Archive for the ‘student post’ Category

Online with Professor Aisling Swaine

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

by staff contributor Camry Haskins

Aisling Swaine Jan 2014Tune in on Tuesday to hear, professor Aisling Swaine, and others, discuss National Action Plans. What are they and how they can help to increase implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. This event is specifically looking at these issues from an African context. For anyone who knows professor Swaine, you know that she is an expert in the Women, Peace and Security agenda. She works at GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs, where she teaches four courses a year.

In the Fall she leads an undergraduate course, “Women, Rights, and Gender Equality”, and a graduate course, “Global Gender Policy”. She follows those courses up in the Spring with an undergraduate course, “Gender and Conflict”, and a graduate course, “Gender, War and Peace”.

In Tuesday’s webinar, National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security: What is the experience on the ground?, they will discuss whether National Action Plans are useful tools or only serve a superficial purpose. We are all eager to hear where professor Swaine stands and what prospects she sees for National Action Plans in Africa’s future.


What women want, what women need: Female leadership in East Asia

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

by staff contributor Camry Haskins

east asiaOn Tuesday, December 15, the Asia Program at the Wilson Center put on an event titled, “What Women Want, What Women Need: Challenges and Opportunities for Female Leaders and Executives in East Asia”. This event was paneled by four women representing a host of organizations and different countries throughout East Asia. Wenchi Yu is the Asia Pacific head of corporate engagement at Goldman Sachs. Junko Tanaka is the Washington Bureau Chief at NHK. Jamie Younghee Sheen is the Founder and CEO of naisA Global. And finally, Doris Chang is an Associate professor of women’s studies at Wichita State University. Together the narrative was varied and telling of what East Asian women are facing today.

The discussion started out by highlighting the benefits of women in leadership roles, such as how increasing women can add trillions of dollars to global GDP. They also discussed the number of East Asian countries that had elected female heads of State, with Japan likely to be the next. And though, 2016 is said to be the year of women’s leadership in East Asia, there are still many areas that could use improvement.


Engaging men and boys: Partners to reach gender equality

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

by staff contributor Camry Haskins

US-Official-PeaceCorps-Logo.svgOn Tuesday, December 15, the Peace Corps office in Washington, D.C. hosted an event entitled “Engaging men and boys: Partners to reach gender equality”. This event had speakers discussing the role of men and boys from Armenia, to The Gambia, Croatia, and the United States of America. Though aspects of their stories differed, the constant that did not alter was the importance of including men within gender in ways that will both improve their own lives while also helping to reach gender equality for women.

In Armenia, a Peace Corps employee helped to start an all girls soccer team. She overcame the obstacles of boys who weren’t supportive by empowering the girls to reach out in their own way. The girls brought the boys in as referees for the game. This allowed the boys to feel a part of the action and soon they were rooting for the girls on the sidelines. Girls were given the power to problem solve, and boys were made into a positive force rather than a barrier.


Women and water: barriers and advancements in Central and South Asia

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

by staff contributor Camry Haskins


[from left to right] Marcus King, Marlene Laruelle, Sean Roberts, Deepa Ollapally, and Barbara Miller

On Friday, December 11, GGP co-hosted an event, entitled “Women and Water in Central Asia and South Asia: Building a Sustainable Future”. This event had a number of highlights, including: spotlighting organizations working on the ground, showcasing a film, and releasing the project’s Final Policy Report. GGP’s Director, Barbara Miller, spoke on the first panel discussing a paper that she co-wrote with Marlene Stearns (Founding Director, Women’s Food Leadership Initiative), entitled Women, Water and Food Security: Lessons from the Global South.

The second panel had an impressive line up of organizations based in Central and South Asia. Conversations focused on simple mechanisms for healthier living, including: composting toilets, water harvesting, and the Tippy Tap. Tippy Taps are easy to construct hands-free washing stations that allow individuals to utilize sanitary facilities in extremely cost-effective ways.


UNFPA report highlights women and girls’ reproductive health rights in crisis

Monday, December 14th, 2015

by staff contributor Lesli Davis

inside-picKate Gilmore, speaking at the launch of the State of the World Population 2015 Report, asserted, “As predictable as hunger, as essential as shelter, sexual and reproductive health is of specific and particular consequence to women and young people.” She stressed that these rights are “most vulnerable to attack in these humanitarian and fragile settings.”

The United Nations Population Fund’s 2015 report, Shelter from the Storm: A Transformative Agenda for Women and Girls in a Crisis Prone World emphasizes the importance of sexual and reproductive rights for women and girls, and urges that these rights must be upheld even in the most difficult situations, often referencing the current Syrian refugee crisis.


What happens when sex work is criminalized?

Monday, December 7th, 2015

by staff contributor Camry Haskins

Lisa Cameron, Professor, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics, Monash University

Lisa Cameron, Professor,
Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics, Monash University

On Tuesday, December 1, Lisa Cameron of Monash University, shared her team’s findings on the criminalization of sex work in Indonesia. What began as an effort to collect data on the risk preferences of female sex workers (FSWs) and their clients turned into a study on the unintended consequences of criminalizing sex work. 

Midway through their data collection, one region of their observation criminalized sex work. Rather than give up on their data, Cameron and her team tweaked it into a comparable study between regions of criminalization versus those without any laws on the books. They had already collected data on condom use and STD testing on all of their subjects prior to criminalization and so their new aim began to see if any notable differences occurred between the criminalized sites and the non criminalized ones.


“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


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.


Elliott students in the field

Monday, September 14th, 2015

Timor-Leste:  Youth and women’s empowerment through the arts

Monica de Pinto Ribeiro Hancke
MA Candidate, International Development Studies, Gender concentration

Monica (second from the left) with the Drama team

Monica (second from the left) with the Drama team

For most people, Timor-Leste is an un-heard-of country in the middle of a far-off sea someplace completely unimaginable in their daily lives. It only rings a bell in if you describe its turbulent history of Portuguese colonialism, brutal Indonesian occupation and its to-the-death struggle for independence. For me, it is a country and a people I have heard about since my childhood: two of my uncles were deployed there as Portuguese soldiers in the 1970s and have since shared their stories with the family at every possible opportunity. My Portuguese mother was also committed to teaching me about Portuguese history, and our “mighty empire,” as a way of connecting me to her culture, the one she aspired I would identify with too despite my third-culture upbringing. To her credit, to some extent, it worked!