Political Empowerment

2019 Apr 25

Organizing for the US Equal Rights Amendment: Strategic Strengths and Failures

11:45am to 1:00pm


Ellwood Democracy Lab, Rubenstein 414

Jane Mansbridge, Adams Professor of Political Leadership and Democratic Values, Harvard Kennedy School

Organizing for the Equal Rights Amendment the first time round, in 1972-82, tapped the strengths and experienced the weaknesses of social movements in general.  The strengths of social movements derive from their “hydra-headed” qualities:  the activists bubble up from many different arenas, giving...

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2018 Dec 04

The Meaning of the Midterms: Who Counted? Who Voted?

4:15pm to 6:15pm


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University Knafel Center, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge MA

The year 2018 will be remembered for its surge in women’s candidacies. Whether through individual, high-profile victories or the sheer force of hundreds upon hundreds of women standing for office, the midterm electoral cycle reflected options at the local, state, and national levels that were starkly different from any that Americans have confronted before at the ballot box. This panel will offer an analysis of the election results through a diverse set of perspectives—academic, experiential, gendered, generational, geographic, and political—to...

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2018 Oct 15

Women Running for Office 101



WAPPP Cason Seminar Room, Taubman 102

Join us for a training session with IOP Fellow Amy Dacey. The session is co-sponsored by the following student groups at HKS: Women in Power PIC, Electoral Politics PIC, and City & Local PIC.

This event is co-sponsored by the Institute of Politics and the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School.

Jessica Preece

Jessica Preece

Associate Professor in Political Science at Brigham Young University
WAPPP Fellow

Jessica Preece’s research focuses on the role political party messaging and recruitment plays in women’s political representation. As a WAPPP Fellow, she will develop interventions for party leaders interested in seeing more women run for and win office.

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Ghazal Zulfiqar

Ghazal Zulfiqar

Assistant Professor at the Suleman Dawood School of Business, the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan
WAPPP Fellow

Ghazal Zulfiqar’s research is focused on analyzing the different approaches to global and local advocacy for marginalized women workers in the informal economies of the Global South.

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Solidarity: Transnational Women's Rights from Suffrage to NGOs





“Solidarity” takes an intersectional approach to the study of women’s and sexual rights in transnational perspective from the late nineteenth century until today. In this course, we will explore how American feminism, particularly through the fight for women’s suffrage, set the agenda for issues of equality and sexual rights around the world, often in complex and contradictory ways. Through a semester-long engagement with Schlesinger Library collections on transnational feminist and women of color feminisms, we will investigate feminist links to and critiques of the imperial project – from anti-trafficking campaigns in colonial and postcolonial India, to transnational feminist labor movements in the Philippines and Bangladesh, to the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Together, we will think about the complex relationship of feminism and war, the place of feminist thought in debates about incarceration and immigration, and the contradictory role of feminism in global movements for rights. 

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Global Feminisms





Feminism shapes the world we live in today. Debates about women's and sexual rights define almost every public debate today -- from sexual harassment, to electoral politics, to development, public health, and human rights. But when, and where, did ideas of women's equal rights and liberation emerge? This course digs into the deep history of feminism from a global perspective. It traces the intimate relationship between feminism, colonialism, and racism in case studies from America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, from the eighteenth century until today. We will immerse ourselves in rare materials on transnational and global feminism in the Schlesinger Library here at Harvard. Over the course of the semester, you will build a toolkit of critical thinking and writing skills by engaging diverse primary sources, including political writings of women of color and colonized women, short stories, posters, movies, and human rights reports. You will come away from the course having a deeper understanding of ideas of equality and justice that define politics today.
Readings will highlight marginalized authors, women writers, especially women of color authors, from previously enslaved women in the US South to indigenous people to colonized women in India and Africa. Reading assignments will focus on primary historical sources and encompass diverse genres, from political thought and speeches to fantasy fiction to posters.
Students will build critical skills through assignments that build source analysis skills over the course of the semester, including an annotation of visual materials (a poster or cartoon), short primary source analysis papers using materials from Schlesinger Library, and a final film analysis paper.

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I Will Survive: Women's Political Resistance Through Popular Song





This course will examine how women, through popular music, have articulated a clear political analysis of their oppression that has reached large audiences and become foundational to American culture. We will begin with African-American blues in the early 20th century and move through jazz, torch singing, folk, girl groups, disco, and contemporary song. Along with music readings we will include biographical, historical, and critical texts that will place these women in their artistic and political contexts. Performers studied will include, among others, Bessie Smith, the Boswell Sisters, Billie Holiday, Marian Anderson, Peggy Lee, Joan Baez, Gloria Gaynor, and Amy Winehouse.

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