About Women Enabled International

WEI works at the intersection of women's rights and disability rights to advance the rights of women and girls with disabilities around the world. Through advocacy and education, WEI increases international attention to—and strengthens international human rights standards on—issues such as violence against women, sexual and reproductive health and rights, access to justice, education, legal capacity, and humanitarian emergencies. Working in collaboration with women with disabilities rights organizations and women's rights organizations worldwide, WEI fosters cooperation across movements to improve understanding and develop cross-cutting advocacy strategies to realize the rights of all women and girls. Our logo is the female symbol ♀ with the letters 'WE' inside of the circle.

Read More About Our Vision, Our Mission and Our Strategic Goals


Stephanie Ortoleva, Women Enabled International's Founder and President

A black and white photo of Stephanie Ortoleva at the United Nations
during a treaty negotiations session. Photo by Tom Olin.

Stephanie Ortoleva at the United Nations during a treaty negotiations session. Photo by Tom Olin.

Stephanie Ortoleva, the Founder and President of Women Enabled International is a highly recognized international human rights lawyer, policy and development consultant, author and researcher on issues of women's rights, disability rights and the rights of women and girls with disabilities. She educates and advocates for the human rights of all women and girls, with a special focus on women and girls with disabilities and collaborates on in-country projects with organizations of women and girls with disabilities worldwide. She has extensive experience in human rights programming and training in developing, transition, and post-conflict countries, as well as consulting for governments, non-governmental organizations and international organizations.

As a woman with a disability herself, Stephanie brings the development, academic and legal perspectives to her work as well as her personal experience as a woman with a disability. She has numerous scholarly publications regarding women's rights, disability rights, sexual and reproductive rights, access to justice, violence against women, conflict and post-conflict situations, electoral and political reform, and rule of law. Her papers can be found on the Social Science Research Network at and here on the Women Enabled International website.

Previously Stephanie served as an attorney and human rights officer at the U.S. Department of State, where she served on U.S. Government Delegations at international multilateral venues regarding disability rights and women's rights and she received several honors for her work. Stephanie received her J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law with outstanding academic honors. To read a more detailed biography of Stephanie Ortoleva, click here.

On May 11, 2016 Women Enabled International President Stephanie Ortoleva was named one of Women's eNews' 21 Leaders for the 21st Century in 2016 — She Rises Up for Disabled Women and Girls!

Women Enabled International's own President and Founder, Stephanie Ortoleva, was honored on May 2nd by Women’s eNews at their New York City Gala, as a leader for the 21st Century. During the event, Stephanie was recognized as a leader who "…has made it her mission to change the rules that constrict the lives of women and girls across the globe." Watch a short excerpt of Stephanie's acceptance speech from the gala here:


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