Breaking Barriers: Empowering Women for NGOs' Leadership Positions towards Sustainable Development

  • 27 Jan 2024
  • Recently published Research - Business


Sulaiman Mouselli and Sara Yousef

Published in

Journal of Service, Innovation and Sustainable Development, volume 4, number 2, pp.30-40, 2023.



We investigate factors that affect women's empowerment towards leadership positions at NGOs in Syria. Three factors affecting women's empowerment composed of societal, regulatory, and personal aspects were examined in this research, and their impact on women's empowerment was investigated. Also, we test whether women support each other to reach leadership positions. We collected the responses of 266 participants from INGOs, charities, professional unions, development entities, and other types of NGOs functioning in Syria from September to November 2022. We find that regulatory factors are the dominant factors that impede women's empowerment toward leadership positions. Societal factors come second in terms of their impact on women's empowerment, while personal factors are considered the least important. We also find that women tend to hold back their female colleagues from reaching leadership positions instead of supporting them. We suggest that regulations should be reformed to defend women's rights for equal access to leadership positions. We recommend that NGOs that defend women's rights extend their activities towards women's leadership empowerment through running awareness campaigns and inviting female role models. Those NGOs should offer training to female NGO staff on leadership skills, teamwork, effective communication, and motivation.

Keywords: women empowerment, gender equality, SDGs, NGOs, sustainable development, Syria.

Link to full paper