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
February 16, 2017
While gender equity is a core value in public service, women continue to be underrepresented in the top-level of leadership of public sector organizations. Existing explanations for why more women do not advance to top leadership positions consider factors, such as human and social capital, gender stereotypes and beliefs about effective leadership, familial expectations, and work-life conflict. Such studies, largely based on private-sector organizations, focus on why women do not reach top leadership positions rather than trying to understand how, or why, some women do. In this seminar, Amy Smith discusses findings from a multi-method study examining career histories of women and men who have reached the top-level of leadership in U.S. federal regulatory organizations. Her analysis identifies a typology of career paths for women and men in public service. Amy finds that while both women and men assert personal and professional qualifications to legitimize their claims to top leadership positions, they do so in different, possibly gendered, ways.
Amy E. Smith, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Public Affairs, McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston
December 1, 2016
Across the world, the increasing use of digital payments for government to person transactions for social programs has provided an entry point for the world’s poor into the formal financial sector. This phenomenon begs the question: how can governments best leverage this opportunity to enable economic empowerment for women? This seminar explores research that uses a randomized controlled trial to assess how financial inclusion coupled with targeted benefit payments impact women's labor force participation and economic welfare in India.
Simone Schaner, Assistant Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Dartmouth College
October 6, 2016
Historians have long suspected that Queen Victoria’s gender played a role in the rise of constitutional (e.g. ceremonial) monarchy in 19th-century Britain. But what was the nature of this role? In this seminar, Arianne Chernock takes on this question through an archival-based approach by exploring Victoria’s centrality to the early women’s rights movement in Britain – especially in inspiring women to demand the right to vote. Chernock argues that recognizing Victoria’s role in the women’s rights movement allows us to see the shift towards a more restricted Crown as an attempt to contain radical thinking about women, agency, and power to create a more democratic and transparent British state.
Speaker: Arianne Chernock, Associate Professor, Department of History, Boston University
September 15, 2016
In this seminar, the recent efforts by the Department of Education’s
Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to enforce Title IX policy are considered
in the broader context of unsuccessful attempts to establish protection
of sexual violence as a civil right in the United States. OCR
enforcement has stimulated both praise for its bold determination to
address an epidemic of sexual violence on college campuses and criticism
for its capacious exercise of administrative power. Bumiller reframes
this debate by considering how these regulatory measures are a new
chapter in a varied and complex story about the effectiveness of public
enforcement of civil rights statutes through the combination of
administrative and judicial action. Her work questions whether over
reliance on public agency enforcement potentially weakens the
participatory and democratic effects of private action. She also
examines how current federal regulations regarding Title IX continue a
pattern that over emphasizes criminal justice priorities.
Speaker: Kristin Bumiller, George Daniel Olds Professor in Economic and Social Institutions; Chair of Political Science, Amherst College
September 8, 2016
Rape is common during wartime, but even within the context of the same war, some armed groups perpetrate rape on a massive scale while others never do. In this seminar, Dara Kay Cohen discusses her new book, Rape during Civil War, and examines variation in the severity and perpetrators of rape using an original dataset of reported rape during all major civil wars from 1980 to 2012. Cohen also conducted extensive fieldwork, including interviews with perpetrators of wartime rape, in Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste and El Salvador. Combining evidence from these interviews with statistical analysis of the quantitative data, Cohen argues that armed groups that recruit their fighters through the random abduction of strangers use rape—and especially gang rape—to create bonds of loyalty and trust between soldiers. Results from the book lay the groundwork for the systematic analysis of an understudied form of civilian abuse, and will be useful to policymakers seeking to understand and to mitigate the horrors of wartime rape.
Speaker Dara Kay Cohen, WAPPP Faculty Affiliate; Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
October 22, 2015
How have gender roles in war changed over the last century? As women have openly joined militaries and paramilitary organizations, the roles of women in service have advanced and diversified. In the United States, the Combat Exclusion Policy was recently lifted to allow women to serve in frontline combat and complete combat operations. Despite increasing numbers of countries beginning to expand the role of women in their militaries, an analysis comparing the U.S. media coverage of British girls in World War I and the #BringBackOurGirls campaign in 2014 suggests that significations of girls as wars’ innocent, hapless victims in need of men’s protection remain prominent in media outlets. This seminar revisits Sue Rae Peterson’s (1977) idea of the ‘protection racket’ to analyze the current status of women in 21st century war and conflict. Speaker: Laura Sjoberg, WAPPP Fellow; Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Florida
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
February 20, 2015
Debate abounds about why women continue to be underrepresented in top management positions and in male-dominated domains. This presentation reviews research on an often subtle, but powerful and pervasive, organizational force that discourages men and women from engaging in non-stereotypical roles and behavior: The harassment and mistreatment of gender incongruent employees. The author’s research on this topic is reviewed, from “not man enough” harassment, to the sexual harassment of “uppity” women, to the general mistreatment of non-traditional parents. The presentation concludes with recent studies that distinguish mistreatment from advancement and shed light on the “double bind” for women and the systematic scope of gender regulation in the workplace. SPEAKER: Jennifer L. Berdahl, Montalbano Professor of Leadership Studies: Gender and Diversity, University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business