Mission & History


Our mission is to create a more peaceful, just and gender equitable world through programs designed to:

  • work across scholarly, policy, and activist communities to create the multidimensional, intersectional feminist gendered analyses that are imperative to finding sustainable and just solutions -- not only to wars, but to the political, social, and economic inequalities that underlie them;
  • transform gender and security research and policy agendas
  • foster innovative education, activism and practice.



The Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights was founded in 2002, with generous support from the Ford Foundation.  Initially, the Consortium's primary goal was  to integrate the study of gender and of women into research on human rights, security, and armed conflict.  Scholars from five leading academic centers and programs in the Boston area came together with the purpose of “changing the political and academic understanding of the security field so that the dynamics of gender become salient at all points in the conflict process, from prevention through post-conflict reconstruction.”  The five original centers were:

  • The Women and Public Policy Program at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • The Center for Gender in Organizations at the Simmons School of Management
  • The Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
  • The Carr Center for Human Rights at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • The Program on Peace and Justice at Wellesley College

In January of 2009, the Consortium moved to its current home at the University of Massachusetts Boston.



Since its founding, the Consortium has developed partnerships and collaborations far beyond its Boston origins, and we have been privileged to work with researchers, policymakers and practitioners, and civil society activists around the world.

During this time we have seen increased attention from international and national policy institutions to issues concerning women and war, but still little effective action.  In response, we have shifted to focus more on

bridging the gap between the scholarly research community on the one hand, and policy makers and practitioners on the other.

At the same time, we believe it is crucial to break through the limitations of the current “gender, peace and security” agenda. Thus, we see our role as catalyzing cross-community, cross-disciplinary conversations 

 to create the multidimensional, structural, feminist gendered analyses that are imperative to finding sustainable and just solutions --

not only to wars, but to the political, social, economic and environmental crises that underlie them.  

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