa
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wmaduk “No one cares about my gender. They just want to know if I can make a difference.” http://t.co/CIi5r997w3
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wmaduk 16 things no one wants to tell you about being a woman. http://t.co/Fixp7gPodz
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wmaduk @EHRC are seeking new committee members. View other exciting opportunities on our website: http://t.co/NBV2eEF0IM
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