Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Org Spotlight: Mending the Sacred Hoop

Monday, February 8th, 2016

“The Mending the Sacred Hoop logo represents the healing of our communities based on the teachings of the Medicine Wheel. Each section of the Medicine Wheel represents one of the four cardinal directions with a corresponding color. The outer rim represents the Sacred Hoop as being broken yet with the ribbon symbolizing our work we are in the process of mending it. The turtle represents Earth, North American/Turtle Island, wisdom, longevity and woman. With women being at the center of our work, our families, and communities we place the turtle in the center of the Sacred Hoop.” –Our Logo

Mending the Sacred Hoop is a Native-owned and operated nonprofit organization that seeks to end violence against Native American women and children throughout the state of Minnesota. Mending the Sacred Hoop also works with Tribes and Native communities throughout the country to address violence against Native women on a national level. The organization was founded in Duluth, MN, home to large American Indian/Alaskan Native communities, in the 1980’s. It has grown from a collection of organizing efforts addressing Native women’s issues.

Native women face the highest rates of victimization of any population in the United States by perpetrators of all races. Mending the Sacred Hoop was created to combat this injustice through advocacy and organizing. The organization works to “reclaim indigenous teachings on culture and values to create social change” within Native communities locally and nationally.

Mending the Sacred Hoop began as a program within the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP) with the original goal of changing the way Native women’s issues are addressed systemically.  In the decades since its founding, it has expanded and separated from DAIP to become its own nonprofit. The organization provides a range of services and programs to prevent violence within Native communities. They provide technical assistance and training to support effective community responses to crimes against women and children.  Additionally, they have established male perpetrator re-education classes, host community gatherings to integrate the voices of community members, and oversee an intervention project in a local county. Furthermore, Mending the Sacred Hoop has participated in local, state, and national advocacy. One of the organization’s largest successes was a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to create the Sacred Hoop S.T.O.P. Violence Against Indian Women Technical Assistance Project. 

Org Spotlight: Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) Nigeria

Monday, November 9th, 2015


49AdJDBlWRAPA is an NGO dedicating to promoting women’s rights within the Nigerian legal system [customary, common, and Sharia]. Founded in 1999 by Nigeria’s former First Lady Hon. Justice F.L. Abubakar, WRAPA works to enhance women’s access to justice, to highlight the gross cultural/legal challenges faced by Nigerian women, to provide legal representation, and to advocate for legal reforms and cultural shifts in line with women’s human rights. WRAPA’s network of volunteers and members operate in all 36 Nigerian states. There are over 16,000 registered members, including men and youths, who work at group and individual levels to advance the organization’s ideals.

The organization’s activities include legal aid and counseling services, mobilization and sensitization, skills training, advocacy for legal reform at the national and international level, work around violence against women, and work around women’s political participation. WRAPA is one of the leading organizations in the campaign for ratification and domestication of CEDAW and the African Union Protocol on Women’s Rights.

WRAPA was one of seven global recipients of the 2014 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, worth U.S. $750,000. It was the only organization that was not American or Canadian.



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.


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.


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.


Org Spotlight: Commission for Gender Equality

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Commission for Gender Equality

CGE logo

The Commission for Gender Equality is an independent institution created  by the Constitution of South Africa.  The purpose of the Commission is to advance, promote, and protect gender equality in South Africa through undertaking research, public education, policy development, legislative initiatives, effective monitoring and litigation. The goals of the Commission are to demystify gender oppression, revise  gender relations, and  promote the substantive improvement in the quality and life experiences of the disadvantaged gender in society. Based in South Africa, the Commission’s vision is to establish a society free from gender oppression and all forms of inequality.