Past Events & News

Information on events that occurred within the past year is available under Events & News: Recent Events.

Past Events & News

Stern Auditorium, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 1468 Madison Avenue at 100th Street, NYC, NY
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Carol Cohn, Director of the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights will be speaking at "Realizing Rights for Women and Girls: Creating a Healthier World," a conference conceived by physicians and educators to spotlight the complex interactions between health and human rights for women and girls.  Topics ranging from gender-based violence, trafficking, and human rights violations in the context of war and asylum, to women’s access to education, legal systems and economic participation will be explored.
A diverse and accomplished array of speakers and participants will provide an environment of exploration and innovative thought, with the aim of inspiring meaningful and positive change in our local and global communities
Speakers will include:
  • Joanne Ahola, Psychiatric Director, Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights
  • Semhar Araia, Executive Director, Diaspora African Women's Network
  • Holly Atkinson, Director, Human Rights Program, Arnhold Global Health Institute at Mount Sinai
  • Juan Battle, Professor of Sociology, Public Health and Urban Education, City University of New York
  • Luisa Cabal, Vice President of Programs, Center for Reproductive Rights
  • Carol Cohn, Director, Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights, UMASS Boston
  • Gail Dines, Author, Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality
  • Mallika Dutt, Founder, Breakthrough
  • William Easterly, Professor of Economics, NYU
  • Yasmine Ergas, Director, Gender and Public Policy Specialization, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs
  • Jessica Greer Morris, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Girl Be Heard
  • Yasmin Green, Principal, Google Ideas
  • Jin In, Founder, 4Girls GLocal Leadership (4GGL)
  • Allen Keller, Director, Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture
  • Daniel Lugassy, Assistant Professor, NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker of the New York City Council
  • Rohini Pande, Professor of Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard
  • Ken Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch
  • Ryan Schlief, Co-Director, International Accountability Project
Sponsored by The Arnhold Global Health Institute and Graduate Program in Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai,
with Weill Cornell Medical College and the Associated Medical Schools of New York.

University of Iceland, Askja building, room 132
Friday, April 4, 2014 to Saturday, April 5, 2014

Consortium director Carol Cohn will deliver the keynote address at this conference, with a talk entitled Why is it so Hard to Get Women to the Peace Table? And Why is That Not Even the Right Question? The talk will be followed by a panel discussion with former UNU-GEST Fellows and Gender Experts: Susan Asio from Uganda, and Fatima Wahaidy from Gaza, Palestine.

The conference is hosted by EDDA – Center of Excellence at the University of Iceland in collaboration with the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian Embassy in Iceland, the United Nations University Gender Studies and Training Programme at the University of Iceland, the Institute of International Affairs at the University of Iceland, and the National Committee of UN Women in Iceland.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Women and Wars, edited by Carol Cohn (Polity Press, 2013) uses a feminist gender analytic framework to examine the diversity and complexity of women’s experiences of and agency in war and peacebuilding.  It aims to present the complex dynamics of contemporary warfare, of militarization and peace building, arguing that one can understand neither women’s relation to war nor war itself without understanding gender, and understanding the ways that war and gender are, in fact, mutually constitutive. Developing what Cynthia Enloe, in her Foreword, describes as a “sophisticated, up-to-date gender analytical tool kit,” the volume engages with the experiences of women and girls, men and boys, and more broadly, with constructions of masculinity in both peace and war; in so doing, it demonstrates that attention to the specificity of women’s and men’s lives helps us see that the familiar binary of “war and peace” obscures a far more complex reality. All the contributors have had first-hand experience of the challenges represented by a commitment to using their gender-analytical tool kit in conflict affected contexts, which informs their individual chapters.

The book includes a chapter developing an extensive conceptual framework for thinking about gender and armed conflict by Carol Cohn, followed by chapters on: Women and the Political Economy of War (Angela Raven-Roberts); Sexual Violence and Women's Health in War (Pamela DeLargy); Women as Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (Wenona Giles); Women’s Political Activism in the Face of War and Militarization (Carol Cohn & Ruth Jacobson); Women and State Military Forces (Jennifer G. Mathers); Women, Girls and Non-State Armed Opposition Groups (Dyan Mazurana); Women and Peace Processes (Malathi de Alwis, Julie Mertus & Tazreena Sajjad); Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (Dyan Mazurana & Linda Ekerbom Cole); and Women "After" Wars (Ruth Jacobson).

“To my mind, the very best academic work makes its reader sit up and take notice, either because the ideas are unfamiliar or because familiar ideas have been articulated in a new and engaging way. The individual chapters in this volume do both of these things, and as such it deserves to be well received and widely read.”

- Laura Shepherd, University of New South Wales


Reviews of Women and Wars

By Laura Shepherd:

By Christine Sylvester:

By Erika Cudworth:

By Katherine E. Brown:

By Jean Owen:

UMass Lowell
Monday, June 3, 2013 to Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights worked with UMass system partners to plan the first public university conference of the Women in Public Service Project (WPSP).  The conference, on “Conflict Transformation through Economic Development and Innovation,” was held June 3 -5, 2013, at UMass Lowell.  The conference delegates were women leaders from Afghanistan, Liberia, Northern Ireland and Turkey.

The Consortium organized a pre-conference workshop for the delegates, to provide the opportunity for the delegates to learn about and from each other and to exchange expertise and experience before the formal schedule of the conference.  
The Consortium also organized the conference’s opening plenary session, on “The Gendered Political Economy of Building Peace in Conflict-Affected States.”  It included a panel of speakers from Pakistan, Sudan and the U.S., followed by workshops on topics such as gender-budgeting and the ambiguous effects of micro-finance programs for women. (Click here for more information about the panel’s aims and participants. A full report is forthcoming.)
The Women in Public Service Project (WPSP) began as an initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the Five Sisters women’s colleges – Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Smith and Wellesley – and is now housed at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Founded in 2011, it has now grown to include other institutions higher education and partner institutions around the world. The initiative seeks to advance women to positions of influence in governments and civic organizations worldwide, and support the next generation of women leaders who will invest in their countries and communities, provide leadership for their governments and societies, and help change the way global solutions are developed. 

Campus Center, Room 3545, UMass Boston
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Are you interested in the gender dimensions of armed conflict, post-conflict peacebuilding, development and security?

If so, please join us for an opportunity to meet other scholars who share your curiosity and commitment!

On Tuesday, February 11th, the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights will host an informal gathering of Boston area professors and graduate students.  It will be an occasion to learn about each other's research interests and to begin to strengthen the network of local scholars working in this field.  We'll also discuss a new spring study group, and other ideas you may have for strengthening this community.

So please join us for some good conversation and tasty refreshments!  And please help spread the word to other colleagues who might be interested.

If you plan to attend, please let us know at

If you are unable to attend, but are interested in participating in future events, please email our Associate Director at

We hope you will be able to join us!

Sheraton Centre, Toronto
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 to Friday, March 28, 2014

Panel: "FTGS Honors the Work of Carol Cohn"

PanelistsJ. Ann Tickner (American University); Terrell Carver (University of Bristol); Kathy E. Ferguson (University of Hawaii at Manoa); Sandra McEvoy (Wheelock College and former Associate Director of the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights); Malathi de Alwis; Lynn Eden (Stanford University) 

The FTGS section of ISA brings together scholars who apply feminist theory to International Relations or look at the field through a gender lens and it annually honors an eminent scholar in the International Relations sub-field of Feminist Theory and Gender Studies. Through their research, eminent scholars have made a significant impact and have pushed the boundaries of the sub-field. Many FTGS eminent scholars have also distinguished themselves through their commitment to the section and have advanced feminist scholarship through their teaching, mentoring and leadership. This year's recipient is the Director of the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights, Dr. Carol Cohn. 

Date: March 26, 2014

Time: 4:00 - 5:45pm



Website Launch and Reception: The Consortium will launch its new website at the FTGS reception!

The Consortium will launch its new website at the reception held jointly by: Feminist Theory and Gender Studies (FTGS) Section: Women's Caucus; and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Transgendered, and Allies Section, where FTGS will also be honoring FTGS Eminent Scholar Carol Cohn.

This will be the first time the Consortium's brand new website will be unveiled publically! If you are at ISA we encourage you to come and check out our new interactive research website.

Date: March 26, 2014

Time: 6:45 - 8:00pm 



Roundtable: "Feminist Security Studies and Feminist Global Political Economy: Crossing Divides and Rebuilding Bridges," 

Juanita Elias and Shirin M. Rai (University of Warwick) chair this roundtable.

Roundtable participants are: Jacqui True (Monash University); Carol E. Cohn (Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights); Katherine Allison (University of Glasgow); Laura Sjoberg (University of Florida)

Date: March 27, 2014

Time: 10:30 am - 12:15 pm



Panel: "Still Gendering Global Governance - Mapping the Reach of Institutions, Norms, and Actors"

Carol Cohn is the discussant on this panel featuring:

  • "Constructing A Gender Equality Agenda Within the OECD: The Working Party on the Role of Women in the Economy," Rianne Mahon (Balsillie School of International Affairs)
  • "Global Governance and UN Women: Nested Newness and the Gendered Limits of Institutional Reform," Fiona Mackay (University of Edinburgh)
  • "Assessing Global Gender (In)Equality: A CEDAW-based Approach,"  Susanne Zwingel (Florida International University) and Debra Liebowitz (Drew University)
  • "Expertise in the Global Governance of Gender," Hayley Anna Thompson (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies)
  • "Strategy from the Margins: The Role of the Community of UN Gender Practitioners in the Evolution of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda" Megan Alexandra Dersnah (University of Toronto)
  • "Global Governance and UN Women: Nested Newness and the Gendered Limits of Institutional Reform," Fiona Mackay (University of Edinburgh)

Date: March 27, 2014

Time: 8:15 am - 10:00 am



Panel: "Non-State Armed Groups, Gender, Violence, and Internal Controls"

The Consortium's Associate Director Phoebe Randel organized this panel, whose participants include:

Chair Carol E. Cohn, Chair (Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights)

Disc. Erin K. Baines, Discussant (University of British Columbia)

  • "Towards a Feminist Position on a the Non-State Actor in Conflict and Post Conflict Settings," Fionnuala Ni Aolain (University of Minnesota Law School)
  • "Does Women's Participation Influence Support for the NSAG?" Jakana L. Thomas (Michigan State University)
  • "Gender: The Missing Piece to Understanding Violence by Non-state Armed Groups" Phoebe Randel (Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights)
  • "Beyond Victims and Perpetrators: Towards a More Nuanced Understanding of Women Militants' Identities in the Colombian Armed Conflict," Roxanne Krystalli
  • "Sexual Violence in the Contemporary Colombian Armed Conflict: Gender, Power and Calculated Violence," Jeremy Harkey

Date: March 28, 2014

Time: 8:15 - 10:15 am



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