Archive for the ‘events’ Category

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

Monday, 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.

Save the date

Tuesday, 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


“Even diamonds come from the dirt”: a recap of the International Forum on Women’s Food Leadership in the Global South

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

by staff contributor Camry Haskins
and student contributor Hannah Stambaugh

The Women’s Food Leadership Initiative collaborated with the Global Gender Program

Women Food Leaders (from left to right): Buky Williams, Marlene Stearns, Susana Chavez Villalobos, Grace Mena, Monica Lozano Luque, Yiver Vargas, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Catherine Krobo-Edusei Benson, Dr. Mitslal Kifleyesus-Matschie, Randa Filfili, Dinnah Kapiza, Mama Cristina Kaba, and Sharon Againe [photo credit: Noel St. John]

Women Food Leaders (from left to right): Buky Williams, Marlene Stearns, Susana Chavez Villalobos, Grace Mena, Monica Lozano Luque, Yiver Vargas, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Catherine Krobo-Edusei Benson, Dr. Mitslal Kifleyesus-Matschie, Randa Filfili, Dinnah Kapiza, Mama Cristina Kaba, and Sharon Againe [photo credit: Noel St. John]

to host the International Forum for Women’s Food Leadership in the Global South last week at GW’s Elliott School for International Affairs. The two-day conference brought together over 30 speakers from around the world to discuss how women leaders in food and agriculture are “overcoming challenges to positively impact profit, sustainability, and communities.” Speakers came from South Africa, Colombia, Malawi, Ethiopia, Uganda, Costa Rica, Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, and the United States. These women represented CEO’s, founders, and managers leading successful agribusinesses; policy makers; food and agriculture researchers and professionals; and faculty.

The conference consisted of eight panels and four keynote addresses.

The Keynotes included:

  • Dr. Kathleen Merrigan, Executive Director of Sustainability, George Washington University
  • Catherine Gill, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Operations, Root Capital
  • Catherine Krobo-Edusei Benson, Founder & CEO, Eden Tree, Ltd.
  • Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau for African Affairs


Panel on selling and marketing (from left to right): Marlene Stearns, Monica Lozano Luque, Liz Cullen Whitehead, Michelle Stern, and Randa Filfili [photo credit: Noel St. John]

Panels addressed:

  • Climate-Smart and Sustainable Strategies (moderated by Dr. Kathleen Merrigan, Executive Director of GW’s Sustainability Institute)
  • Starting an Agribusiness (moderated by Kathy Korman Frey, Founder and CEO of Hot Mommas Project & Adjunct Professor of Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at GW)
  • Setting Up Organizational Structure and Building Social Capital (moderated by Celena Green, Director, Africa/Co-Director, Economic Empowerment & Entrepreneurship, Vital Voices Global Partnership)
  • Raising Women’s Profiles in Media (moderated by Leah Quin, Senior Communications Manager, Abt Associates)
  • Growing an Agribusiness (moderated by Dr. Rekha Mehra, Senior Associate, Gender in Development, Creative Associates International)
  • Selling & Marketing (moderated by Marlene Stearns, Founding Director, Women’s Food Leadership Initiative)
  • Partnering Effectively (moderated by Dr. Deborah Rubin, Co-Director, Cultural Practice, LLC)
  • Measuring Impact (moderated by Claire Starkey, President, Fintrac)


Grace Mena (Founder & CEO, Deli-café, San Jose, Costa Rica & Immediate Past President of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance), speaking on the panel, Growing an Agribusiness [photo credit: Noel St. John]

The Women’s Food Leadership Initiative proved to be a diverse and dynamic conference. The energy in the room was palpable and the stories told were powerful. From Mama Kaba, a retired, South African mother who built her organization from scratch after the death of her husband to Grace Mena, a Costa Rican woman with the foresight and wherewithal to create specialized coffee and convince men who were set in their ways to get on board so that the coffee would be picked up from international corporations like Starbucks, the women that we heard from all came with incredible stories of hard work and triumph.

In an effort to end the conference with as much power as was seen throughout, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield stepped up to the podium and gave the closing remarks filled with her own stories of women that she had met throughout her career and the differences that they too are making today.

To find out more about the conference and to follow the continued efforts of the Women’s Food Leadership Initiative stay active on the website. Here you can recommend women food leaders that you believe should be highlighted, and follow progress of case study development.

Also watch out for the release of video recording of the conference, which will be coming soon.

GGP event: Women’s Food Leadership in the Global South

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015


Space is running out so check out the website and RSVP!


The State of Security and a Call for the Prevention of Armed Conflict: Women, Peace and Security Fifteen Years On

Monday, October 19th, 2015

by GW Professor Aisling Swaine

secretary genera

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launching the report [photo: Aisling Swaine]

This week, the UN Security Council hosted a High-Level Review” to consider progress made towards meeting its commitment to overcome the historic exclusion of women and their concerns from its purview.  The event marked fifteen years since the Security Council adopted a ground-breaking resolution, Resolution 1325 (2000), that for the first time, recognized and strived to advance the overlooked, but critical role women can play in global efforts towards conflict resolution and peacemaking. 

In the UN Security Council on Tuesday, we heard from the Organisation for Women’s Freedom in Iraq. Their representative described how in the last decade, a century’s worth of progress on women’s rights has simply come to a halt as a result of the cycles of conflict there. These women provide life-saving aid to families trapped in areas that international organizations and the government itself cannot reach. This is in a context where they risk becoming one of the over 3000 women that they estimate to have been captured by ISIS.

The panel that launched the report. Left to right: Radhika Coomaraswamy, lead author of the Global Study; UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka; Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee.

The panel that launched the report. Left to right: Radhika Coomaraswamy, lead author of the Global Study; UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka; Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee. [photo: Aisling Swaine]

As part of its review process, the Security Council commissioned an independent Global Study on the Implementation of Resolution 1325. Also launched by the UN this week, the study assesses progress over the past 15 years on securitizing the world in ways that equally reflect both men and women’s rights and concerns.  The study points towards much progress.  It also points towards much that remains to be done.

Global trends on the prevalence of armed conflict bear grim tidings. The current era is characterized by a-symmetrical conflicts, where factionalized and fragmented modes of warfare means that more and more civilians are deliberately targeted. In these conflicts for example, we see variant ways that women, men, girls and boys are forced into combatancy and subjected to a myriad of harms, the propensity for and impact of such experiences determined by gender roles and norms.  Terrorism and counter-terrorism as strategy predominates, and new technologies, such as the use of drones, enable a remote controlled warfare that appears unapologetic of the collateral damage it causes to civilians. 


Honoring Women Food Heroes: Bahati Muriga

Monday, October 12th, 2015

by staff contributor Camry Haskins


Bahati Muriga, Tanzanian farmer and entrepreneur

On Thursday, October 8, Oxfam and the Tanzanian Embassy hosted an event honoring Bahati Muriga, the 2014 Tanzanian winner of Oxfam’s GROW campaign that gives $10,000 to one woman to make a better life for themselves and their family. Bahati Muriga was one of thousands of women who applied to this contest, and she has not let anyone down.

Since receiving her award of $10,000, Muriga has successfully purchased 7 acres of land, on which she grows cassava and sugar cane, as well as, other produce. She has also purchased her own rickshaw, and with that earns an extra $50 a week. As a widowed mother, Muriga has become empowered over her own life. She has been able to put her two sons through school, and provide for her family in a way that she never saw possible before entering Oxfam’s contest.

Through the GROW campaign, Oxfam is working with national governments and communities to help them recognize the hard work of women within their countries. By highlighting small-scale women farmers, Oxfam is shining a light on the challenges faced by these women and building respect for them throughout their communities. Bahati Muriga was able to lift herself and her family out of poverty thanks to the help of Oxfam. But it wasn’t just the money from Oxfam that has improved her situation, it was her own determination and hard work that has led to lasting success.

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…)