Challenge: In Wisconsin and around the world, women experience challenges to their health and wellbeing that are rooted in underlying inequalities related to gender, race, poverty, and other factors.

Vision: The 4W mission is to leverage the strengths of UW-Madison to be a convener and leading voice in education, applied research, and impactful engagement to promote global wellbeing and full participation of women in society.

The 4W Women and Wellbeing Initiative is a campus-wide effort hosted at the School of Human Ecology with robust representation from UW-Madison’s diverse array of schools, colleges, institutes, and programs.

Congratulations to our 4W Grantees for 2024!

LB Klein, Janella Benson, Anupama Kumar, and Makamae Sniffen.

4W Conveners: Engaging Our Campus

Lori DiPrete Brown

Director, 4W Initiative

“The opportunities for women in our world today are as great as the challenges. We who are involved with 4W—faculty, staff, students, supporters, and community partners—find hope, joy, and purpose in this shared work. We proceed with the awareness that we ourselves are a work in progress. We aim to grow in our ability to place the lived experiences of women and historically marginalized people at the center of our concerns. It is by directing the assets of UW-Madison toward these concerns that we make life better for women, make the world better for all, and provide an example of the ways in which higher education can engage in transformative societal change.”

Soyeon Shim

Lead Dean, School of Human Ecology, UW-Madison

“For nearly a decade, 4W has been a catalyst for connecting and empowering networks of people to make positive change possible – locally and globally. Human Ecology has proudly served as ‘home base’ for this tremendous, campus-wide initiative that is creating new possibilities for progress around the world. As human beings, we are nested in relationships and the quality of our lives is intrinsically intertwined with others. As such, we know that enhancing the well-being of women also enhances the lives of children, families, and communities. We are grateful for all who participate and invest in 4W’s life-changing efforts. There is no limit to what we can accomplish together, and we look forward to the work ahead.”

Frances Vavrus

Vice Provost and Dean, International Division, UW-Madison

“4W provides a powerful example of the importance of gender, education, and human rights both locally and globally. Its commitment to ethical partnerships, leadership development, and women’s wellbeing is a model for work across the UW-Madison campus, including in the International Division.”

Judith A. Houck

Chair, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, UW-Madison

“The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies has been excited to partner with 4W in its efforts to improve the lives of women around the globe. We admire the many projects sponsored by 4W that materially improve the lives of women and other people. 4W demonstrates the power of the Wisconsin Idea.”

4W leaders, supporters, and director come together in this commercial to spread the mission of who we are at 4W.


webinar flyer with speakers

Click here to watch a Feminist Fireside Chat webinar on “Feminist Leadership, Education, and the Future: Can We Build Back Better?”

Bring more depth to the conversation with an article from DiPrete Brown and Dahlquist: Feminist Leadership and the 4W Initiative.

4W Director, Lori DiPrete Brown, highlights the work of 4W at Madison Civics Club.

4W’s session for 31 Days of Women & Leadership Learning: “Self-Care, Joy, and Thriving: Essential Practices for Leadership from the 4W Initiative”

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