Wednesday, April 19, 2017

WGS's Diane Balser Active in Denmark on International Women's Day!

On March 8th I attended International Women’s Day in Copenhagen, Denmark.

I attended an event sponsored by a progressive political party. It was interesting to me that the leader of the party was young. I found out that most of the leading women in politics in Denmark are under 40 with few exceptions. I attended a workshop led by a relatively young German female political leader on women’s rights around abortion (abortion rights are under attack in large parts of Southern and Middle Europe) led by Catholic and fundamentalist Protestant politicians. Other issues discussed were the sexualization of women’s bodies and violence against women.

There was a big march: “Feminist 8th of March” with speeches about parental leave for both parents, equal pay and women’s struggles in a welfare county. In addition, there were critiques of right wing politicians and neoliberal economic policies linked to sexism.

I led a workshop during the following weekend on the elimination of sexism using tools for women from Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland. There were a number of women of color and also younger women that were part of each delegation. We spent a lot of time having women listen to each other about each woman’s life and the sexism and racism that were often faced. Also discussed were the key issues around sexism that effect all women including sexual violence and physical violence against women, females and power, leadership, economic inequalities, environmental injustices, the effects of other oppression such as racism, class, disability, sexual and gender identities, homophobia, ethnicity, nationality. Also a whole range of topics such as religion and sexism, women’s work, sexism and the media, etc. were discussed and the emotional effects were explored.

The workshop was sponsored by No Limits for Women of a co-counseling network. No Limits for Women offers a system of ongoing mutual support and resource. It is available to all women, whatever their economic, social, and cultural circumstances. The support and resource make it possible for women (and men) to sustain our efforts to eliminate sexism. Women participants have access to effective tools that they can use on a one-to-one basis.
                                                                                                                            ~ Dr. Diane Balser

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Opening Night! Boston City Hall Exhibition, and Panel on "Women in the Workforce"

On Thursday, 16 March 2017, two Boston University (BU) Humphrey Fellows—Sevgim Çisel Çelik Keskin of Turkey and Pakaiphone Syphoxay of Laos—teamed up with MIT Fellow Heba Khalil of Egypt to present on the theme of “Women in the Workforce” in their respective countries at a symposium that served as the kickoff event of a Boston City Hall exhibition entitled “Earned: Women in Business and Labor.” The exhibition presented by Unbound Visual Arts, Inc. and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, was supported by the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement, the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program (WGS) at Boston University, Gender & International Development Initiatives of the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center (GaIDI/WSRC), and the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail (BWHT). The exhibition coincides with Women’s History Month in the United States and UN International Women’s Day on March 8th, which has a 2017 theme of “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50:50 by 2030.” The exhibition that will run until April 6th was curated by John Quatrale with Advisor Brenda Gael McSweeney of BU’s WGS, and received additional support for exhibition design from Alexandra Kontsevaia Peterson and graphic design from Cait Stuff.

BU Prof. Toni Pepe
BU HHHP Assistant Director Cyrus Konstantinakos moderated the symposium, which began with a short presentation by BU Assistant Professor of Art & Photography Toni Pepe. During the fall semester, Professor Pepe and her colleague Laura Grey led a two-session workshop on multimodal literacy for the Fellows to support their presentation on “Women in the Workforce” that they would deliver in November, at the Humphrey Fellowship’s Global Leadership Forum in Washington, DC. Toni gave an overview of the workshop and underscored the importance of having dexterity with the media through which messages are broadcast in the 21st century.

Following Professor Pepe’s remarks, the Humphrey Fellows presented on these topics:

L to R: Humphrey Fellows Sevgim and Pakai

Women’s Labour Force Participation and the Feminist Movement in Turkey: Sevgim Çisel Çelik Keskin

Women’s Economic Empowerment in Laos: Rural and Urban Dimensions: Pakaiphone Syphoxay

The Role of Space in Mediating Gender Equity: Hebaallah Essameldin Khalil

L to R: Louise Elving, Cyrus Konstantinakos, Heba Khalil
In attendance were city officials, heads of local NGOs, former BU HHHP Director Ksenya Khinchuk, BU faculty and students, MIT Humphrey Program Lecturer Louise Elving, BWHT Board Director Mary Smoyer, Resident Scholars of WSRC/Brandeis and students in the Community College Initiative at Bunker Hill Community College—another international exchange program under the U.S. Department of State. A lively discussion among this diverse group of stakeholders followed the Fellows’ presentations, and more in-depth conversations took place during the reception that immediately followed.

View Flickr Photo Album here !

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows to Lead a Presentation on "Global Perspectives on Women in the Workforce"

Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows from Boston University and MIT will be leading a presentation entitled: "Global Perspectives on Women in the Workforce" to be held at Boston City Hall on Thursday, March 16th, 2017 (Piedmonte Room, fifth floor). You are cordially invited to join and interact with the Fellows who hail from Turkey, Zambia, Egypt, and Laos. This event it taking place in the context of Women's History Month. 

Immediately following will be Opening Reception for the Exhibition Earned: Women in Business and Labor organized by Unbound Visual Arts in the Boston City Hall Scollay Gallery (third floor). This Exhibition featuring 16 women artists was launched on March 8th, International Women’s Day. Reception highlights will include the Sherri Zhang String Trio, 6 short artist talks and appetizers on Thursday, March 16th from 5:00 - 7:00 pm in the Gallery. Unbound Visual Arts is an Affiliate of the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Gender, Culture & Development anchored at BU's Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program

Among the Exhibition supporters are the Mayor's Office for Women's Advancement, the Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program (WGS) at Boston University, Gender & International Development Initiatives of the Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center (GaIDI/WSRC), and the Boston Women's Heritage Trail.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

You are invited: Unbound Visual Arts Exhibition at Boston City Hall, supported by WGS!

Unbound Visual Arts (UVA), a UNESCO/UNITWIN Network Affiliate, has been invited to present the Exhibition Earned: Women in Business & Labor at Boston City Hall from 8 March to 6 April 2017. The Opening Reception will be in the Scollay Square Gallery (third floor) on Thursday March 16th from 5 to 7 pm. Earlier that afternoon, the Hubert H. Humphrey Program at Boston University is holding a Panel Discussion with presentations by Humphrey Fellows and BU Faculty on gender equality in the workforce around the globe (Piedmonte Room fifth floor). These events will be in celebration of both International Women's Day-8 March and Women's History Month-March 2017. Boston University's Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program is a cosponsor of the UVA Exhibition.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Drawn from the UVA Exhibition website:
Unbound Visual Arts
Ruth Rieffanaugh, President
Martin J. Walsh, Mayor and Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture
Earned: Women in Business and Labor 
March 8 - April 6, 2017
An exhibition about the roles of women in business and labor and their sacrifices, challenges, leadership, and innovation
Exhibition Design by Alexandra Kontsevaia Peterson and
Graphic Design by Cait Stuff
Scollay Square Gallery, Boston City Hall, Boston, MA 02108

UVA artists: Nancer Ballard, Nancy Hall Brooks, Linda Clave, Anita Helen Cohen, Jennifer Jean Costello, Lynda Goldberg, Sarah Iwany, Nhung Mackey, Aline Martini, Brenda Gael McSweeney, Diane Sheridan, Maria Termini, Andrea Zampitella, Ellen Zellner

with support from the Mayor's Office for Women's Advancement, the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program at Boston University, the Boston Women's Heritage Trail, the Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program (WGS) at Boston University, and Gender & International Development Initiatives of the Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center (GaIDI/WSRC)

Opening Reception with live music and short artist talks - Thursday, March 16th 5-7 pm (third floor) preceded by Panel Discussion & Presentation by the BU Humphrey Fellowship Program on Gender Equality in the Workforce 4-5 pm in the Piedmonte Room (fifth floor)

There is also a special website related to Worker's Rights & Equality here
More about Women's History Month here
And about United Nations International Women's Day 2017 here

Unbound Visual Arts (UVA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is organizing an exhibition related to the historic theme of “women in business and labor” at Boston City Hall’s Scollay Square Gallery, One City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201. This exhibition is under the supervision and jurisdiction of the City of Boston's Arts and Culture Office. Learn more about UVA's thematic curated exhibitions here.

The purpose of the exhibition, through art created by today’s artists as well as other relevant components (documents, books, music, videos, artifacts, poetry etc.) is to provide the exhibition audience with an opportunity to learn and experience this important historical topic and its relevancy to modern times.

The exhibition coincides with Women’s History Month in the United States and International Women’s Day on March 8th, which has a 2017 theme of “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50:50 by 2030.” The exhibition will run from March 8 - April 6, 2017. The opening reception on Thursday March 16th, 2017 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm with live music, refreshments, and short artist talks is free and open to the public.

Cover: Brighton-Allston Historical Society

Statement prepared by the Curator, John Quatrale, for this exhibition:

"The United States has a long history of women in the paid workforce and in business. But, full inclusion ‘in the world of work’ and participation has taken almost three centuries for improvements to occur and for women to begin to achieve gender equality in participation and benefits. Those successes and achievements have included higher pay, job appreciation, better working conditions, more opportunities, and increased value to their local, state and national economies. Those changes were often the result of severe hardships and sacrifices by women of all races, nationalities, backgrounds, education, and regions. They challenged laws and regulations as well as social standards and stereotypes and organized women to change public opinion. As a result of that hard work and commitment, organizations and businesses began to slowly change all across the United States and in many nations and eventually they were codified progressive measures by governments. More women have now become empowered to contribute to their personal, family and community well-beings in the United States and throughout the world. These improvements are manifested in many areas of today’s society such as the family, corporations, education, sports, healthcare, arts and culture, and the military. Despite these changes, however, the rights and health of women continue to be threatened in the United States and internationally. ”

Save the Date: WGS Cosponsoring GaIDI (Gender & International Development Initiatives) Event on 8 March 2017!

GaIDI (Gender & International Development Initiatives) Presents
An International Women’s Day event at 
The Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center:

Readings from Black Anthology: Adult Adoptees Claim Their Space, by the An-Ya Project, then Performance by Susan Harris O’Connor

Introduction to the An-Ya Project and Brief Readings by Dr. Mei-Mei Ellerman, WSRC Resident Scholar-Chair of GaIDI, and Janet M. Price, PSYD, contributor to the Black Anthology (co-edited by Diane R. Christian, Susan Harris O’Connor and Mei-Mei Ellerman)

Performance by Susan Harris O’Connor, MSW, award-winning writer- of a monologue on “Identity” from the Harris Narratives: An Introspective Study of a Transracial Adoptee (Sue is African-American, Seminole)

Closing Remarks by Dr. Brenda Gael McSweeney, WSRC Resident Scholar and UNESCO/UNITWIN Director, Boston University’s Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program 

Q&A Session and Book Signing

Date:  March 8, 2017
Time: 12:30-2:30 pm
Place: Liberman-Miller Lecture Hall, The Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center (WSRC), 515 South Street, Waltham, MA 02453 [contact:]

Sponsor:  GaIDI (Gender & International Development Initiatives) / WSRC
Co-sponsors:  The Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center; Brandeis Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program; UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Gender, Culture & Development at BU’s Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program; Unbound Visual Arts, Inc.                         

OPEN to the PUBLIC! Parking behind WSRC. 
Accessible via Commuter rail (Brandeis/Roberts stop)

                                                              Flyer: Mei-Mei, Brenda, Nicole Rizzo

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Unbound Visual Arts (UVA) hosting Annual Celebration of the Arts on Mardi Gras!

5th Annual Mardi Gras & Celebration of the Arts
When: Fat Tuesday February 28, 2017 6:00 - 10:00 pm

Design & Photo by Aline Martini for Unbound Visual Arts

Where: The Green Briar Restaurant & Pub, Kinvara Room, 
304 Washington St., Brighton, MA 02135 (617) 789-4100 

Art Show & Sale, Light Hors d'oeuvres, Dancing, Silent Auction, Raffle, Slide Show, and lots of free decorations - beads, masks and feathers for everyone! 

featuring Live Music by A Confederacy of Dumpsters

More information here:

Highlights Reel 2015/2016!

Our UNESCO/UNITWIN Highlights Reel for June 2015-Dec. 2016 puts an accent on inter-country and inter-university collaboration. Hope you will enjoy this visual depiction of some of the remarkable achievements of the Network Partners and Affiliates in India, West Africa, and here in Greater Boston, ranging from earning awards to preparing publications and hosting special events.

View the Reel at:

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Carrie Preston Presents in Barcelona at the International Yeats Society Symposium!

The Barcelona Symposium 2016 of the International Yeats Society focused on "Yeats & Asia: Imagining Asia through Yeats, Imagining Yeats through Asia." Dr. Carrie Preston, Director of BU's WGS Program, gave a keynote entitled "Theater in the ‘Deep’: W. B. Yeats’s At the Hawk’s Well and Japanese Noh." Here is how Carrie described her presentation:

My keynote considered how Yeats’s dancing ghosts became teachers in dramas intended to produce a desired Irish national subject. In 1916, precisely a century ago, Yeats called for an “unreal theatre” that fights reality itself: “Now the art I long for is also a battle but it takes place in the depths of the soul, and one of the antagonists does not wear a shape known to the world or speak a mortal tongue. It is the struggle of a dream with the world.” This could be a description of the ancient Japanese noh theater, in which ghosts or celestial beings reenact a conflict or outright battle onstage but are actually trying to relinquish their own struggle with the world and find peace. Soon after he began to work with Ezra Pound on draft translations of noh, Yeats was convinced that he had discovered the dramatic form he had been seeking, one that was not bound to realism but taught audiences to reach into the “deeper” and for Yeats, more “Irish,” parts of the mind. Yeats understood that noh is a didactic and nationalist theater, offering teachers in the form of ghosts of noble warriors and great lovers from Japanese legend and history. He hoped to adapt noh to stage his country’s legends and teach Irish audiences to revive their own national art that had been suppressed by British colonialism.

Photo courtesy: Carrie Preston

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Dr. Margaret 'Peg' Snyder (our Affiliate-Member) celebrated by distinguished journalist Barbara Crossette!

Many of us from the United Nations were delighted during a recent meet-up in Santa Fe to learn that our colleague Margaret 'Peg' Snyder was showcased in a feature by journalist Barbara Crossette, former UN Bureau Chief for The New York Times. Crossette, calling Peg the UN's first feminist, recalls her contributions over the decades from the time period she was posted in Kenya with the UN Training and Research Centre for Africa, to when she was the Founding Director of UNIFEM (now UN Women), and concluding with Peg's contributions that indeed "never stop."

Photo credit: Dulcie Leimbach
Crossette's feature includes Peg's initiatives "in her own words" such as those making visible women's workloads in developing countries, countless innovative activities boosting women's equality and empowerment, and combating violence against women --- all pioneering at the time.

Read the full tribute and Peg's story here:

Congratulations Peg!

Humphrey Fellows Presenting Perspectives on Women in the Workforce Around the Globe!

Our UNESCO/UNITWIN Affiliate, The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program at BU, will be hosting an exiting event on 'Women in the Workforce: Perspectives of Emerging Global Leaders' on Friday, November 18th, 2016. The Humphrey Fellows hailing from: Bolivia, Cameroon, Fiji, Iran, Mauritania, Laos, Pakistan, Panama, Turkey, and Zambia will be sharing their insights on women's participation in the labor force in their countries, followed by interactions on gender equality globally. More details in the flyer below!