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The Humphrey School of Public Affairs is the University of
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Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy


International Women's Rights Events

The following events are representative of the types of convenings the Center on Women and Public Policy sponsors in order to advance understanding of and action on issues facing women and girls internationally.


Women in Afghanistan: Securing their Future


Afghan WomenIn honor of International Women's Week 2012, the Center on Women and Public Policy teamed up with Women's Action for New Directions, Women Legislators Lobby to present David Cortright on the future of women in Afghanistan. He was joined by Congressman Keith Ellison and Advocates for Human Rights Executive Director Robin Phillips. Cortright directs Policy Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and co-authored Afghan Women Speak:  Enhancing Security and Human Rights in Afghanistan "The prospect of a political solution to the Afghan war has generated much public debate about the fate of Afghan women. Since the overthrow of the Taliban by U.S.-led forces in 2001, the promotion of Afghan women’s rights has been a highly politicized appendage of the military intervention. International efforts to assist women have produced mixed results: while Afghan women have achieved improvements in their health, education, and economic and political participation, escalating violence has eroded those gains in many provinces. Women exercising leadership abilities or pursuing opportunities provided by Western donors have been accused of being anti-Islamic and subjected to threats, attack, and assassination. Because of the symbolic and cultural value of women in Islamic society, differing views on women’s roles have been a battleground over which competing visions for Afghan society and claims to power have been fought. Women — so often objectified in times of war — have been at the frontlines of the Afghan conflict." Full report

The program aired on MPR News Presents.


Advancing Equality for Minnesota’s Immigrant and Refugee Women: Integrating Gender Equity in Programming and Organizational Practices


RIWC 1This March 9, 2012 workshop for Minnesota nonprofit leadership and staff in recognition of International Women's Day featured opening speaker State Senator Patricia Torres Ray, the first Latina elected to the Minnesota Senate.

The objectives included (1) Sharing tools designed by Refugee and Immigrant Women for Change:  “Toolkit for integration of Gender Equity into an organization’s programming and organizational practices”; (2) Engaging the nonprofit sector, especially organizations working with women in substantive actions, to build gender equity in their organization and in their programs; (3) Identifying local organizations that have a record of good practices and are committed to build gender equity in their organization and through their programming; and (4) Exchanging best practices for addressing gender equity.

The Center partnered with Refugee and Immigrant Women for Changea coalition of seven agencies whose goal is to work across cultures to shift attitudes and behaviors about gender equity in refugee and immigrant communities.


Rashmi Singh on "The National Mission for the Empowerment of Women."


Singh Nov 2011On November 1, 2011, Rashmi Singh presented on "The National Mission for the Empowerment of Women." Rashmi Singh was one of Delhi’s first administrative officers selected to study in Minnesota through the Government of India’s Ministry of Personnel and Training.   She was back in Minnesota to receive the University of Minnesota’s prestigious International Leadership Award for her work in the poorest neighborhoods of New Delhi.  Her latest effort, the National Mission for the Empowerment of Women, builds on the game changing initiative she founded, Mission Convergence, to substantially e-engineered the delivery of human services in New Delhi. Presentation co-sponsored by The Center on Women and Public Policy and the Freeman Center for International Economic Policy. Other resources here: Singh_Nov3_2011

Click on image to play video of talk

Half the SkyHalf the Sky Panel


In March 2010, the Center on Women and Public Policy co-sponsored a book discussion and panel to explore the role of women and girls in international development. Listen:

Half the Sky discussion (Audio File)

Panelists included: Professor Micheal Barnett (formerly of the Humphrey School), Cheryl Thomas (Director Women's program, Advocates for Human Rights); Barbara Frey (Director, University of Minnesota Human Rights Center); Joan Dejaeghere (Professor, University of Minnesota, Department of Education and Human Development) and Arvonne Fraser.