Women and Public Policy Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government

The Women and Public Policy Program of Harvard Kennedy School closes gender gaps in economic opportunity, political participation, health and education by creating knowledge, training leaders and informing public policy and organizational practices.
 
Our research provides evidence-based insights on the role of gender in shaping economic, political and social opportunities available to individuals. We identify successful interventions and measure their impact on women, men, and society, then share recommendations on what policies, organizational practices and leadership techniques help close involuntary gaps.
 
We train today’s leaders and prepare future leaders to create a more gender equal world, while providing women with skills and tools to successfully navigate existing systems. We draw on Harvard University’s unparalleled faculty expertise and its global reach to impact the thinking of those who make decisions across sectors.

Contact

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Ph. (617) 495-8143
Fx. (617) 496-6154
http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/wappp
WAPPP@harvard.edu


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Principal Staff

Danielle Boudrow, Coordinator and Assistant to the Executive Director
Ph. (617) 496-9157
E-mail: danielle_boudrow@harvard.edu

Naisha Bradley, Program Manager
Ph. (617) 496-6609
E-mail: naisha_bradley@harvard.edu

Nicole Carter, Associate Director for Finance & Administration
Ph. (617) 495-1354
E-mail: nicole_carter@harvard.edu

Kerry Conley, Communications Manager
Ph. (617) 495-8330
E-mail: kerry_conley@harvard.edu

Megan Farwell, Research Manager
Ph. (617) 496-4786
E-mail: megan_farwell@hks.harvard.edu

Heather McKinnon Glennon, Financial and Administrative Coordinator
Ph. (617) 384-7575
E-mail: heather_mckinnon@harvard.edu

Alicia Hammond, Associate
Ph. (617) 495-8756
E-mail: alicia_hammond@hks.harvard.edu
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Featured Events


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Projects & Campaigns

Economic Opporunity

Our goals are to inform decision makers across all sectors on what policies, organizational practices and leadership techniques help close gender gaps and to train today’s and tomorrow’s leaders on how to create a more gender equal world, and to empower women to navigate systems effectively.
 
 
The Gender and Political Opportunity area integrates the study of gender and politics to understand gender dynamics in political action, discourse and within governmental structures. This area examines research of representation and participation within political structures to discover which practices yield the most effective results regarding gender equity. The goal is to share these strategies that enable women to participate and succeed in politics.

 
 
 
Closing the Global Gender Gap: A Call to Action is an initiative led by the Women and Public Policy Program in collaboration with the Center for International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School that aims to leverage Harvard University’s capacity for rigorous research and convening power toward creating gender equality.
 
The purpose of this initiative is threefold: to examine and quantify the impact of specific policy interventions, to develop a theory of change, and to stimulate innovative ideas and policy action in order to close the global gender gaps across four areas. These areas include economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. There is enormous rhetoric about women’s empowerment—this initiative’s goal is to shed new light on the channels that successfully effect change.

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Reports & Resources

 

Ina Ganguli, Ricardo Hausmann and Martina Viarengo. International Labour Review (8 APR 2013)
Anti-statism and difference feminism in international social movements
Mansbridge, J. (2003). Anti-statism and Difference Feminism in International Social Movements. International Feminist Journal of Politics, 5, 3, 355-360.

Are outside offers an answer to the compensation negotiation dilemma for women?

Bowles, H.R. & Babcock, L. (2009). Are outside offers an answer to the compensation negotiation dilemma for women? Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings.

Claiming fatherhood: Race and the dynamics of paternal involvement among unmarried men

Edin, K., Tach, L., & Mincy, R. (2009). Claiming Fatherhood: Race and the Dynamics of Paternal Involvement among Unmarried Men. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 621, 1, 149-177.

The cultural politics of everyday discourse: The case of “male chauvinist” 

Mansbridge, J., & Flaster, K. (2007). The Cultural Politics of Everyday Discourse: The Case of "Male Chauvinist". Critical Sociology, 33, 4, 627-660.

Do traditional institutions constrain female entrepreneurship? A field experiment on business training in India

Field, E., Jayachandran, S., & Pande, R. (2010). Do traditional institutions constrain female entrepreneurship? A field experiment on business training in India.American Economic Review, 100, 2, 125-129.

Exploring gendered behavior in the field with experiments: Why public goods are provided by women in a Nairobi slum

Greig, F., & Bohnet, I. (2009). Exploring gendered behavior in the field with experiments: Why public goods are provided by women in a Nairobi slum. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 70, 1-9.

Female leadership raises aspirations and educational attainment for girls: A policy experiment in India

Beaman, L., Duflo, E., Pande, R., & Topalova, P. (2012). Female leadership raises aspirations and educational attainment for girls: A policy experiment in India.Science, 335, 6068, 582-586.

Gender and persistence in negotiation: A dyadic perspective. 

Bowles, H. R., & Flynn, F. (2010). Gender and Persistence in Negotiation: A Dyadic Perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 53, 4, 769-787.

Gender differences in research grant applications and funding outcomes for medical school faculty

Waisbren, S. E., Bowles, H., Hasan, T., Zou, K. H., Emans, S. J., Goldberg, C., Gould, S., Levin, D., Lieberman, E., Loeken, M., Longtine, J., Nadelson, C., Patenaude, A.F., Quinn, D., Randolph, A.G., Solet, J.M., Ullrich, N., Walensky, R., Weitzman, P., Christou, H. (2008). Gender Differences in Research Grant Applications and Funding Outcomes for Medical School Faculty. Journal of Women's Health, 17, 2, 207-214.

Gender in job negotiations: A two-level game

Bowles, H. R., & McGinn, K. L. (2008). Gender in Job Negotiations: A Two-Level Game. Negotiation Journal, 24, 4, 393-410.

Introduction: Special section: Gender in negotiation

Bohnet, I., & Bowles, H. R. (2008). Introduction: Special section: Gender in negotiation. Negotiation Journal, 24, 4, 389-392.

Is there reciprocity in a reciprocal-exchange economy? Evidence of gendered norms from a slum in Nairobi, Kenya

Greig, F. & Bohnet, I. (2008). Is there reciprocity in a reciprocal-exchange economy? Evidence of gendered norms from a slum in Nairobi, Kenya. Economic Inquiry, 46, 1, 77-83.

“Male chauvinist,” “feminist,” “sexist,” and “sexual harassment”: Different trajectories in feminist linguistic innovation
 
Mansbridge, J., & Flaster, K. (2005). Male chauvinist, feminist, sexist, and sexual harassment: Different trajectories in feminist linguistic innovation. American Speech, 80, 3.

Moving teenagers out of high-risk neighborhoods: How girls fare better than boys

Clampet-Lundquist, S., Edin, K., Kling, J. R., & Duncan, G. J. (2011). Moving teenagers out of high-risk neighborhoods: How girls fare better than boys. American Journal of Sociology, 116, 4, 1154-1189.

Quota problems: Combating the dangers of essentialism 

Mansbridge, J. (2005). Quota Problems: Combating the Dangers of Essentialism. Politics & Gender, 1, 4, 622-638.

Parenting as a “package deal”: Relationships, fertility, and nonresident father involvement among unmarried parents

Tach, L., Mincy, R. B., & Edin, K. (2010). Parenting as a "Package Deal": Relationships, Fertility, and Nonresident Father Involvement Among Unmarried Parents.Demography, 47, 1, 181-204.

Poverty and the American family: A decade in review

Edin, K., & Kissane, R. J. (2010). Poverty and the american family: A decade in review. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, 3, 460-479.

Powerful women: Does exposure reduce bias?

Beaman, L., Chattopadhyay, R., Duflo, E., Pande, R., & Topalova, P. (2009). Powerful women: Does exposure reduce bias? Quarterly Journal of Economics,124, 4, 1497-1540.

The relationships contexts of young disadvantaged men

Tach, L., & Edin, K. (2011). The Relationship Contexts of Young Disadvantaged Men. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 635, 1, 76-94.

Sex differences in research grant applications and funding outcomes for medical school faculty. 

Waisbren, S. E., Bowles, H., Hasan, T., Zou, K. H., Emans, S. J., Goldberg, C., Gould, S., Christou, H. (2008).
Gender differences in research grant applications and funding outcomes for medical school faculty. Journal of Women's Health (2002), 17,2, 207-14.

Should blacks represent blacks and women represent women? A contingent “yes”

Mansbridge, J. (1999). Should Blacks Represent Blacks and Women Represent Women? A Contingent "Yes". Journal of Politics, 61, 3, 628-657.

Social incentives for gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiation: Sometimes it does hurt to ask. 

Bowles, H. R., Babcock, L., & Lai, L. (2007). Social incentives for gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiations: Sometimes it does hurt to ask.Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 103, 1, 84-103.

Status and distrust: The relevance of inequality and betrayal aversion

Hong, K., & Bohnet, I. (2007). Status and distrust: The relevance of inequality and betrayal aversion. Journal of Economic Psychology, 28, 2.)

Toward a theory of backlash: Dynamic resistance and the central role of power

Mansbridge, J., & Shames, S. L. (2008). Toward a Theory of Backlash: Dynamic Resistance and the Central Role of Power. Politics and Gender, 4, 4, 623-633.

Trust and the reference points for trustworthiness in gulf and western countries

Bohnet, I., Zeckhauser, R., & Herrmann, B. (2010). Trust and the reference points for trustworthiness in gulf and western countries. Quarterly Journal of Economics,125, 2, 811-828.
 
 
Cohen, Dara Kay, Amelia Hoover Green, and Elisabeth Jean Wood, February 2013. United States Insistute of Peace.
 
The closing of the gender gap in education: Does it foretell the closing of the employment, marriage, and motherhood gaps?

Ganguli, I. Hausmann, R., & Viarengo, M. (2011). The closing of the gender gap in education: Does it foretell the closing of the employment, marriage, and motherhood gaps? (Working paper). 

The elasticity of trust: How to promote trust in the Arab Middle East and the United States

Bohnet, I., Herrmann, B., Al-Ississ, M., Robbett, A., Al-Yahia, K.,& Zeckhauser, R. (2010). The elasticity of trust: How to promote trust in the Arab Middle East (Working paper).
 

Desai, S.D., Chugh, D., & Brief, A. (2012). Marriage structure and resistance to the gender revolution in the workplace (Working paper). 

Performance and information: The role of organizational demography

Bohnet, I. & Saidi, F. (2011). Performance and information: The role of organizational demography (Working paper).

When performance trumps gender bias: Joint versus separate evaluation

Bohnet, I., van Geen, A., Bazerman, M. H. Norris, P. (2012). When performance trumps bias: Joint versus separate evaluation (Working paper).
 

Norris, P. (2012). Gender equality in elected office in Asia Pacific: Six actions to expand women’s empowerment.

Militarizing men: Gender, conscription, and war in post-Soviet Russia

Eichler, M. (2012). Militarizing men: Gender, conscription, and war in post-Soviet Russia. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.

Promises I can keep: Why poor women put motherhood before marriage.

Edin, K., & Kefalas, M. (2005). Promises I can keep: Why poor women put motherhood before marriage. Berkeley: University of California Press.

When Johnny and Jane come marching home: How all of us can help veterans

Caplan, P. J. (2011). When Johnny and Jane come marching home: How all of us can help veterans. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Why we lost the ERA 

Mansbridge, J. J. (1986). Why we lost the ERA. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 
 

Edin, K. & Tach, L. (2012). Becoming a parent: Social contexts of fertility during young adulthood. In A. Booth (Ed.), Early adulthood in the family context (185-220). New York: Springer.

Daddy, baby, momma, maybe: Low-income urban fathers and the “package deal” of family life

Edin, K., Nelson, T., & Reed, J.M. (2011). In M.J. Carlson & P. England (Eds.), Social class and changing families in an unequal America (85-107). Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.

Feminism

Mansbridge, J. & Okin, S.M. (2007). Feminism. In R. Goodin, P. Pettit, & T. Pogge (Eds.), A companion to contemporary political philosophy, 2nd edition (332-359). Oxford: Blackwell.

Making a way out of no way: How mothers meet basic family needs while moving from welfare to work.

Clampet-Lundquist, S., Edin, K., London, A., Scott, E., & Hunter, V. (2004). Making a way out of no way: How mothers meet basic family needs while moving from welfare to work. In A.C. Crouter & A. Booth (Eds.), Work-family challenges for low-income parents and their children (203-242). Malwah: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.

Political reservation and substantive representation: Evidence form Indian Village Councils

Beaman, L., Duflo, E., Pande, R., & Topalova, P. (2011). Political reservation and substantive representation: Evidence form Indian Village Councils. In S. Bery, B. Bosworth & A. Panagariya (Eds.), India Policy Forum 2010-2011. Brookings Institution Press and the National Council of Applied Economic Research: Washington, D.C. and New Delhi.

Politics as a male domain and empowerment in India

Beaman, L., Pande, R., & Cirone, A. (2011). Politics as a male domain and empowerment in India. In S. Francheschet, M.L. Krook, & J.M. Piscopo (Eds.), The impact of gender quotas. New York: Springer

Untapped potential in the study of negotiation and gender inequality in organizations

Bowles, H. R., & McGinn, K. L. (August 01, 2008). Chapter 2: Untapped Potential in the Study of Negotiation and Gender Inequality in Organizations. Academy of Management Annals, 2, 1.)

Whatever happened to the ERA?

Mansbridge, J. (2003). Whatever happened to the ERA? In S. Schwarzenbach & P. Smith (Eds.), Women and the United States constitution: History, interpretation, and practice (365-378). New York: Columbia University Press.

Wombfare: The religious basis of fertility politics

Toft, M. (2011). Wombfare: The religious basis of fertility politics. In J.A. Goldstone, E. Kauffman, & M.D. Toft (Eds.), Political demography: Identity, institutions, and conflict. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers.

Writing as a Democrat and a Feminist 

Mansbridge, J. (2003). Writing as a Democrat and a feminist. In B. Glassner & R. Hertz (Eds.), Our studies, ourselves: Sociologists’ lives and work (127-138). New York: Oxford University Press.
 
 
By Rohini Pande and Deanna Ford. Background Paper for the World Development Report 2012.
 
 
 
Financial Times, November 26, 2011.
 
 
By Iris Bohnet. Financial Times, October 13, 2010.

"Microcredit is not the Enemy." 
 
By Rohini Pande et al. Financial Times, December 12, 2010.

“Can Political Affirmative Action for Women Reduce Gender Bias?” 
 
By Rohini Pande et al. Vox, January 8, 2009.

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Center News

Victoria Budson Elected Chair of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 12:53pm

*By Derek McLean

Wellesley resident Victoria A. Budson has been elected to serve as chairwoman of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women after being appointed to the panel by Governor Deval Patrick last year.

Budson is the founder and has been the executive director of Harvard Kennedy School’s Women and Public Policy Program. Founded in 1996, the program focuses on trying to close gender gaps across the globe.

“Victoria Budson has a long track record of advocacy for women’s rights and equality,” said Governor Patrick in a press release from the commission. “She will be a terrific chairwoman, and I look forward to her leadership of the commission. She brings passion, experience and expertise to the role, and I will be counting on her to help guide the commission’s work in the months and years ahead.”

The commission is an independent state agency created in 1998 to advance Massachusetts women to full equality in all areas of life and promote their rights and opportunities.

The panel is made up of 19 members who are appointed by the governor, Senate president, speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Caucus of Women Legislators.

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to strengthen the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by improving the equality and status of women,” said Budson in the release. “I look forward to working with the members of the Commission, the local and regional commissions throughout the state, Governor Patrick and the Legislature to lead us toward the realization of gender equality.”

Budson holds an MPA from the Kennedy School and a BA in sociology and women’s studies from Wellesley College. She serves on the Board of Directors of the National Council for Research on Women, and has served as an adviser to the United Nations.

Linda Cavioli, the outgoing chairwoman of the commission, said: “I think Victoria is a great choice to lead the Commission during the next year as we look to strengthen our position in partnership with other regional commissions and raise our voice on behalf of women in the Commonwealth.”



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Opportunities, Grants & Fellowships

Summer Fellowship Program

The Women and Public Policy Program provides stipends for summer internships that focus on closing gender gaps across the globe. Over the past decade the Women and Public Policy Program has enabled Harvard graduate students to complement their academic work with field experience in the US and internationally. WAPPP offers up to $6,500 for students to work in the field for a minimum of eight weeks on gender-focused projects and research.
 
 
From Harvard Square to the Oval Office: A Political Campaign Practicum (Oval Office) is a non-partisan initiative of the Women and Public Policy Program that provides a select group of Harvard graduate students with the training and support they need to ascend in the electoral process at the local, state and national levels. Our students form a robust network of women in government who support each other as they advance their careers. We believe that providing these tools and building a supportive network within the ranks of professional politics are necessary steps in correcting the large scale gender imbalance in the United States' government.

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