In late October, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, the Wellesley Centers for Women, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and ETR announced new findings published in the Journal of School Health that show Planned Parenthood’s middle-school curriculum, Get Real: Comprehensive Sex Education That Works, helps kids wait until they are older to have sex. It is particularly effective for boys.
An organization’s theory of change helps explain the process by which that organization’s activities contribute to desired outcomes. At WCW, we operate with a shared understanding that research, theory, and action all make vital contributions to the social-change process. High-quality research provides data about what is, tests theories about why, and evaluates what works, allowing us to see beyond opinion, to raise awareness about important issues, and make better investments in policies, programs, and practices that are effective. When change makers, decision makers, and opinion leaders are informed by rigorous research, their initiatives are more likely to be successful.
The 58th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UN CSW) was held this past winter, but the work continues. After two weeks devoted to the assessment of whether the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are working for women and girls and trying to figure out what the post-2015 development agenda is going to look like, one thing is clear: We aren’t going to make real progress without good data.
Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) maintains a strong legacy of research that can accelerate social change. Building on that, Kates teaches and practices participatory research—which is research that actively involves multiple groups of stakeholders on the issues being examined. Whenever possible, she includes representatives of the low-income women she’s studying.
The Massachusetts Women’s Justice Network mentioned in this interview is comprised of researchers; state legislators and/or their aides; personnel from the Department of Corrections and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security; representatives of the Department of Public Health (which administers the state’s substance abuse services); the Office of Probation and Community Corrections; women’s commissions; women’s shelters; the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other advocacy groups; and formerly incarcerated women.
Interview with Tamara Beauboeuf-Lafontant
Serving as a Visiting Scholar at the Wellesley Centers for Women during her sabbatical year from DePauw University, Tamara Beauboeuf-Lafontant is pursuing her interest in women’s responses to their cultures’ expectations for them. Her current research focus is the lives of the women of the Progressive Era in the U.S. who established settlement houses in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As a side note, she finds it interesting that Harriet Alleyne Rice, Wellesley College’s first African American graduate (1887), spent some time as a medical practitioner at Jane Addams’s Hull-House, Chicago’s first social settlement house.
Trafficking is one of the hottest topics in the global reform world these days, but it is increasingly unclear what is meant by “trafficking.” It is often hard to know who is trafficked and even more difficult to count these populations. Moreover, simply identifying trafficked victims and traffickers is difficult; for purposes of this article, I will be discussing issues related to women only. A woman may migrate in search of a job and end up doing sex work in exploitative conditions. A migrant may intend to take on one kind of work and find herself in another, or go back and forth between sex work and other forms of work depending on circumstances.
Wellesley Centers for Women connections grow in Washington, D.C.
Interview with Beatrice Achieng Nas, BSC
Beatrice Achieng Nas, the founder and director of a non-governmental organization in Uganda, is a Community Solutions Program Fellow through the International Research & Exchanges (IREX) Board and a Visiting Scholar at the Wellesley Centers for Women for the fall 2013 semester.
When we think about employment and health, we often think about high risk jobs and occupational safety. The recent deaths of first responders in Massachusetts and Texas highlight these serious concerns. However, many workers are exposed to unhealthy conditions that, while not lethal, seriously affect their health.
Among Nan Stein’s contributions to the literature on sexual harassment and gender violence in schools are the first survey in the country on peer-to-peer sexual harassment in schools (1979-80); her book, Classrooms and Courtrooms: Facing Sexual Harassment in K-12 Schools; and three teaching guides1. Currently, she is working on the third stage of a study, Shifting Boundaries, which evaluates classroom lessons and school-wide interventions in middle schools intended to reduce sexual harassment and precursors to teen dating violence.