Posts tagged ‘SAIS’

Counterpoint: “Saudi women going to Games is a sham” @SAISHopkins #olympics #hwhtw

Much has been made (including by HWHTW – see: News: “Saudi Arabia To Send Olympic Women Athletes For First Time”) of the gender  milestones reached with the 2012 Olympics: more women athletes than men, and  female participants from every participating country, including Saudi Arabia.  Jocelyne Cesari, a professor at Johns Hopkins SAIS, argues that the presence of female Saudi athletes at the Olympics does not signify a big step forward for Saudi women:

“But if [judo competitor Wojdan] Shaherkani had withdrawn, it would not have been a setback for Saudi women because her inclusion was not a sign of advancement. The presence of Saudi women is the result of several months of pressure by the International Olympics Committee on Saudi Arabia to include women competitors or face being banned from participation.

“The situation for female athletes in Saudi Arabia is bleak.

“Saudi women in general are denied the right to practice sports. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that prevents girls from taking part in sports in government schools. Physical education is allowed only in private schools. Women are not allowed to play in official sports clubs or even watch matches in stadiums. Girls’ football, volleyball and basketball games in private schools and colleges are held secretly.”

Read the full article:

August 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm 1 comment

HWHTW Exclusive: Lunch with Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer @mverveer @SAISHopkins

Last Friday, SAIS hosted Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer to launch its “Championing Women Globally” lecture series (a project of the SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations, in partnership with the Embassy of Liechtenstein and its Ambassador, Her Excellency, Claudia Fritsche).  Afterward, I joined Ambassador Verveer (in red in the photo) and a glittering group of gender equality experts and advocates (including, from left, Ambassador Fritsche, Senior Fellow Susan Ness of CTR, and Irene Natividad of the Global Summit of Women) for a fascinating lunch.

What was on the minds of these “power women”?  How to get women onto America’s corporate boards.  The group bemoaned the low representation of women on corporate boards  and brainstormed ideas on how to get more women into these key leadership positions in U.S. private enterprise.

On the bright side, Ambassador Fritsche and CTR Managing Director Andras Simonyi underscored the value of having 3 outstanding women leaders as U.S. Secretary of State.  “You think you know [how big an impact it made],” Simonyi said, “But you don’t really know.”

To learn more about the “Championing Women Globally” series:

April 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm Leave a comment

Event: “Arranged” Film Screening and Discussion


The event will be held in the SAIS Rome Building, at 1619 Massachusetts Ave NW, in Washington DC.

March 31, 2012 at 12:44 pm Leave a comment

Be the Change: Walk to End Modern Day Slavery with SAIS GDF – Saturday, Oct. 22

On October 22, SAIS’s Gender and Development Forum will join thousands of people in the DC Stop Modern Slavery Walk on the National Mall in Washington, DC. We hope you’ll join us!


The event will include a 5K walk, anti-trafficking resource fair, luminary speakers, and incredible musical performances.

You can find more details and directions on our Facebook event page at!/event.php?eid=157184301040163 (or search “Walk to End Modern Day Slavery with SAIS GDF”).

To join the team or make a donation, click here:

October 20, 2011 at 10:58 am Leave a comment

We Did It! Walk to End Violence Against Women and Girls

This morning, the National Capital Chapter of the U.S. National Committee for UN Women hosted its annual 5K Walk to End Violence Against Women and Girls.  Despite the wind and rain, lots of walkers wearing their most festive purple gear turned out for a fun morning.  I was delighted to earn the title of top fundraiser for the D.C. walk, with over $1500 raised!  (See the final total here:  My fellow SAIS classmate Nicole Epps also received recognition for her fundraising efforts. 

A huge thank you to those who donated, and to all my readers out there working to make a difference for women!

To learn about walks in other cities, click here:

April 16, 2011 at 4:42 pm 1 comment

Event: “The EU Strategy for Gender Equality”

An event announcement for our Washington, DC-based readers:

Women in the Boardroom: The EU Strategy for Gender Equality
Vivane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission
Susan Ness, Moderator, Senior Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Relations.
The program will be held Wednesday, December 8, 2010 from 12:00 PM – 1:00PM at the Rome auditorium, 1619 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC.  

Please RSVP at:

December 2, 2010 at 5:57 am Leave a comment

LIVE: Bangladesh’s “Impossible” Success Story

Last week, the Wall Street Journal ran an article on Bangladesh’s amazing economic success story.  Not coincidentally, Bangladesh has also made impressive strides in empowering women. Tonight I attended an update at SAIS on “Economic Empowerment and Bangladesh’s Financial Future” from Bangladesh’s Minister of Finance, A.M.A. Muhith, and Atiur Rahman, the Governor of the Bangladesh (Central) Bank.  Among Bangladesh’s other supposedly “impossible” economic accomplishments, the Finance Minister proudly announced that 5,000 new women entrepreneurs had taken out loans in the last quarter to help build their businesses.

I asked him for a few more details on Bangladesh’s efforts to empower women.  He cited “total gender parity in primary and secondary education” and near-parity at the university level.  He also noted women’s political participation – 19% in the national parliament and significant representation in rural union councils.  Most notable was the astounding increase in the female proportion of the country’s labor force – from 7% in the mid-1980s to 38% today!

Not content to rest on Bangladesh’s laurels, the Foreign Minister identified inheritance laws as the next reform target to reach gender equity and continue to pursue Millenium Development Goal 3 (Eliminate gender disparity at all levels .

WSJ: Bangladesh, ‘Basket Case’ No More –

October 7, 2010 at 8:50 pm 1 comment

Reporting LIVE from Sec. Clinton’s Global Health Initiative Announcement

This morning, Secretary of State Clinton announced a new Global Health Initiative to an audience at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) – and I was there!  According to Secretary Clinton, major priorities for the GHI will be:

  • A person-centric, rather than disease-centric, approach
  • Focus on measurement, accountability, and results
  • Building capacity in recipient countries, rather than fostering dependence
  • Encouraging innovation and data-sharing
  • Removing health-related obstacles to becoming a productive citizen

Secretary Clinton stated unequivocally that attention to the needs of women and girls will be central to the GHI’s approach.  I had the opportunity to ask her what metrics will be used to measure the success of the GHI with regard to women’s health, and was pleased to hear that, in addition to standard metrics like maternal mortality rates, the program will also examine statistics such as marriage age, access to care, and family planning trends.  (For her full answer to my question, go to 1:08:20 of the video:

Finally, Secretary Clinton emphasized the importance of health care diplomacy.  She said that in many cases, the health care services people in developing countries receive are the only contact they have with the American government or people.  Not only does health assistance help ensure a safer, more secure world, she noted, but global health care assistance is “a clear and direct expression of our compassion”.

To see the full speech:

August 16, 2010 at 3:16 pm 1 comment

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