Archive for the ‘events’ Category

Sexual assault: it’s time to end the culture of victim blaming

Monday, September 21st, 2015

by staff contributor Camry Haskins


From left, Prof Barbara Miller, Prof Aisling Swaine, PhD candidate Shweta Krishnan

On Wednesday, September 16, GGP hosted a back-to-back film screening focused on issues of rape and sexual assault. The films, India’s Daughter and The Hunting Ground, both highlighted specific incidents of rape, while also discussing the societal problems surrounding sexual assault as a whole. The event ended with an open discussion of the documentaries, the issues they highlighted, and what still needs to be done. Panelists included: Barbara Miller, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Global Gender Program; Aisling Swaine, Professor of Practice in International Affairs; and Shweta Krishnan, PhD student in anthropology.

India’s Daughter is a film that came out after the 2012 rape and murder of a 23 year old medical student in Delhi. The film tells her story through interviews and news clips. The vast gender discrepancies are evident in the way that the sexual assault defense lawyers blatantly criminalize and demean the victim. Equating her choice to leave the house in the evening with a male friend to a spoiled flower left in the gutter. One of her convicted murderers in also interviewed and the nonchalant way that he describes the incident is chilling. His lack of remorse can be seen in his description of events and his belief that he is no different from many others.


World Bank report highlights gender disparity in global laws

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

by staff contributor Lesli Davis


women-biz-law-main-promo-v2On September 9, the World Bank Group released the fourth iteration of its report, Women, Business, and the Law 2016. The report, which examines laws that impede women’s economic advancement, found that 90 percent of monitored economies have at least one law that discriminates against women, with Saudi Arabia topping the charts at 29 laws. Only 18 of the 173 countries monitored were found to be free of laws that negatively affect women.

According to Kaushik Basu, World Bank Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, the report is a “quiet document,” which “presents information and you must take action.” He charged countries to put in place laws that close the gender gap, not just because it is good for economies, but because gender equality in itself is important.

Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director of the World Bank’s Global Indicators Group, noted that the team found correlations with other indicators of gender equality. For instance, in countries where there are restrictions on the type of job women can hold, the wage gap between men and women is 12 percent higher.  The report also found that women’s life expectancy is likely to be higher where they are legally protected from domestic violence. Specifically, in countries where domestic violence laws are in place, women are 15 percent more likely to live to 65 years of age.


In case you missed it

Monday, August 17th, 2015

eventOn July 30, the Global Gender Program hosted our second annual summer conference on women’s empowerment. This summer the conference entitled, Empowering Women through Political Participation and Empowering Politics through Women’s Participation, was a huge success. It opened with a keynote by Homa Hoodfar, moved through three different panels, and closed with ending remarks by Susan Markham.

The special highlight of our summer conference is always the Pakistani guests we have visiting as part of our partnership grant with the Lahore College for Women University that is funded by the State Department. Six girls came to study at the George Washington University this summer and, as can be seen in the videos, they served as active participants in the conference.

If you missed the conference, or would just like to revisit one of the sections, it is available on the Elliott School’s Web Video Initiative.

Women, Politics, and a Way Forward

Monday, August 3rd, 2015
Homa Hoodfar, keynote speaker

Homa Hoodfar, keynote speaker

by student contributor Laura Kilbury

On July 30 at The Elliott School, women and men rose early in the morning to be a part of the Empowering Women through Political Participation & Empowering Politics through Women’s Participation conference hosted by The Global Gender Program.

The panelists who spoke at the conference were leaders in their field of academia and practice. The conference was honored to host panelists: Homa Hoodfar from the University of Concordia, Rosalyn Cooperman from the University of Mary Washington, Theresa Reidy from University College

Mona Tajali on Turkey

Mona Tajali on Turkey

Cork, Maryam Batool from Lahore College for Women University, Mona Tajali from University of Oxford, Loubna H. Skalli from American University, Gretchen Bauer from University of Delaware, Uzma Ashiq Khan from Lahore College for University Women, Katsuo Nishikawa Chaves from Trinity University, Toni Michelle C. Travis from George Mason University, Kanisha Bond from University of Maryland, Zille Zahra Naqvi from Lahore College for Women University, and Jane Henrici from George Washington University. (more…)

GGP event

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Empowering Women through Political Participation and Empowering Politics through Women’s Participation  

July 30, 2015


1957 E Street NW, 6th Floor, Lindner Family Commons


The Global Gender Program & The Institute for Global and International Affairs  

The Elliott School of International Affairs

The George Washington University

Washington, DC  20052

8:30-9:00am Continental breakfast

9:00am: Welcome

Barbara Miller

Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs, and

Director, Global Gender Program, George Washington University


Informational lunch brings together cultures and conversation

Monday, July 27th, 2015

by student contributor Lesli Davis
On Tuesday, the Global Gender Program hosted an informational lunch meeting titled “Global Norms about Gender Equality and Local Responses.” The meeting aimed to bring together GGP affiliates and local organizations to discuss gender standards amongst cultures worldwide.

super sixFeatured prominently in the lunch meeting were six visiting students and scholars from Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) in Pakistan. The six visitors are here in the U.S. as part of a three-year partnership between GW and LCWU through the State Department. While visiting, they will take gender courses at GW and learn about American culture.

Also present at the lunch were representatives from a number of local organizations and institutions, including Women Thrive Worldwide, American Association of University Women, United States Agency for International Development, and International Food Policy Research Institute. Various area universities were also represented, such as George Mason and American University.

Participants discussed various topics relating to gender equality in Pakistan, the United States and globally. Extensive conversation revolved around the participation of women in religion, politics, and in other public spheres. Everyone left with a full belly and increased cultural understanding.

Where are the women?

Monday, July 20th, 2015

by student contributor Laura Kilbury


carolyn-maloney-3Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney entered the room at the Wilson Center’s event,  Restoring Hope and Dignity: New Developments and Best Practices in Addressing Maternal Morbidities, just coming off the house floor on July 14th.

She spoke with such fervor about women’s rights in the United States, using her coin phrase, “Where are the women?”


Where are the women?

The event was centralized on the practices of female genitalia mutilation (FGM) and how organizations such as Johnson and Johnson are partnering with UNFPA and USAID to tackle this issue with smart and creative strategies, such as kits and training specialized doctors through fellowship programs.

Maternal morbidities – illnesses and injuries that do not kill but nevertheless seriously affect a woman’s health – are a critical, yet frequently neglected, dimension of safe motherhood. For every woman who dies, many more are affected acutely or chronically by morbidities, said Karen Hardee, president of Hardee Associates at the Global Health Initiative.Hardee was joined by Karen Beattie, project director for fistula care at EngenderHealth, and Marge Koblinsky, senior technical advisor at John Snow, Inc., for a discussion moderated by Ann Blanc, director of EngenderHealth’s Maternal Health Task Force.


The Hidden World of Cambodia’s Sex Workers

Monday, July 13th, 2015

by student contributor Laura Kilbury

screen-shot-2015-06-05-at-6.27.20-pm-3On Thursday, July 9, for a Talk at Pulitzer Center, Steve Sapienza, a video journalist, showed his project, “The Hidden World Of Cambodia’s Sex Workers: New Risks, New Hope” which focuses on the impact of anti-trafficking laws on the health and safety of sex workers.

In 2008, Cambodia passed a law that closed its brothels. The goal was to prevent human trafficking. Instead, it upended a government program designed to distribute condoms and screen for sexually transmitted diseases like HIV at brothels. When the sex workers scattered, there was no easy way to reach them. Out of the shadows emerged a volunteer organization called SMARTgirl, comprised of active and former sex workers, that has been working to fill the void.

Sapienza, the Pulitzer Center’s senior producer, wanted to see how the outreach and prevention efforts were faring. In February 2014, he traveled to Phnom Penh to produce a short film, which premiered on


Hillary Clinton talks gender at George Mason University

Monday, July 6th, 2015

by student contributor Laura Kilbury

Obama Announces Appointments Of Clinton, Gates, Nat'l Security Team“I’m on the side of everyone who’s ever been knocked down but refused to be knocked out,” she said. “I’m not running for some Americans, but for all Americans.”

The 2016 presidential race came to Virginia on Friday June, 26, ushered in by the roaring voice of Gov. Terry McAuliffe introducing Hillary Clinton. In her campaign stop in the state, the Democratic front-runner called for the protection of gay and abortion rights.

Clinton headlined the state Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson event, previously a formal dinner but this year held as a campaign event at George Mason University’s Patriot Center. The rally was billed as a “people’s event” and felt like a mix of high school pep rally and political convention; teleprompters and large projection screens adorned the stage while crowds ate popcorn in an arena where people usually watch basketball and concerts.

Clinton also touched on women’s equality in her speech, emphasizing women’s reproductive choices.

“Well, one thing’s for certain, we don’t need any more leaders who shame and blame women rather than respect our right to make our own reproductive health decisions.”

Snowballing off the release of the new book, The Hillary Doctrine, by Valerie Hudson and Patricia Liedl, one wonders how women’s equality- domestic and international- would be structured on Clinton’s agenda should she be elected as President.

The Hillary Doctrine:Sex and American Foreign Policy, To the day that the Hillary Doctrine becomes “unremarkable”

Monday, June 29th, 2015

by student contributor Laura Kilbury


On the 24th at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Valerie Hudon and Patricia Leidl discussed their new book, The Hillary Doctrine: Sex & American Foreign Policy, and its paramount importance for the United States in junction with national security priorities.

During her confirmation hearing to become secretary of state, Hillary Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in no uncertain terms, “I want to pledge to you that as secretary of state I view women’s issues as central to our foreign policy, not as adjunct or auxiliary or in any way lesser than all of the other issues that we have to confront.”

The “doctrine” comes from a proposition that Clinton made at the TEDWomen Conference in December 2010: “The subjugation of women is, therefore, a threat to the common security of our world and to the national security of our country.” In countries where women are chronically mistreated, or systematically excluded from leadership roles, there tends to be far greater state fragility, outbreaks and reoccurrences of conflict, and environments where extremists can flourish, including even terrorist organizations.

Research for the book began in 2010, and the content was largely written in 2013, after Hudson’s co- author Patricia Leidl completed fieldwork in several countries. Hudson emphasized the role that qualitative data played in their research. Data on cultural norms, customs, practices and laws were missing from the current research, so Hudson and Leidl created a massive database to fill this niche. One might wonder why the idea that women’s security affects national security is called the Hillary Doctrine. Hudson explained that though Clinton was the third female Secretary of State, she was the first woman in that role who made women’s issue priorities for the Department. The book, though not about Secretary Clinton herself, explores the effects that her belief in this idea has had on American foreign policy.