Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Org Spotlight: WomanStats Project

Friday, February 27th, 2015

WomenStats Project


The WomanStats project is the world’s most comprehensive database of  information about the status of women. Founded in 2001, the database compiles cross-national information about women’s status in 175 countries using 350 separate indicators of women’s status, culminating in over 170,000 individual data points. The goal of the project is to investigate the linkages between security and state behavior and the status and security of the women within them. Research is led by 13 investigators at universities across four countries and is supported by the research of graduate and undergraduate students. The WomenStats project works within six interrelated fields: international relations, geography, psychology, sustainable development, statistics, and sociology. Primary goals of the project are threefold:

  • To develop the most comprehensive database on the situation and status of women in the world;
  • To develop innovative indices and measures to describe the situation and status of women, which will allow for empirical analysis, assessment, monitoring, and evaluation activities;
  • To perform empirical and spatial analysis of the relationship between the situation and status of women in the world with the behavior and security of states

WomenStats research has been published in esteemed journals including International Security and The Journal of Peace Research, has been published in a book entitled Sex and World Peace, and has been vetted by the United Nations, the US Department of Defense, the CIA, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

WomenStats research is publicly available. The website provides a comprehensive guide to utilizing the database and streamlining searches. The codebook shows the list of all variables. WomenStats also runs a blog.

Org Spotlight: Alliance of Tribal Coalitions to End Violence

Friday, February 20th, 2015

The Alliance of Tribal Coalitions to End Violence 


The Alliance of Tribal Coalitions to End Violence is an umbrella nonprofit organization representing Tribal Coalitions working to end sexual and domestic violence against Native people.  ATCEV was formed by Tribal Coalition leaders to deliver a unified voice against violence. Together, the Alliance seeks to strengthen ties and to share knowledge and resources between member coalitions. ATCEV supports and strengthens coalitions through sharing resources including policies, training curricula, outreach strategies and nonprofit development and sustainability. Collectively, ATCEV’s Coalition leaders have over 150 years of experience in victim services and Tribal nonprofit management.

The Alliance of Tribal Coalitions to End Violence currently consists of eighteen member coalitions across the country. These coalitions are:

Documentary recap: A Path Appears

Thursday, January 29th, 2015


A Path Appears: Sex Trafficking in the US

by Staff Contributor Camry Haskins

The first installment of “A Path Appears” focused on sex trafficking in the United States. It highlighted the fact that trafficking is not just a problem on the other side of the world. Trafficking is a very real problem in the United States of America. Nicholas Kristof, coauthor of the book, A Path Appears invited famous actors to spend time in different cities taking the opportunity to speak with women who have been affected by trafficking. Ashley Judd takes a moment to share her own history of incest and rape with women in a self-help group. After sharing her story, she is taken around the city she grew up in and is reintroduced to the city through a new lens.

Magdalen House is one organization highlighted in this documentary. Magdalen House is a free, two year, residential program for women who are trying to leave a life of prostitution. After housing the women and realizing how few have anything to put on their resume, an organization called Thistle Farms was created so that the women could gain work skills. Thistle Farms is staffed by the women and sends money back into the program.

An important point made was the power the community has to reduce the propensity of sex trafficking. Searching through websites such as can aid in locating girls who have potentially been coerced into prostitution. The law enforcement needs to step up their techniques in both finding missing girls and locking up their procurers. The pimps and johns need to be targeted by police, not the prostitutes. The end of the film highlighted a police operation that caught men responding to an ad for prostitution. They have apprehended hundreds of men this way. If law enforcement makes this their focus, trafficking can be reduced.

Don’t miss the second episode of A Path Appears, airing at 10pm on PBS  Monday, February 2.

Watch the first episode online until February 14.


Org Spotlight: Aisyiyah

Friday, January 16th, 2015



Aisyiyah: Women’s Movement Berkemajuan


Aisyiyah was established in 1917, making it nearly a century in operation. It is an autonomous organization of Muslim women working together throughout Indonesia, to contribute to the advancement of women in various fields of life, better education, health, economic, social welfare, legal awareness, political education, and women’s empowerment.

Aisyiyah has a history of promoting women’s empowerment. It was one of the organizations that were actively involved in creating the First Indonesian Women’s Congress in 1928. It was also one of the original initiators of the establishment of organizations federation’s Indonesian women’s organizations.

In other areas of development, Aisyiyah has founded a school to promote education, a number of hospitals to provide services to the general population as well as women and children’s care specifically, and Aisyiyah has established care facilities for a number of population groups around Indonesia. There is an orphanage, elderly home, and training facility.

Aisyiyah works to uphold Islam and the Islamic community throughout all of its work. This focus is realized in the form of charitable efforts, programs, and activities, including but not limited to:

  1. Increasing the dignity of women in accordance with the teachings of Islam.
  2. Improve education, develop culture, expand science and technology, and stimulating research.
  3. Improve the economy and entrepreneurship in the direction of improvement of quality of life.
  4. Improve and develop activities in the areas of social, welfare, health, and the environment.
  5. Improve and pursue law enforcement, justice and truth, and foster a spirit of unity and national unity.

Org Spotlight: WRDA

Friday, January 9th, 2015

The Women’s Resource and Development Agency


The Women’s Resource and Development Agency (WRDA) supports Women’s Groups and Networks within Northern Ireland. WRDA works from a feminist perspective in order to progress toward a fair and equal society where women are empowered within their own lives and with the influence to affect change in all areas of life.

WRDA is a regional organization working to advance women’s participation in society in order for women to achieve social, economic, political, and cultural progress. They partner with 20 other organizations and have the support of nine funders both within and outside of Northern Ireland.

Through their partnerships and funding WRDA is able to provide over 3000 training locations that have so far reached over 6000 participants. WRDA also uses their influence to campaign and lobby on issues affecting women. Through their work WRDA pushes policy makers to acknowledge the problems that women continue to face.

Most recently WRDA has helped to put together a factsheet on DOJ abortion consultation.

Kudos to Naomi Cahn

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

The Global Gender Program is very happy to congratulate one of GW’s own. George Washington University Law Professor, Naomi Cahn, has graced not one, but two best book lists this year. Her book,  Marriage Markets: How Inequality Is Remaking the American Family, is one of twenty books chosen for the Newsweek Staff Picks of 2014, and is on the list for the Economist’s Books of the Year! Cahn coauthored with June Carbone.


Interactive Map: Org Spotlights

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

As you, our readers know, every week the Global Gender Update includes a spotlight on an organization that focuses on gender issues around the world. We believe that it is important to highlight the hard work that people are doing in the United States and abroad to alleviate gender discrepancies. Each spotlight links to a longer blog post on our blog page, global.gender.current. The blog then contains a hyperlink to the organization’s website so that any interested parties have the opportunity to educate themselves further, and maybe even get involved. We try our best to represent as many countries as possible. Evidence of this work can be found by going to the Org Spotlight Archive and checking out our interactive map. As different organizations are spotlighted in the newsletter, there location is added to the map.

Event Recap: Designing Global Measures for Women’s Economic Empowerment

Monday, November 17th, 2014

By student contributor Laura Kilburylinda scott

Many benefits are expected to ensue from programs for women. Professor Linda Scott from the University of Oxford addressed the challenges she has observed in trying to design programs and measurements for women’s empowerment at the “Designing Global Measures for Women’s Economic Empowerment” hosted by The World Bank Group Gender Team and SME Finance Forum. Professor Scott has been involved in many impressive efforts to create and evaluate support systems for female entrepreneurs. These experiences have given her a distinguished perspective on the state of affairs in women’s entrepreneurship support.

In her discussion, Professor Scott discussed the challenges of measuring the actual results of programs focused on women’s empowerment. For Scott, thinking critically about women’s entrepreneurship in developing and developed countries holds positive implications for family wellbeing, community viability, and national prosperity. Facilitating women’s entrepreneurship is a tactic for economic development as it produces a “ripple effect” that manifests in a greater trajectory than just focusing on men’s incomes. Scott supports this statement by pointing out that in the community, women invest their earnings in children and the community itself, which then produces a greater and more significant change. Scott also focused on private sector efforts, which includes her work building the measurement system for Walmart’s Empowering Women Together program.

Walmart’s Empowering Women Together holds the intention to assist women entrepreneurs at an early stage in their career development by facilitating a point of entry and access to a broader base of consumers, which is the “Walmart shopper.” The program is still small, in terms of the number of entrepreneurs it is connection and engagement with, but it is working within thirteen countries on four continents, so it has upward mobility potential thus far. These small companies constructed by women entrepreneurs involve a wide range of industries and products, such as jewelry and fashion. Many of the companies are social enterprises that are organized to benefit at-risk employee populations, such as refugees and recovering drug addicts. All these aspects make the system unique as Professor Scott highlights that no one else has attempted to capture the design measures that will work to assess impact and diagnose problems for women-owned businesses in any industry, any place, for any group of women.

Professor Scott’s discussion focused on the need for more attention to be focused upon the restrictions attributable to gender in the planning, management, and evaluation of interventions and particularly the need to recognize national differences in the constraints on women. She touched on the tendency of those who pursue this agenda,  to treat women’s entrepreneurship as if it were any regular business venture without taking the time to properly consider the concrete limits that gender norms put on women’s ability to build an enterprise. As Scott pointed out, anyone that wants to make a difference in empowering women must learn to look through a “gender lens”. The primary limits she highlighted were: biased financial systems, restrictive property rights, limits on mobility, and, most significant, the threat of violence.

Addressing gender equality and gender-based crimes at the International Criminal Court

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Guest post by GW professor Aisling Swaine

The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court in The Hague,  has released for consultation its new Draft Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender Based Crimes (Draft Policy Paper).

The Draft Policy Paper is a welcome initiative from the OTP.  It provides a platform from which the OTP can contribute to furthering the application of International Criminal Law in ways that are both sensitive and responsive to a gendered understanding of international crimes.

The International Criminal Court. Source: The Telegraph

The International Criminal Court. Source: The Telegraph

If tailored to the needs of males, females, transgendered and inter-sex individuals of variant ages and intersectional characteristics, the full implementation of the Draft Policy Paper has the potential to ensure that a safe and holistic approach is taken to the prosecution of these crimes.

Dr. Catherine O’Rourke (Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster), Professor Fionnuala ní Aoláin (Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster and School of Law, Minnesota University) and I wrote  a response to the draft policy.

In our submission to the OTP, we highlighted the following:

  • The Draft Policy Paper appears to take an ‘integrationist’ approach to addressing gender in its work.  Our paper highlights that the integrationist approach does little to address the gendered assumptions and relations that inform why and how variant gendered identities may require specific tailored approaches.  We recommend that the Draft Policy Paper adopts Gender Mainstreaming as its approach.  As per UN Policy (ECOSOC Agreed Conclusions, 1997/2), Gender Mainstreaming, when fully implemented enables a transformative approach.  In the case of the OTP, this would mean that investigation and prosecution of sexual crimes would be based on an approach that uses gender analysis to address exclusions and the particularities of stigma, as well as the experiences of sexual violence on the basis of gender norms, which all  would be into taken account in ways that transform inequalities.
  • (more…)

Event report: Urbanization, conflict, and gender

Friday, February 28th, 2014

By student contributor Andrew Elliott

Urbanization and Insecurity: Crowding, Conflict, and Gender event. Source: Andrew Elliott.

Crowding, Conflict, and Gender event. Source: Andrew Elliott.

On February 18, the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies in Washington, D.C., held a panel event titled Urbanization and Insecurity: Crowding, Conflict, and Gender.

In a world where global urbanization is occurring at an unprecedented rate, modern cities are challenged by several consequences. One of these challenges has only recently began to be brought into the spotlight: the issue of gender based violence created by contemporary urbanization.

Three panelists discussed their research and the problems that connect the concepts of urban livelihood and gender based violence. All three panelists agreed with the centrical idea that up until recently there has been an ‘invisibility of gender based violence in cities.’ Their research takes this abstract concept of invisibility and exposes the inequalities exacerbated by the urban scene in the developing world.

Dr. Alfred O. Omenya. Source: University of Nairobi.

Alfred Omenya/University of Nairobi.

Alfred Omenya, a principal researcher at Eco-Build Africa, is also a professor and head of the School of Architecture and the Built Environment at the Technical University of Kenya. He conducted a study comparing gender based violence in four urban centers in the developing world; these being: Nairobi, Patna (India), Dili (East Timor), and Santiago (Chile). His study took an interesting turn of events as he originally sought to utilize Santiago as a counterexample proving that gender based violence was mostly found in lower income communities.

However, he found that even among those with a higher socio-economic status, gender-based violence was taking place at a frightening level. His findings suggested that when dividing everyday life events into occurring either in the public realm or private life, people only pay attention to what happens in the public realm. Omenya suggested that men feel like they have “ownership” over the violence that goes on in their property. Omenya cites three principal causes for why gender based violence has been invisible for so long: firstly that politically, women are excluded from roles of power in many developing nations, secondly, the high poverty rates amongst a majority of the population, and lastly, that for a long time there has been an inadequate consideration of what gender based violence really is, and up until recently most violence has been classified as being normal.