The International Women’s Rights Project (IWRP) was founded in 1998 to strengthen the capacity of women’s NGOs in Canada and internationally to advocate for women’s human rights. The IWRP works to influence the implementation of international human rights standards through collaboration, participatory research and evidence-based advocacy. IWRP operates on a project-by-project basis, with support from universities, funding from private donors, foundations, individuals and government sources. We work with a team of student interns, volunteers, and international associates. Our model is to work in partnership with civil society organizations, research institutions, donors, universities, and individuals. IWRP works in partnership with Canadian and international NGOs, by invitation, to provide research, capacity-building, and an exchange of knowledge and learning. IWRP believes strongly in “femtorship” and we have had the privilege of ‘femtoring’ students from several disciplines.
From 2003 to 2012, the IWRP was based at the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. IWRP is also incorporated as an independent non-profit organization in Canada and in South Africa. As of 2013, the IWRP is based in Vancouver, B.C., but is still affiliated to the Centre for Global Studies.
Dr. Marilou McPhedran served as the first Director of the IWRP at the Centre for Feminist Studies, York University, Toronto. From 2003 to 2007 she was Co-Director with Susan Bazilli, who is the current Director. The IWRP has an international advisory committee as well as a Board of Directors for the Canadian and South African independent NGO status.