Archive for the ‘events’ Category

Women’s Leadership in Pakistan: Beyond Stereotypes and Myths

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

by staff contributor Camry Haskins


“If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed”. –Mark Twain (quoted by Shehla Ahmad Rathore)


Visiting faculty from LCWU: Shehla Ahmad Rathore (left), Asthma Seemi Malik (center), and Fareeha Anjum (right)

Visiting faculty from LCWU: Shehla Ahmad Rathore (left), Asma Seemi Malik (center), and Fareeha Anjum (right)

On Tuesday, April 7, faculty members from the Lahore College for Women’s University (LCWU) addressed an audience of around 50 individuals as part of a UNESCO Seminar series. This seminar was part of the GW-LCWU Partnership that has been led by Prof. Shaista E. Khilji and Prof. Barbara Miller in an effort to promote a meaningful exchange between Pakistani women scholars, and faculty and students at the George Washington University. This specific seminar was organized during the faculty members’ three-week visit to Washington, DC and its aim was to focus on breaking the stereotypes associated with Pakistan and the status of women within the country.

PhD scholar, lecturer, and MS program coordinator at LCWU, Shehla Ahmad Rathore opened up the seminar by asking the audience what their current impressions were of Pakistan. The very first comment was shock that there could be a women’s college in Pakistan. Rathore responded by informing the room that LCWU has 14,000 female students enrolled and is only one of several women’s only colleges throughout Pakistan. Another audience member stated that she imagined strict gender roles with women being restricted. There was only one member who spoke to diversity depending on region, class, and culture, which would mean a diverse Pakistan without any one overbearing stereotype.


Women’s Leadership Conference

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

by guest contributor Mikaela Romero


WLC panel

Panel Discussion “Take Charge of Your Destiny” with (left to right) moderator Sharon Hadar and panelists Emily Hewitt, Karin Jones, Dhyana Delatour, Vicki Bowman.

On Friday, March 27, the George Washington University (GW) hosted the 2015 Women’s Leadership Conference, an annual conference that brings together GW faculty, staff, students, and alumnae of GW and the Mount Vernon College to discuss topics of women’s leadership, and exchange stories and ideas for professional and personal growth. The title and central theme of this year’s conference was “Charting a New Course.” In this respect, guest speakers and participants zoned in on women’s capacity to brave unchartered waters and, by doing so, advancing their fields of work, improving the lives of others, and challenging harmful or restrictive gender-based norms in society.

The conference remained engaging throughout the day, with different presentation formats and group exercises. Keynote speaker and Mount Vernon College alumna Nazenin Ansari spoke about her role in the international community as an Iranian-born journalist, emphasizing the importance of “connecting through our hearts” and progressing forward with the common visions that this connection fosters. Break-out sessions catered to diverse interests, ranging from topics in entrepreneurship and financial finesse to self-care and self-representation. Cumulatively, the sessions taught that while success in society-level contexts such as business and the economy is certainly within women’s reach, it is crucial to also nourish individual physical, spiritual, and mental health to remain happy and strong in the long term.


Upcoming workshop in Australia

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Workshop with Dr Kiran Martin, Founder of Asha: Women Innovating in Delhi’s Slums

When: Tuesday, April 7, 11:00 am- 1:00 pmindia
Who: ANU Gender Institute
Where: #130, Cnr Garran Rd and Liversidge St. Canberra Australia
Hedley Bull Theatre 2, ANU

The ANU Gender Institute presents Dr Kiran Martin, Founder and Director of Asha (“hope” in Hindi). Asha is a Delhi-based NGO that works in partnership with women in slum communities to improve living conditions and access healthcare, education and financial services. A blueprint for India’s national programs, Asha transforms lives in Delhi’s slums by turning women into leaders. Asha’s model has been acclaimed by the UN and Dr Martin has received the Padma Shri, India’s highest civilian award.

Looking Beyond Stereotypes: A Dialogue between Pakistan and the US

Monday, March 30th, 2015

by staff contributor Camry Haskins

visiting scholars

“Women here want autonomy and freedom to decide about their education, profession, life, and fate. This is something that women have been struggling for.”  Sarah Shahed (LCWU)


On Wednesday, March 25, three visiting scholars from the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) sat down for a roundtable discussion at the Elliott School of International Affairs to have an open discussion about the stereotypes that form when media is the main avenue for knowledge. Barbara Miller, the director of the Institute for Global and International Affairs (IGIS), as well as the Global Gender Program (GGP), led the discussion.

The LCWU visiting scholars, Fareeha Anjum, Asma Seemi Malik, and Shehla Ahmad Rathore, were the first to share their initial stereotypes compared with how their views had changed after landing in America. Overall their fears had been that they would be constantly harangued for their Visa’s and comments on how they dress. Fortunately, that will not be the image of America that they leave with. The words used just after a few days in Washington, DC have been “helpful” and “friendly smiles”. They mentioned that whether they approach a man or a woman, people have all been ready to help them with directions and answering any other questions they may have.


Dangerous Women

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

by student contributor Laura Kilbury


Throughout history women have been the leaders and defenders of peace. Does that make women “dangerous”?


On the evening of May 19th, the Global Women’s Institute (GWI) held the event, “Women in Peace and Conflict”. The conversation centered on the roles that women have played in peace operations throughout history. The event was honored by the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Laureat and Chair of the Nobel Women’s Initiative, Jodi Williams and Dr. Wendy E. Chmielewski who is the George R. Cooley Curator of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

The first question centered upon the contextualization of women and peace throughout history. Chmielewski discussed how throughout history women led the mainstream peace operations, particularly beginning in the years 1812 through 1850. This brought up the a underlining note; what if there were more women peacekeepers in the United Nations broad and narrow peace operations? What would that look like? How would that alter not only the outward view of UN peace keeping operations, but the internal armature of how those peace keeping missions are conducted? The discussion did not come up with a complete answer to those questions, but highlighted the fact that women throughout, America’s own history, have been leaders in the change and drive for peace and social justice.

Chmielewski continued with the fact that during times of violence women are the ones that face the burned of economic and emotional hardship, which, according to Chmielewski, resulted in women taking the charge in the drive for peace. Women faced, and still do, the more pressing ramifications when there is conflict. Whether it be working on children’s tempers in the home or civil rights for all citizens, women according to were the leaders.

This echoes what Patricia Arquette said when receiving her Oscar, “”To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights… It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”


Webinar event

Thursday, March 12th, 2015


Join WAND and the Institute for Inclusive Security for their webinar:

Women, Peace, and Security in the New Congress: Strategies for Action

Thursday, March 19, 2015
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT

On January 21, the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2015 was reintroduced in the Senate to ensure that the United States promotes women’s meaningful inclusion and participation in mediation and negotiation processes in order to prevent, mitigate, or resolve violent conflict.

With the rise of violent extremism, and crises in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere, it’s critical to bring to the table the voices of those who can help us find pathways to sustainable peace. By enacting the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Act, we can promote the voices of women and prioritize their full inclusion in peace and security processes. We need a broad-based, grassroots effort to help advance this legislation, and you can play a key role in the movement.

Please join us for this webinar as WAND’s Women, Peace and Security Policy Director Julie Arostegui and Inclusive Security Action’s Policy Adviser Allison Peters discuss updates on the WPS Act and strategies to move the legislation forward.
Allison Peters is Policy Adviser at Inclusive Security Action, where she helps shape the organization’s strategies and outreach initiatives with a particular focus on the US Congress and the United Nations. Inclusive Security Action partners with The Institute for Inclusive Security to increase the participation of all stakeholders—particularly women—in preventing, resolving, and rebuilding after deadly conflict. Allison also leads the organization’s policy work in Pakistan, working with Pakistani women leaders to conduct research and advance recommendations concerning women’s inclusion in efforts to counter violent extremism and terrorism.

Previously, Allison spent six years on Capitol Hill as Foreign Policy and Defense Adviser to the late Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) where she supported his work on the Senate Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee as well as the Senate National Security Working Group. Allison began her career in the Senate in the office of then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY). She holds a master’s degree in International Security Studies from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

DC Event Spotlight: What Works? Promoting Gender Equality and the Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in Military Operations

Monday, March 2nd, 2015


by student contributor Hannah Stambaugh

2015 is the fifteen-year anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. UNSCR 1325 calls for the inclusion of a gender perspective in all levels of UN peace and security efforts and asserts the critical role of women in peace processes. On February 25th, the Global Gender Program celebrated International Women’s Day with a panel discussion on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in military operations. The event was part of the GGP’s Global Gender Forum series and was co-sponsored by Women in International Security.

Aisling Swaine, Associate Professor of Practice of International Affairs at the Elliott School, opened the event with an overview of resolution 1325. Though the resolution has been in place for fifteen years, there is still a lot of work to do in terms of implementation. Challenges in implementation are particularly pronounced within military institutions. Currently, only 3% of UN military missions are women, and most of these women are deployed as support staff. This figure has not changed in the past three years. The panel provided a unique comparative lens on the implementation of UNSCR 1325. Panelists hailed from three different countries – the United States, Ireland, and Sweden- and described prospects and challenges for the implementation of 1325 in their respective countries’ armed forces. Panelists also discussed the overarching roles of NATO and the United Nations in implementation of the resolution.


GGP event: Promoting Gender Equality in Military Operations

Thursday, February 19th, 2015


 What Works? Promoting Gender Equality and the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 in Military Operations


February 25, 2015, 10:00am-12:00pm
1957 E Street NW, 6th Floor, Lindner Family Commons
The Global Gender Program 
The Elliott School of International Affairs
The George Washington University
Washington, DC  20052
 RSVP here!
Light Breakfast and Registration
9:30-10:00 am

Event Agenda

Welcome and opening remarks 

Aisling Swaine
Associate Professor of Practice of International Affairs, Elliott School of International Affairs,
The George Washington University

Overview of issues of UN Security Council Resolution 1325,
gender equality and militaries

Chantal de Jon Oudraat
President of Women in International Security, Senior Advisor to the Center for Gender and Peacebuilding,
U.S. Institute of Peace

Institutional approaches to promoting implementation of
UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in the
Irish Defence Forces

Comdt. Jayne Lawlor
Defence Forces Gender, Equality and Diversity Officer, Human Resources Branch,
Irish Defence Forces HQ

  Integration of UNSCR 1325 and gender perspectives into NATOs operations and missions

Charlotte Isaaksson
Gender Adviser, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, NATO

A field perspective on integrating WPS into military operations 

Brenda Oppermann
Stability Operations and Development Advisor

 Discussant, response to previous speakers and
key issues going forward

Robert Egnell 
Visiting Professor and Director of Teaching, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security,
Georgetown University

RSVP here!

The year 2015, marks the 15th Anniversary of the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 which established the women in peace and security agenda. One of the most challenging areas to advance implementation is where it is most needed – within military institutions. With a view to the 2015 anniversary and planned high-level review of the implementation of Resolution 1325, this event convenes experts who will discuss gaps in implementation, what works, and what should be done going forward.

International event

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

International Gender Conference in DEV

DEV organisers are seeking contributions to panels at the International Conference on Gender Relations and Rising Inequalities.

The increasing evidence for rising inequalities across developing and developed countries has left us with a deepening concern about where this leaves gender relations, with new questions about directions of change and the new forms that gender inequalities may take in the years to come, and the challenges this will pose for development and social justice. It feels like an important moment for gender analysts to take stock and to look forward.

To engage with these issues, DEV will be holding an international conference on Gender Relations and Rising Inequalities at the UEA between 6-8 July 2015, and are seeking papers and panel convenors.

For further details, please get in touch with Nitya Rao ( or Cecile Jackson ( – or alternatively, visit our website at and select the ‘Gender Conference’ tab.

DC event recap: Global Security and Gender–Lessons from Sweden’s Foreign Policy

Monday, February 2nd, 2015


Global Security and Gender: Lessons from Sweden’s Foreign Policy

by student contributor Hannah Stambaugh

Sweden’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström, has announced that Sweden will be the world’s first country to pursue a feminist foreign policy. On January 28th, Minister Wallström spoke about Sweden’s groundbreaking new policy agenda at the United States Institute for Peace (USIP), an event co-sponsored by the Swedish Embassy in DC. In her keynote address, Wallström emphasized that Sweden would be actively integrating gender into “all aspects of foreign policy.”

Margot Wallström, a leading member of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, has served as Sweden’s Minister of Foreign Affairs since 2014. Amongst her notable past positions, she has served as Minister of Culture and Minister of Social Affairs, has served as a member of Parliament, and has served as Special Representative to the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence and Conflict. Throughout her career, she has championed women’s rights and wider human rights.

An Wednesday’s event, Wallström outlined the “what” and the “how” of a feminist foreign policy. A feminist agenda is not just a women’s agenda, “it is a wider human rights and security agenda,” she asserted.