Org Spotlight: Million Women Rise Coalition

November 23rd, 2015

Million Women Rise is a coalition of women united in outrage at the individual and institutionalized violence committed against women, particularly women of color and other minority women, across the globe. The coalition is formed from the voluntary and community sectors in the United Kingdom.

Million Women Rise presents ten demands to UK government and society (abbrev.): 1) To acknowledge the discrimination faced by all women, particular women of color, 2) To adopt a broad definition of violence against women that includes domestic abuse, rape, and commercial s ex exploitation, 3) To support the women’s non profit sector, 4) To support EVAW, ECPAT, and to adopt a cross-governmental strategy addressing violence against women, 5) To abolish the ‘no recourse’ requirement for abused women with insecure immigration status, 6) To provide special support to trafficked women and children, 7) To commit to changing public attitudes and behaviors towards women, 8) To hold the media accountable for misrepresentation and misappropriation, 9) T o recognize the effect of global war and conflict on women and children, and 10) To make International Women’s Day a national holiday.


The coalition works to achieve these goals through a program of prevention, provision, and protection. One of the coalition’s largest projects is the annual Million Women Rise march and rally on International Women’s Day in London. The march is fully organized by grassroots activists and has no corporate ties. The first Million Women Rise march was organized in 2007 by MWR founder Sabrina Quereshi.

GW event: Crimes against Morality- Unintended Consequences of Criminalizing Sex Work

November 23rd, 2015


Trade and Development Workshop: “Crimes against Morality: Unintended Consequences of Criminalizing Sex Work” TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2015, 12:30 – 2 PM
VENUE/ROOM Monroe 321
BUILDING ADDRESS Monroe Hall, 2115 G Street, NW
SPEAKERS Lisa Cameron, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics, Monash University
EVENTS SERIES Trade and Development Seminar Series
SPONSORED BY Institute for International Economic Policy, GWU Department of Economics

The Trade and Development Workshop series features work-in-progress or recently completed research by high profile scholars in the areas of trade and development. The series takes place weekly on Tuesdays from 12:30-2:00 p.m. and is an opportunity for members of the GWU community to engage with the presenter in an intimate environment.

Article of Note

November 22nd, 2015

Breast Cancer and Sexuality: The Impacts of Breast Cancer Treatment on the Sex Lives of Women in Brazil

by Daniela Barsotti Santos, Nicholas John Ford, Manoel Antônio dos Santos and Elisabeth Meloni Vieira

TCHSThis article presents findings from a qualitative study of the impact on women’s sexual lives after diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer in Ribeirao Preto, São Paulo. The study involved 36 women, 15 of whom were interviewed and the remainder of whom participated in focus and body-image group discussions. Data collection was undertaken between 2008 and 2010. Findings focus on women’s experience of breast cancer as a life-threatening condition and document reappraisals of their lives in general, seeking to situate these women’s sexual lives within the context of wider ideals about femininity and sexual cultures in Brazil. Women expressed anxiety concerning the effects of treatment for breast cancer, particularly concerns about body image. We draw together implications of the prior findings for the sexual scripts played out in women’s sexual relationships and lives. Three main sexual scripts – ‘traditional gender roles’, ‘ageing’ and ‘egalitarian pleasure-oriented’ – are identified and discussed in relation to both the life-changing impact of diagnosis of cancer and wider changes in gender dimensions of Brazilian sexual culture.
Culture, Health, and Sexuality 16(3): 246-257. [not open access]

DC event: Women’s Resilience and Resolve in Northwest Pakistan- Championing Change in the Face of Extremism

November 19th, 2015

RSVP here

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

3:004:30 p.m.

1025 F Street, N.W., Suite 800,

Washington, D.C. 20004
Livestream of the event will be available here.

Twitter: Follow @ThinkDemocracy and use #NEDEvents to join the conversation.

The Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) of Pakistan, which form part of the country’s northern border with Afghanistan, have long suffered from war, militancy, and economic deprivation, creating fertile ground for the “swift justice” and sharia regulations of militant Islamist groups.  While the Pakistani army has had some success in wiping out extremist elements in the region, the Taliban and other Islamist forces still pose a significant threat. In this context of political instability, women and girls have often been the primary victims of extremist movements that have gained ground through patriarchal and discriminatory means. The suppression of women’s rights, however, has only added to the courage and resolve of those who have stepped forward to demand gender equality, often at the risk of isolation, torture, or even death.  In her presentation, social activist Shad Begum will outline the challenges to women’s political and economic empowerment in PATA and highlight those change-makers who are surmounting them. Drawing on her experience in the region, she will provide recommendations for how best to equip emerging women leaders with the knowledge, skills, and networks needed to build a more equitable future in PATA and Pakistan.



Save the date

November 17th, 2015

Women and Water in Central Asia and South Asia
Building a Sustainable Future

GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Lindner Commons, 6th floor

Friday, December 11, 2015


Please RSVP at


Funded by the US State Department for 2013-2015, this project connected women in Central and South Asia to water and its management, and proposed a program of international exchange of knowledge and leadership to support innovative conflict resolution with a sustainable and multiplying effect. To this end, it brought together young female social entrepreneurs and activists from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, to discuss their experiences and innovative solutions on community-level water management, enhance their competencies and leadership skills, and expose them to U.S institutions and the policy community working on water management and gender issues. This was accomplished through in-person and virtual exchanges in the Central and South Asian region and Washington DC, video and web content production, and curriculum development.

Topics include:

Session 1. Water as a Security Issue

Session 2. NGO Capacity-Building around Water and Gender Issues

Session 3. Film Screening


Org Spotlight: The Banyan

November 16th, 2015

The Banyan is an organization in Chennai, India that works with mentally ill and homeless women. Homelessness is commonly a reality for mentally ill Indian women who are unable to access care. Accessing care is particularly challenging for families experiencing poverty. Ignorance and misconceptions about mental illness often leads to discrimination against these women by employers, society, and family. Banyan works towards “a vision of a society that accepts the mentally ill for who they are and finds a constructive place for them within its folds.”

The Banyan runs four projects:

  • Adaikalam, a transit-care center for women rescued from the streets where women stay for an average of 6 to 12 months
  • A community mental health project that provides urban and rural mental health services
  • A community living project that provides long-term care for clients
  • The Banyan Academny of Leadership in Mental Health (BALM), a networking project to increase stakeholders in the sector through education and training

Banyan’s model combines medication, rehabilitation, psychological therapies, vocational training, occupational therapy, and reintegration services. In addition to support of mentally ill women themselves, the organization provides support and education to family members who struggle to support their mentally ill relatives. Banyan’s holistic model addresses prevention, rescue and care, community awareness, and research and advocacy.

Since its founding in 1993, Banyan has provided services to over 5,000 women.

Article of Note

November 14th, 2015

Disease and Dowry: Community Context, Gender, and Adult Health in India

by Samuel Stroope


3.coverThis study examines whether the frequency of a dowry in India is associated with gender differences in physical health: acute illness, illness length, and chronic illness. Analyses are conducted using multilevel logistic and negative binomial regression models and national data on men and women across India (N  = 102,763). Results show that as dowry frequency increases in communities, not only do women have a greater likelihood of poor health across all three health outcomes, but men also have a greater likelihood of acute illness and illness length. Men, however, have a lower likelihood of chronic illness as the frequency of dowry increases in communities. In the case of all three health outcomes, results showed consistently wider health gaps between men and women in communities with a higher frequency of dowry.

Social Forces 93(4):1599-1623, 2015. [not open access]

Featured newsletter: MenCare

November 13th, 2015
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November 2015: Sharing the carework from Nicaragua to Nepal

MenCare’s November newsletter features events and updates from our partners in the Balkans, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Guatemala, Indonesia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Peru, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and more. Read up on work around the world to engage fathers and communities in innovative ways – from rolling out nationwide media campaigns to training health professionals about the role dads can play in maternal, newborn, and child health. Enjoy!

In this Issue

Putting Girls First: A recap Girl Summit DC 2015

November 12th, 2015

by student contributor Hannah Stambaugh

The Center for Global Development hosted Washington, DC’s first Girl Summit last week. The theme of the innovative one-day conference was Putting Girls First: A Focus on Solutions to End Child Marriage Globally. In the summer of 2014, the UK held the first international Girl Summit to mobilize national and international efforts to end childhood early and forced marriage (CEFM) and female genital mutilation (FGM). The event, co-hosted by UNICEF, inspired Washington’s CGD to collaborate with a series of organizations to hold the city’s own satellite summit on ending CEFM and CGD last summer. This year’s event drew several hundred practitioners, academics, and students and honed in exclusively on ending child marriage.

CGD partnered with the International Women’s Health Coalition, Girls Not Brides, Human Rights Watch, American Jewish World Service, The International Center for Research on Women, CARE, Promundo, and Population Council to put on the conference.

Girl Summit DC began with a panel on emerging research in the field, moderated by Daniela Ligiero, PhD of the United Nations Foundation’s Girls and Women Strategy. Panelists discussed what they each perceived as the most important piece of evidence and the prospects for evidence-based interventions. One of the themes that emerged in Panel 1 was the need to enact normative change. Without changing gendered norms, interventions like conditional cash transfer programs, even changes in laws, will not create sustainable differences for girls. Panelists also stressed the importance of quality girls’ education and creation of healthy safe spaces for girls to learn, collaborate, mentor, and grow.

From left to right: Doris Bartell, Danedjo Hadidja, Sajeda Amin, and Giovanna Lauro in Panel 2: Voices from the Field

From left to right: Doris Bartell, Danedjo Hadidja, Sajeda Amin, and Giovanna Lauro in Panel 2: Voices from the Field

The day’s second panel shifted from a larger, conceptual picture of CEFM to a more concrete discussion of effective programming in the field. Panel 2 echoed Panel 1’s imperative to keep girls in school and engaging them directly in the discussion of solutions. Danedjo Hadidja, President of the Association for the Promotion of Autonomy and Rights of Young Girls and Women (Cameroon) and a survivor of a forced marriage, and Giovanna Lauro, PhD, Deputy Director of International Programs at Promundo (Brazil), compared the different normative contexts in their respective home countries. Lauro said that unlike many regions where CEFM is common, many Brazilian girls are choosing to enter “consensual” unions, though the definition of consensual becomes very shaky when young girls are “choosing” to marry out of economic necessity. Girls living through CEFM the world over experience similar issues like limited mobility and decision-making capacity. This panel also introduced the necessity of engaging men and boys in gender equity work, focusing on the specific needs of women in girls in times of natural disaster and conflict, and building safe spaces for girls.

The day’s events concluded with a high-level panel on the US government’s role in ending CEFM globally. Rachel Vogel, Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations, moderated. Panelists were Ambassador Cathy Russell (Office of Global Women’s Issues, U.S. Department of State), Carrie Hessler-Radelet (Director- Peace Corps), Susan Markham (Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, USAID), Dana Hyde (CEO, Millennium Challenge Corporation), and Angeli Achrekar (Chief of Staff, State Department Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy).

Girl Summit DC was an engaging and nuanced discussion of new research and promising practices to end CEFM. Speakers and participants from around the world,including survivors of child forced marriages, brought many perspectives and experiences to the table, highlighting progress that has been made as well as the many challenges still faced by the global community in ending child marriage.




Article of Note

November 9th, 2015

The Roles of Women in Contemporary Political and Revolutionary Conflict: A Thematic Model

Studies_on_Conflict_and_Terrorismby Lauren Vogel, Louise Porter, and Mark Kebbell

Global population-level patterns in female participation in contemporary political and revolutionary conflict remain largely unknown as systematic empirical research in the area is lacking. Accordingly, this study systematically documented the participation of a comprehensive sample of women involved in conflict around the world. A statistically derived model of female participation is proposed that consists of four thematic roles representing specific patterns of activity: active, representing fighting and leadership activities; caring, representing traditional feminine tasks; support, representing logistically based tasks, and; ideological, representing activities that propagate the ideology of the group. The contribution of the model to theory, research, and practice is considered.

Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 37(1): 91-114. 2014 [not open access]