Intimate Violence and Sexual Violence in Chinese Societies with Jia Xue

October 12, 2017

In this seminar, Jia Xue discusses the current state of domestic violence law in China. In particular, she focuses on how this social issue transfers into a policy agenda. Jia draws on findings from her current project, which examines the use of social media in the context of intimate partner violence in China. Additionally, she introduces another project investigating the impact of intimate partner violence on mental health through the examination of Weibo messages (Chinese version of Twitter).


Jia Xue, Ph.D. Candidate in Social Welfare, University of Pennsylvania. Fellow, Carr Center for Human Rights


Intersectionality and Women’s Health: Sexual Orientation, Race/Ethnicity, and Cervical Cancer Screening with Madina Agénor

April 13, 2017

This seminar explores why investigating health inequities in relation to multiple dimensions of social inequality is critical to promoting women's health. Drawing on her quantitative and qualitative research, Madina Agénor addresses how sexual orientation and race/ethnicity simultaneously affect cervical cancer screening among U.S. women and shows that neglecting to examine the role of multiple dimensions of social inequality can lead to interventions that fail to promote the health of the most marginalized women.

Madina Agénor, Assistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health


The Long-run Effect of Maternity Leave Benefits on Mental Health: Evidence from European Countries with Lisa Berkman

April 7, 2016

Maternity leave policies have known effects on short-term child outcomes. However, little is known about the long-run impact of such leaves on women’s health as they age. This seminar examines whether maternity leave policies have an effect on women's mental health in older age. Data for women age 50 years and above from countries in the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) are linked to data on maternity leave legislation from 1960 onwards. A difference-in-differences approach that exploits changes over time within countries in the duration and compensation of maternity leave benefits is linked to the year women were giving birth to their first child at age 16 to 25. Late-life depressive symptom scores of mothers who were in employment in the period around the birth of their first child were compared to depression scores of mothers who were not in employment in the period surrounding the birth of a first child and, therefore, did not benefit directly from maternity leave benefits. The findings suggest that a more generous maternity leave during the birth of a first child is associated with reduced depression symptoms in late life. This seminar explores how policies experienced in midlife may have long-run consequences for women’s health and wellbeing.


Lisa Berkman, Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and of Epidemiology; Director, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, Harvard. T.H. Chan School of Public Health


What Works: Gender Equality, By Design

September 10, 2015

With gender equality increasingly a business imperative, in addition to being a human right, many leaders across the sectors wonder how we can get there. In the first WAPPP Seminar of 2015-16, Professor Bohnet discusses her forthcoming book "What Works: Gender Equality, By Design" (Harvard University Press 2016). Reviewing the impact of what we have been doing to date, including diversity and leadership trainings, networking, and mentorship/sponsorship programs, Bohnet proposes a new approach to leveling the playing field. Building on insights from Behavioral Economics, she argues that to overcome gender bias in organizations and society, we should focus on de-biasing systems—how we evaluate performance, hire, promote, structure tests, form groups—rather than on trying to de-bias people. Speaker: Iris Bohnet, Professor of Public Policy; Director, Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School


Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity with Jeni Klugman

February 13, 2015

The constraints facing women and girls worldwide range from epidemic levels of gender-based violence to biased laws and norms that prevent them from owning property, working, and making decisions about their own lives. The World Bank’s new book, “Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity,” documents major gender gaps and reviews promising policies and interventions. Underlining that women's agency–their ability to make decisions and act on them independently–has concrete as well as intrinsic value, WAPPP Fellow Jeni Klugman highlights new interventions from around the world that are used to empower women and girls, in conjunction with United Nations post-2015 global development agenda.


Closing the Gender Gap: Progress and Policies to Achieve Gender Equality in Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship with Monika Queisser

October 24, 2014

How can we work toward greater gender equality and women’s empowerment in OECD countries and emerging economies around the world? The OECD’s answer is focusing on the 3 “E”s: education, employment and entrepreneurship. Recent public policy initiatives such as the OECD Gender Recommendation and gender work by the G20 forum emphasize the importance of increasing female labor force participation to achieve strong and balanced growth. OECD’s Head of Social Policy Division, Monika Queisser reviews these recommendations and other initiatives in the OECD countries, and disseminates new findings that aim to achieve better representation of women in public sector leadership. Speaker: Monika Queisser, Head of Social Policy Division, Directorate of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD


Women, Business and the Law: Removing Restrictions to Enhance Gender Equality with Sarah Iqbal

October 3, 2014

Men and women throughout the world want to provide for their families and ensure their children have a good start in life. Often, the chance to start a business or get a job is the surest way to accomplish this goal. But how can we be sure that women have the same opportunities as men to fulfill their economic potential? The World Bank Group's Women, Business and the Law project presents a unique dataset examining how the law can help or impede women from working and earning an income and what can be done to improve women's economic rights.


Intra-Household Bargaining Power in the Context of HIV Prevention: An Application to Married Couples in Rural Malawi with Berit Gerritzen

August 21, 2014

Gender inequality has been identified by UNAIDS as a key driver of the HIV epidemic. In Sub-Saharan Africa, where two-thirds of all HIV-infected people live, young women are up to eight times more likely than men to be infected. Using panel data from the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project MDICP, this research analyzes the importance of intra-household bargaining power in the context of HIV prevention (i.e., condom use within marriage and HIV-related spousal communication) and risky sexual behavior (i.e., self-reported male extramarital behavior). Data on spouses as well as junior wives (in the case of polygamous marriages) has been matched, which enables for a simultaneous assessment of changes in intra-household bargaining power of both partners. The panel dimension of the data allows me to capture unobserved heterogeneity and time trends by using individual-specific fixed effects and time dummies. Speaker: Berit Gerritzen, WAPPP Fellow, University of St. Gallen