Center for Women's Global Leadership
Ph. (732) 932-8782
Fax: (732) 932-1180
Charlotte Bunch, Founding Director and Senior Scholar
Ph. (732) 932-8782
Fax: (732) 932-1180
Savitri Bisnath, Senior Policy Advisor
Margot Baruch, Program Coordinator
Julie Ann Salthouse, Program Coordinator
Mika Kinose, Office Manager
Keely Swan, Project Coordinator
Lucy V. Vidal, Information Manager
Nathalie Margi, Program Assistant
Areas of Expertise:
Projects & Campaigns
The policy and advocacy program encompasses CWGL's efforts to integrate gender and women's human rights into the work of local, national, regional and international institutions. This program informs and mobilizes advocates for women's human rights around specific events and builds linkages among them to enhance their capacity to influence policy making. The Center, working in collaboration with women leaders and NGOs around the world, helped secure international policy commitments that clearly state "women rights are human rights." With these policy benchmarks in place, the Center has turned its energy toward implementation of this concept and holding policy making bodies accountable to their promises to the world's women. Core activities in this program area include UN Monitoring and Advocacy and the coordination of International Mobilization Campaigns.
Leadership and Leadership Development
Since 2000, CWGL has convened Strategic Consultations and Conversations that provide opportunities to examine world situations and to discuss strategies and venues for work on women's human rights. Given the overwhelmingly positive response to these meetings, the Center decided to continue organizing "strategic conversations" both globally and locally as the core of its leadership development work. This builds on the Center's history of convening people to think and plan strategically about specific initiatives and also addresses the need expressed by many for spaces where they can re-think how to work in the ever-changing world environment. CWGL sees this as making a further investment in the leadership of the women's human rights movement, which needs such opportunities to craft next steps as well as a way to generate new ideas and strategies. CWGL recently convened a Strategic Conversation on the future of Women's Human Rights Leadership Development.
Violence Against Women
More than 2,000 organizations in over 154 countries have participated in the 16 Days Campaign since its launch in 1991. This annual campaign, November 25 to December 10, has been used as an organizing strategy by individuals and groups from around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women. Growing out of the Center's first Women's Global Leadership Institute, the Campaign links violence against women and human rights, emphasizing that all forms of violence, whether perpetrated in the public or private sphere, are a violation of human rights. The dates that participants chose for the Campaign symbolically make this link: November 25 marks the International Day Against Violence Against Women and December 10 is International Human Rights Day. The 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including December 1 which is World AIDS Day, and December 6 which marks the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.
* In coordinating the Campaign, the Center assists individuals and organizations in planning activities which focus on developing and calling for the implementation of local, national and global policies aimed at eliminating violence against women. The Center develops and publicizes the theme of the campaign in collaboration with activists from around the world. Resources available for the 16 Days Campaign include an International Calendar of Campaign Activities, a "take action kit," and an interactive website which has been instrumental in promoting the Campaign on a global scale.
Reports & Resources
The CWGL shares a new resource from the International Civil Society Action Network. The first of their MENA Region Briefs has been released entitled, "What the Women Say:The Arab Spring & Implications for Women." Beyond identifying key regional challenges and issues impacting women, the brief provides recommendations to national and international policymakers and the media on the importance of and the strategies for ensuring the participation of women in the formation of just, open, equal and democratic societies.
The Center for Women’s Global Leadership and Institute for Women’s Leadership at Rutgers University invite you to a public Lecture by Marcela Olivera, Bolivian water rights activist and 2011 Visiting Global Associate. The lecture will be held in the RDJC Building at 4pm on October 25th, 2011.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 18th.
Caren A Grown, Abena D Oduro, and Irene van Staveren
In recent years, feminist economists and gender and development scholars have drawn attention to the adverse effects in Africa of policies associated with the Washington Consensus, including trade liberalization, strict anti-inflationary policies, and privatization of government functions. As these policies particularly disadvantage women and the poor, a variety of voices have emerged critiquing their underlying assumptions and renewing efforts to promote alternate pathways to gender equity, well-being, and sustainable economic development.
The special issue, planned for online publication in 2014 and print publication in 2015, will bring together new research aimed at challenging and improving economic policies in Africa. More generally, the special issue will provide a forum for feminist economists and scholars in relevant disciplines to analyze the interrelationships among macroeconomic reforms, gender inequalities, and the microeconomic channels that affect the well-being of women, their families, and their communities. The special issue will welcome both theoretical and empirical contributions, and analyses that rely on diverse research methodologies, including statistical analysis. Feminist Economics especially welcomes submissions from African scholars as well as others from the Global South.
Contributions may cover diverse topics, including but not limited to:
- Gender and poverty dimensions of macroeconomic policy, aid, and/or debt
- Enhancing food security and reducing livelihood risks using social protection
- Ensuring equitable growth and development in post-conflict economies
- Property rights and how they affect the ownership of assets by women and men
- Microfinance and the debate over its efficacy for women’s empowerment
- The care economy and the role of social policy
Deadline for abstracts:
Please direct queries and abstracts (500 words maximum) to the Guest Editors, Caren Grown (email@example.com), Abena D. Oduro (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Irene van Staveren (Staveren@iss.nl), no later than 1 September 2011.
If the Guest Editors approve an abstract, the complete manuscript will be due 1 April 2012 and should be submitted to Feminist Economics through the submissions website. Questions about these procedures may be sent to email@example.com, +1.713.348.4083 (phone) or +1.713.348.5495 (fax).
Civil Society Celebrates Creation of Gender Equality Entity After Four Years of Advocacy. The Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) Campaign celebrates the United Nations General Assembly resolution, agreed to on 30 June and to be formally adopted by the General Assembly on Friday, 2 July, to establish "UN Women"-the new gender equality entity at the UN.
The Center for Women's Global Leadership is pleased to announce the hiring of Natalia Cardona, as the Center's new program director. She will join the staff on July 1st.
Executive Director, Radhika Balakrishnan, will discuss Rethinking Macro Economic Strategies from a Human Rights Perspective, at the US Social Forum.
Structures of Violence: Defining the Intersections of Militarism and Violence Against Women
May 7, 2010 | CUNY School of Law
Vivian Todini, CUNY School of Law 917.747.7980
David Lerner, Riptide Communications 212.260.5000
April 26, 2010
Statement by Charlotte Bunch, Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers University
SAGE MAGAZINE, May 2010
NM Original Story by Anne Pedersen
For New Mexico-raised international human rights activist and educator Charlotte Bunch, “women’s rights are human rights.”
That may sound selfevident, but it’s still a radical idea in a world where liberty and legal equality are denied many women, sexual violence and patriarchal values are commonplace, and gender discrimination persists.
For decades a voice for gender equality at the United Nations, Bunch is a “go-to” figure in the global fight for women’s rights. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1996, and in 1999, then-President Bill Clinton awarded her the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights.
She recently was honored with a tribute at a global symposium on women’s human rights at the annual meeting of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women.
And because of her work in the field, the U.N. is on the verge of creating, in Bunch’s words, a “super agency” to coordinate all of that institution’s existing efforts on behalf of women’s rights worldwide.
The author of numerous articles and books, she is also the founding director and senior scholar of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at New Jersey’s Rutgers University, which trains women from around the world in leadership and organizing techniques, sponsors international conferences on human rights, campaigns against gender violence and addresses issues of women’s health and reproductive rights.
Bunch, 65, grew up in Artesia, which, she says in a phone interview, gives her a familiarity with community dynamics and rural life that has helped her understand women worldwide. “I have a sense of what it means to come from a small town,” she says.
Her now-deceased father was a family physician; her mother, a social worker, now lives in Albuquerque. Both were concerned with global issues and passed that “bigger view” on to their daughter, teaching her how to relate to people from diverse backgrounds.
A ‘sense of possibility’
In the 1960s at Duke University, Bunch was active in the anti-war and civil rights movements. That involvement fostered a “sense of possibility,” but she says that was temporarily quashed when, after accepting a post-graduate fellowship at a Washington, D.C., policy research institute, she discovered, “I wasn’t taken seriously as a woman.”
That “classic feminist experience” of being marginalized and discounted helped spark her passion for working for women’s rights, she says. Historically, a major reason for gender inequality is “women are defined in the private sphere and not the public,” Bunch says. Abuse occurs away from public view, where laws often don’t penetrate and archaic attitudes persist. “A woman’s lack of freedom may be coming from her own family.”
That is changing, though not for all women. “We have found ways to give more women access to freedom,” she says, especially those “willing to take risks.”
As women worldwide have increasingly gained the right to vote, they have also come to be seen, and see themselves, as citizens rather than property. More than 100 countries have statutes outlawing domestic violence, microfinance initiatives in many countries help impoverished women achieve economic independence, and reproductive freedom increasingly gives women “access to controlling their bodies.”
Culture changes slowly
It will take generations for abuse of women to end, Bunch asserts. The gap between rich and poor is increasing, further entrapping poor women and making it harder for them to break free, she says.
There are “vestiges of male control that men want to keep,” she says, citing “backlashes” even in the developed world to keep women subordinate.
For Bunch, the three biggest threats to women’s rights worldwide are “lack of control over one’s body,” which includes reproductive rights and sexual violence, poverty and “militarism and war.”
Culture changes more slowly than political or economic realities, she says. Protective laws may be enacted, but abuse can persist. Not until attitudes definitively change and perpetrators of abuse are no longer protected by their families and communities will a “tipping point” be reached, she says.
“Ultimately, men benefit from more equality just as women do,” she says. “It harms men to be defined in their most intimate relationships as dominant versus submissive. It diminishes their humanity.”
For those who want to work for change, Bunch’s advice is, first, believe in yourself. Be realistic about “what piece of it you can do, what you have access to and what you’re passionate about.”
Action doesn’t have to be on a grand scale. Her work with women from many nations has convinced her that change comes from “all the things that people do on the ground, everywhere.”
Those simple words, “women’s rights are human rights,” are powerful, she notes. In a recent interview with the online news service Rutgers Today, Bunch says women view “their own abuse differently when it’s called a human rights issue … they no longer see it as inevitable.”
“I’m optimistic over time these changes will break through,” she says. “We’re moving in a direction that is ultimately unstoppable.”
COURTESY RUTGERS UNIVERSITY
International human rights activist Charlotte Bunch says abuse occurs away from public view, where laws often don’t penetrate and archaic attitudes persist. This 2008 photo shows her participating in a march in Cape Town, South Africa, as part of a campaign to end violence against women.