Human Rights & Security

Globalization—as a political, economic and cultural trend—continues to have a mixed impact on women. Although it is strengthening promotion of gender equality around the world, it is also in many cases widening the gulf between rich and poor, accelerating environmental degradation and increasing the workloads of women and girls. The expanding global marketplace is increasing women’s employment opportunities but also producing jobs that may be temporary, unsafe or exploitive. Furthermore, economic reform programs imposed on developing countries by international financial institutions have often eroded critical services, such as public health and education programs, thereby increasing the caregiving burdens of women and girls. While globalization has opened up new avenues for some women, it has also led to increased hardship for others.

Equality for Women: Where do We Stand?

The results towards gender equality are mixed at the halfway point of completion of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the new report by the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says. Women’s health and education have improved substantially in most countries, but progress is lagging on improving their economic opportunities, and investments of some US$13 billion a year are needed to achieve the overall goal of gender equality and women’s empowerment.


International Human Rights

Member Organization: 

Panel Discussion:

Location: Diana Center Event Oval  
This year's Rennert Forum celebrates the life and work of Helen Suzman, the iconic South African leader who devoted her life to the fight against apartheid. The opening event, which coincides with the opening of an exhibition entitled "Helen Suzman: Fighter for Human Rights," in the Diana Center, will feature world-renowned human rights activists Helen Lieberman, Virginia Magwaza-Setshedi and Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams. Professor Yvette Christiansë will moderate and provide introductory remarks.

Gender Equality as Smart Economics: First Year Progress Report (January 2007- January 2008)

This report provides the first update of Gender Equality as Smart Economics: A World
Bank Group Gender Action Plan (GAP), a year after implementation began in January
2007. The plan commits the Bank Group to ‘do more’ to help achieve gender equality by
more fully utilizing its comparative advantage in the economic sectors and in analytical
The plan’s objective is to advance women’s economic empowerment in Bank client
countries to promote shared growth and accelerate implementation of MDG3. It does so
by making markets work for women (at the policy level) and empowering women to
compete in markets (at the individual level), focusing on four key markets: land, labor,
agriculture, and finance, and on infrastructure, which underpins access to all markets. It
has a four-year time frame (FY07-FY11) and four main activities or ‘windows:’


The Global Gender Gap Report, 2008

Through the Global Gender Gap Reports for the past three years, the World Economic Forum has been providing a framework for quantifying the magnitute of gender-based disparities, tracking their progress over time and designing effective measures reducing them. In addition, in 2008, the Global Gender Parity Group and Regional Gender Parity Groups were launched in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.


Reaching Common Grounds: Culture, Gender and Human Rights, Equality and Empowering Women

This chapter outlines the United Nations’ work toward promoting gender equality, including the Beijing Platform for Action. The report also describes the obstacles women still face today, with an emphasis on cultural impediments. A list of recommendations for future action coincides with a list of lessons learned.


Innovative Approach to Promoting Women’s Economic Empowerment

The publication focuses on three core dimensions of women’s economic empowerment, namely: economic opportunity; legal status; and voice, inclusion and participation in economic decision-making.


Helen Suzman: Fighter for Human Rights

Member Organization: 
02/09/2010 - 03/25/2010

A photographic exhibit:

Helen Suzman was a member of the South African Parliament for 36 years, from 1953-1989. She was the sole opposition voice condemning apartheid during the 13-year period (1961-1974) when she was the governing body's only member of the Progressive Party. The exhibition explores nearly four decades of Suzman's life and vision through photographs, personal letters quotations from speeches and news articles.

Gender Equality as Smart Economics: A World Bank Group Gender Action Plan, Fiscal Years 2007-2010

This Action Plan seeks to advance women’s economic empowerment in the World Bank Group’s client countries in order to promote shared growth and accelerate the implementation of Millennium Development Goal 3 (MDG3- promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment). The Plan would commit the World Bank to intensify and scale up gender mainstreaming in the economic sectors over four years, in partnership with client countries, donors, and other development agencies. The Bank group and its partners would increase resources devoted to gender issues in operations and technical assistance, in Results-Based Initiatives (RBIs), and in policy-relevant research and statistics. An assessment at the end of the four-year period would determine whether to extend the Action Plan’s timeframe.


Passport to Equality

The Passport to Equality is a document that presents, explains, and reproduces the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in the form of a personal passport.


Center for Women's Global Leadership

The Center for Women's Global Leadership (CWGL) at Rutgers University develops and facilitates women's leadership for women's human rights and social justice around the world. The center sponsors leadership development and training programs to create and strengthen a powerful, international advocacy force of women dedicated to working for human rights. They also monitor United Nations progress and advocate for women's human rights worldwide.


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Principal Staff

Radhika Balakrishnan, Executive Director
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


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Projects & Campaigns

Human Rights

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.


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