Political Empowerment

21st Century Global Feminisms

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2020

If girls “run the world”, why is gender equality so hard to achieve? It has been 100 years since women gained voting rights in the US and many European countries, 70 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and China’s state policy of gender equality, 50 years since the transnational Women’s Liberation movement, and 25 years since the UN Beijing Declaration. Yet, as a group, women and girls lag behind men and boys in almost every metric of social and economic power globally – and systematic data about gender non-binary people are scarcely available. This course is designed to empower students as change agents in the fight for global gender equality through a three-part toolkit: conceptual foundations; structural analyses; and repertoires of action, policies, and praxis. Our goal is to gain confidence and fluency in key terms, concepts, and debates in feminism and gender issues to facilitate dynamic learning and collaborative action. We will then learn to analyze, map, and interrogate gendered power structures locally and globally, seeking to understand how gender works in concert with other inequalities from women’s homes to the halls of power. How might we explain: why some countries and contexts are further along than others in achieving gender equality; why patriarchal backlash is so persistent; and whether capitalism is compatible with feminism? Finally, this future-oriented course turns toward feminist practices, policies, and actions that have been implemented and enacted from the individual to the national level. We will examine different strategies for achieving equality – their promises and pitfalls – seeking out opportunities for innovation and future transformation.
This course is built on intersectional and decolonized approaches to feminism, which serve as the state-of-the-art starting point for achieving gender equality in the 21st century. The course refers to feminismsbecause pluralism is both an empirical fact underpinning gender politics in global perspective, and a normative commitment for learning from feminist movements’ multiplicity and diversity. Throughout the course we will discuss various forms of oppression and discrimination as they relate to inequality – including racism, imperialism, and economic exploitation. However, this course is primarily focused on analyzing feminist and womxn’s struggles for freedom, rights, and dignity and will therefore engage with overlapping hierarchies as intrinsic to understanding how gendered power works (another course might examine the inverse to equally illuminating effect). Early on we will examine and discuss the gender binary that dominates most cultures’ conception of and language for describing sex, gender identities, and social norms. Students will be given time and tools to examine their own gendered identities, experiences, and social-political and -economic positions. And – in light of this work – we will commit to read, speak, and listen freely and inclusively, with rigor and kindness in accordance with community norms set by the class.... Read more about 21st Century Global Feminisms

Gender and Public Policy Seminar: Promoting Diversity in Organizations

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2020

The Gender and Public Policy Seminar has been designed to give students an opportunity to engage with leading-edge scholars and practitioners working to advance gender equality. Because the subject of “gender and public policy” is too wide ranging and global to address within a single semester, we aim to focus the course each year on a “spotlight” issue. 

The spotlight focus for the Spring 2020 semester is promoting race and gender equality at work. More specifically, the seminar will cover organizationally-relevant research on workplace discrimination, and offer a model...

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2019 May 07

How Women Saved Rwanda

6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: 

Johm F. Kennedy, Jr. Forum

Twenty-five years ago, the African nation of Rwanda was ripped apart by a genocide that left nearly a million dead. The untold story is that when the bloodshed ended, women not only buried the dead and cared for orphaned children, they drove a recovery that laid a foundation for their current political and economic power. Join our conversation with the visionary pioneers who carved out unlikely new roles for themselves, creating stability and reconciliation in genocide’s wake. Moderated by Ambassador Swanee Hunt, Founder of the Women and Public Policy Program...

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2019 Apr 23

Women, Peace & Power

6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: 

Wexner Building, Room 436

Between 1990 and 2017, 92% of peace negotiators were men. Women, Peace & Power follows the stories of female activists, politicians, and ordinary citizens in Afghanistan, Liberia, and Northern Ireland as they try to influence peace talks against all odds. 

While some of these peacebuilders use sit-ins and mass rallies to push for change, others win elections to negotiate at the peace table. All face challenges to their authority and legitimacy as they attempt to steer their countries away from war.

A panel discussion will follow the...

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2019 Feb 20

Unpacking White Feminism

11:40am to 1:00pm

Location: 

Room 434 AB, Wexner Building, Harvard Kennedy School

Explore the history of feminism through the lens of race with Rachel Cargle. Uncover layers of unlearned details, revealing the problematic effects that white centered activism has had on the past and present state of the feminist movement. She leaves her audience with new knowledge, meaningful tools, and powerful action items toward a more intentional and inclusive feminism.

This event is co-sponsored by the Gender Policy Union, Black Student Union, Degree Programs and  Student Affais (DPSA) and Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) at Harvard Kennedy School...

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