The field of women’s rights includes education, healthcare, employment, safety, security, migration, and more. Countless organizations include women’s rights in their platforms, while others dedicate all their resources to improving life for women and girls across the planet. If you’re interested in a women’s rights career, you’ll most likely begin with an internship. Are there any that are paid? While paid internships (and ones that pay well) are still fairly uncommon, there are some organizations offering stipends or hourly wages for interns. Here are nine examples:
#1. Women In International Security
Internships: Gender and Global Security Program
WIIS lists open internships on its Career Opportunities web page. At the time of writing, the organization offered a Gender and Global Security Program internship. It was a part-time, 20-week paid internship with preference given to candidates living in or near Washington, D.C. Interns help the development and implementation of external communications and WIIS program objectives, including participation in trainings and meetings, monitoring and tracking activities and research, and helping with drafting and proofreading external email campaigns, marketing materials, and so on. International candidates are welcome, but you must be authorized to work in the US. The organization doesn’t facilitate visas.
WIIS is an NGO dedicated to advancing gender equality and leadership opportunities for women in international peace and security. Their activities include supporting professional development, hosting events, leading gender equality research projects and policy initiatives, and building a community of mentors, advocates, and experts. Within the international peace and security field, WIIS focuses on conflict and gender-based violence, climate security, global health security, technology and gender, and more.
RepresentWomen offers part-time paid internships (and for-credit opportunities) to recent graduates and college students each spring, summer, and fall. Interns can work in areas like communications; administration; and partnerships and outreach. According to the website, paid interns receive $15/hour if they’re undergraduates, and $18/hour if they’re graduate students not receiving academic credit. The program is open to remote interns. Good candidates should be available to work 15-20 hours a week on their own schedule.
RepresentWomen is a nonprofit committed to providing women with equal access to appointed and elected offices. Using evidence-based solutions, the organization works to remove structural barriers and motivate changemakers. Their solutions include gender-balanced funding, ranked-choice voting, legislative rule changes, and gender-balanced appointment and hiring rules. RepresentWomen is based in the United States in Maryland with a staff who works virtually around the US and the world.
#3. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research
IWPR offers paid internships in Research; Communications; and Accounting and Operations. Flexible internships are usually available for the spring and fall university semesters, while full-time internships are also available for 10 weeks in the summer. International students and college students of any major are welcome. Ideal candidates should have a commitment to women’s rights and economic justice, excellent writing and communication skills, and experience in general office work. During the internship, you’ll learn how the nonprofit sector works and gain a deeper understanding of the policy research on the intersectional issues affecting women’s economic justice.
IWPR focuses on economic justice for women. It’s a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that conducts and shares research that shapes public policy and improves opportunities for women. While the organization may get input from funders, advocates, policymakers, and others, it maintains an independent stance on its research. Priority areas include race, ethnicity, gender, the economy, and its intersections.
#4. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights offers internships for the fall, winter, and summer. Interns perform tasks such as tracking legislation on civil rights issues, attending coalition meetings, helping coordinate grassroots events, providing administrative support, and more. All internships are remote. To apply, you must be currently enrolled in an accredited college and have finished at least three semesters of coursework. Legal interns must be enrolled in an accredited law school. Fall and winter interns are paid $20/hour for a minimum of 24 hours per week, while summer interns get $20/hour for at most 40 hours per week.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Rights Human Rights is a coalition of over 200 organizations that promote civil and human rights in the United States. It’s not solely focused on women’s rights, but targets areas like economic justice, justice reform, immigrant rights, and education equity are inseparable from women’s rights.
#5. National Women’s Law Center
NWCL internship offers fall and spring semester internships, but these are only for academic credit. The summer internship is paid. According to the website, positions are limited, and if you receive academic credit for your internship from your school, you’re not eligible for the paid summer program. Interns are paid up to $6,375 for 10 weeks with 37.5 hours per week. The program usually runs between June and August. Interns who receive partial or full funding from another party are welcome to apply, and if the funding is less than NWCL’s rate, NWCL will make up the difference. As part of its paid program, NWCL hosts an Iris Feldman Mitgang Intern, who supports the organization’s Judges and Court efforts.
For 50 years, NWCL has focused on gender justice in public policy, the court system, and society at large. It works on issues like child care, abortion, equal pay, healthcare, income, Title IX, and the Supreme Court. Using the law, NWCL seeks to change culture and end gender inequity that harms everyone, and especially women of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and low-income women and families.
#6, Women’s Congressional Policy Institute
WCPI hosts interns throughout the year. They are open to current undergraduate students and those who graduated within six months of the application cycle deadline. These internships are hybrid (remote and in-office), so applicants need to live in the DC area. Interns are paid $17/hour, which is the minimum wage for D.C, and work 20-40 hours a week. Accommodations for class schedules can be made. Not majoring in women’s rights? WCPI accepts students for any major. Communications/Development interns help expand the organization’s outreach and fundraising initiatives, while Policy interns help staff on programmatic and administrative projects.
WCPI was founded in 1995. It’s a nonpartisan, nonprofit public policy organization dedicated to representative democracy and women’s leadership. Its goal is to advance issues important to women and nurture future women leaders. The organization works closely with the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, which is bipartisan. With the Caucus, WCPI hosts congressional briefings and meetings on issues like women’s health, international issues, workforce issues, and more.
#7. Malala Fund
Internships: Periodically available
We couldn’t find a specific internship page on the Malala Fund website, but it has offered paid internships in the recent past, such as the Global Advocacy internship in 2023. We found a description on CharityJob. The part-time position was based in the UK and supported the advocacy team with events, conference planning, research, and administrative work. Interns were paid £11.95/hour (for 20 hours per week) and got virtual remote working options with the flexibility to work from the London office.
Founded in 2013, the Malala Fund invests in education advocates and activists working to change policies that bar girls from attending school in their communities. The organization focuses on regions where the most girls lack secondary education, like Afghanistan, Lebanon, Pakistan, and India. By 2025, the Malala Fund hopes to see a significant increase in well-educated girls in its target countries, as well as better-funded education systems and communities where girls get equal opportunities to learn.
#8. Collective Power for Reproductive Justice
Collective Power places interns around the United States at organizations working in reproductive rights, health, and/or justice. All interns get a $4,500 stipend during their full-time, 10-week summer internship. They must also attend an intensive 3-day training at the annual Collective Power Conference, which includes workshops on nonprofits, grassroots organizing, self-care, social justice, and more. To be eligible, you need to be an undergraduate at a US college/university (this includes community and junior college) who is returning to school in the Fall semester after the internship. That means you can’t be graduating in the spring of summer or the internship year.
Collective Power was founded as the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program in 1981. The organization grew into a national reproductive justice organization that aims to mobilize young people, connect them with allies, and support the next generation of leaders. Collective Power works with almost 40 organizations nationwide and produces programs, classes, and workshops.
#9. Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom
Internships: Periodically available
We couldn’t find any open internships at the time of writing, but WILPF has offered paid internships in the past and is part of the charter We Pay Our Interns. In 2021, it offered a 6-month digital communication internship. The intern could be remote with the possibility of occasionally working in the office if you were based in Geneva. Interns reported to the Digital Communications Coordinator, who they supported with tasks like helping to develop the website, implementing campaigns, and participating in the creation and coordination of newsletters.
WILPF is a member organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, with Sections and Groups in over 40 countries. Its partners include networks, platforms, coalitions, and civil society organizations, while it values equality and human rights, anti-militarism, solidarity, integrity, and more. It conducts work through activism, advocacy, mobilizing, and alliance-building. WILPF works around the world but focuses on countries like Afghanistan, Cameroon, Columbia, and Ukraine.