The Women Change Worlds blog of the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) encourages WCW scholars and colleagues to respond to current news and events; disseminate research findings, expertise, and commentary; and both pose and answer questions about issues that put women's perspectives and concerns at the center of the discussion.

WCW's Women Change Worlds Blog

Internship Reflection: Fathers Belong in Conversations with Their Teens about Sex and Relationships
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
At the beginning of my summer research internship, I’ll admit that I didn’t fully understand the impact of fathers talking to their teens about dating and sex. Why would fathers have a significant impact on teens’ sexual health if someone else, like their mother, already has the situation under control? However, after taking a deeper dive into Senior Research ...
Child Care Tradeoffs, from Compromises to Sacrifices
Wendy Robeson
Women Change Worlds
This post was co-authored by WCW Senior Research Scientist Wendy Wagner Robeson, Ed.D., and Sarah Savage, a senior policy analyst and advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Their issue brief, Child care tradeoffs among Massachusetts mothers, ...
The Unique Struggles and Triumphs of Latinx Adolescents Using Digital Technology
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
This post was written by Jennifer Miranda and Bri Vigil, recent graduates of Wellesley College who took a Calderwood Seminar on public writing taught by WCW Senior Research Scientist Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D...
Helping Middle School Girls Create Their Own Digital Spaces
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
Digital communication systems, such as social media platforms, are created for the masses but aren’t often designed for a large scope of their user base: adolescent girls from marginalized communities. The Youth, Media & Wellbeing (YMW) Research Lab, ...
Title IX and Roe v. Wade Never Guaranteed Gender Equality
Laura Pappano
Women Change Worlds
I’m embarrassed to admit this, but before the leaked Supreme Court opinion, I had not connected the proximity of the Roe v. Wade decision and the passage of Title IX. Yes, of course, I knew that Title IX was June 23, 1972. And that Roe v...
As Title IX Turns 50, Looking Back and Looking Ahead
Layli Maparyan
Women Change Worlds
You may know Title IX as the law that opened the floodgates of girls’ and women’s sports in the U.S. That’s true and incredibly important, but it’s so much more than that. Title IX is the federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any school or education program that receives funding from the federal government. It has impacted...
Fathers Want Guidance on How to Talk to Their Teens About Sex and Relationships
Jennifer Grossman
Women Change Worlds
“Some of those conversations, I just can’t jump in like that,” one of the fathers in our study told us. We were interviewing fathers about ...
Why Didn’t You Just Leave? and Other Unanswerable Questions for My Mother
Kate Price
Women Change Worlds
Content warning: This blog post talks about human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of a child. Kate Price (right) and her mother (left) in 1985. I despise the question “Why didn’t they just leave?” As an anti-human trafficking advocate, I know that question, when asked of victims of human trafficking or gender-based violence, often reveals more about ...
This Mother's Day, Let's Celebrate College Students Who Are Mothers—By Counting Them
Autumn Green
Women Change Worlds
Nearly 5 million college students in the U.S. are raising children, and almost three-quarters of undergraduate students with dependent children are mothers. These mothers face significant barriers to completing their degrees, and part of what makes it challenging to advocate for them is that colleges rarely...
Internship Reflection: Fighting Gender-Based Violence Looks Different Every Day
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
Starting in the fall of 2021, I began working as a research intern for Senior Research Scientist Linda M. Williams, Ph.D., on her Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative at the Wellesley Centers for Women. Heading into the year, I was unsure of what to ...
Ukraine and the Importance of International Collaboration When it Comes to Research and Action
Linda Williams
Women Change Worlds
Almost 18 years ago, the Wellesley Centers for Women hosted the 2004 International Research & Action Conference: Innovations in Understanding Violence against Women. The three-day event included talks by internationally renowned ...
On(line) Identity: Social Media is Essential for LGBTQ Youth
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
This piece was written by Carolyn Bacaj and Mikhaela Andersonn, students at Wellesley College who recently took a Calderwood Seminar on public writing taught by WCW Senior Research Scientist Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D. As...
Student Parents or Parenting Students? Why Terminology Matters
Autumn Green
Women Change Worlds
This digital whiteboard was developed in an exercise called "What are Student Parents Called?" which was part of the Student Parents at the Center project, a collaboration between WCW and the Urban Institute. When your work aims to help call attention to an invisible population, it’s important to figure out which term best identifies that population. Terminology shapes how we ...
Making Peace with the Outcome: Remembering bell hooks
Autumn Green
Women Change Worlds
When I woke up last month to the news that bell hooks had passed away, my eyes filled with tears for the passing of a person who I only met once in my life, but who has critically influenced so very much of it. The first bell hooks book that I read was for an undergraduate sociology class. The book was Where We Stand: Class Matters, and as I read her analysis of how class inequality and...
In 2022, Let's Rethink Work
Laura Pappano
Women Change Worlds
For years it was a secret: that we had lives outside of work. Thirty years ago, I dashed into the Massachusetts State House to interview the lieutenant governor, sat, opened a notebook—and a Cheerio fell off my blazer. I was mortified. In those days, “juggling” was done with guilt. As a society, we debated whether women “could do both,” that is, be a...
Internship Reflection: Studying the Power of Social Media in a Pandemic
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
Last fall, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to wreak havoc in the U.S. and across the world, the class of 2021 carried on attending Wellesley but in a fragmented way for our senior year. We attended our remote classes on Zoom and connected with friends through FaceTime or other forms of social media. And without really any choice, our entire lives had become entirely dependent on ...
Fighting Time to End Systemic Racism
Amy Banks
Women Change Worlds
The following is an excerpt of a blog post written by Amy Banks, M.D., that appeared on her Psychology Today blog, Wired for Love. To say that race relations were not on my radar growing up would be an understatement...
Internship Reflection: Examining the Role Fathers Play in Conversations About Sex and Relationships
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
Conversations centered around dating, relationships, and sex take place in classrooms, on social media, in households, and even in mainstream news outlets. Policymakers, educators, and parents alike realize the benefits of teaching adolescents about these topics instead of leaving teens to learn on their own via the internet, friends, and other less-than-ideal sources. However, one ...
What is a Girl Worth? Lessons from USA Gymnastics on International Day of the Girl Child
Linda Williams
Women Change Worlds
On October 11, International Day of the Girl Child, Intern Simone Toney and Senior Research Scientist Linda M. Williams, Ph.D., discuss how USA Gymnastics exemplifies what happens when an institution places a girl’s achievements above all else, and how Simone Biles is driving change for the better. Simone Biles, the winner in the all-around gymnastics competition among women at ...
National Student Parent Month is Coming to an End, But Our Work Carries On
Autumn Green
Women Change Worlds
Jade Prior and her mom Mishelle Prior of Eugene represent two-generations of Oregon parenting students. On September 15, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution declaring September National Student Parent Month. As a person who both was a student parent, and has...
Internship Reflection: Building Knowledge Together About Our Digital Worlds
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
As a Class of 1967 intern at the Wellesley Centers for Women, I had the opportunity to spend the past year working with Dr. Linda Charmaraman in ...
Child Care in a Pandemic: The "New Normal"
Wendy Robeson
Women Change Worlds
In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led Massachusetts (along with many other states) to close all forms of child care, except emergency care. Many parents found themselves working from home and caring for their young children at the same time, muddling through as best they could until child care reopened in summer 2020. When child care became available again, what did parents do&...
Engaging Black Girls in STEM With a Culturally Responsive Maker Program
LaShawnda Lindsay
Women Change Worlds
The following is an excerpt from an article in the spring 2021 issue of Afterschool Matters about Black Girls Create, a culturally responsive maker program designed by LaShawnda Lindsay, Ph.D. Black Girls Create ...
Exploring the Link Between Paid Sick Leave and the Early Spread of COVID-19
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
Imagine that it is March 2020 and you are hearing increased reports about COVID-19’s U.S. path. Meanwhile, it’s a Monday—a workday—and you feel ill with symptoms that align with ones reportedly associated with the new virus. You know that if you attend work, you may infect your fellow coworkers with whatever illness you are experiencing, COVID-19 or not. Your ideal ...
What Could Be More American Than Critical Race Theory?
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
Critical race theory has become the latest front in the culture wars. Depending on what you’ve read or what you’ve heard from politicians, you may be under the impression that critical race theory means talking about racism in any context, or that it means white people are inherently racist. But critical race theory, or CRT, is actually an academic movement that critically ...
Urging the Biden Administration to Change Rules for Colleges on Responding to Sexual Assault
Linda Williams
Women Change Worlds
Senior Research Scientist Linda M. Williams, Ph.D., read an excerpt of the following testimony at a public hearing on Title IX held by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights on June 11, 2021. The hearing invited comments on the Biden administration...
"We Are Not Alone in Our Struggles": Mental Health Awareness Month
Katherine Buchholz
Women Change Worlds
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This year, it comes at a time when we have an increased focus on mental health due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Media reports have focused on the increase of symptoms and the <...
Combating Sex Trafficking of Children and Teens
Linda Williams
Women Change Worlds
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month. Over the years, our work at WCW has addressed a wide range of critical issues related to these topics. One of the lesser publicly understood issues is the pressing problem of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and teens, also known as sex trafficking. CSEC involves adults having sex with children ...
Liberia’s Education Crisis: Quality v Access
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
This post by Laura Golakeh, a 2015 summer intern at the Wellesley Centers for Women, was originally published in The Analyst, a Liberian newspaper. It is posted here with permission. On March 11, 2021, the House of Representatives passed a bill ...
How Asian Women (and Men) are Dehumanized
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
Professor Lee wrote this reflection the day after eight people, including six women of Asian descent, were killed at spas in the Atlanta area, and shared it with the Wellesley College community. It is posted here with her permission. Stop Asian Hate by Miki Jourdan. DC Rally ...
On Equal Pay Day, Researching Policies for a Gender Equitable Future
Deniz Çivril
Women Change Worlds
As a new mother, you hold your baby in your arms, wishing for the best of the best for her. You may also be facing difficult career questions upon her arrival: When should you start working again? Should you be a stay-at-home-mom? Should you get a new job with a more flexible schedule? Will you be able to get promoted when you’re back at work? If you have a daughter, will she face ...
Internship Reflection: Studying How Extended Family Members Talk to Teens About Sex and Relationships
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
Sex education in the American public school system varies from state to state and from school district to school district. The lack of standardized sex education makes family education and conversations about sex and relationships all the more important for teenagers and their development. It is often assumed that parents are the default—that they are the only family members ...
Moving Forward from a Year of Sacrifice
Layli Maparyan
Women Change Worlds
Happy New Year from all of us at the Wellesley Centers for Women! This is a moment of profound reflection about all we’ve been through and where we are headed. [bitsontherun 6bpPmYOg-7cxcLezj] 2020 was a year like no other. From out of nowhere came a global pandemic that left no one untouched. Many of us, myself included, were visited by the strange new sickness known as ...
Internship Reflection: Studying Women’s Entrepreneurship During a Pandemic
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
I spent the past semester working with Professor Sari Kerr as a research intern, and greatly enjoyed the experience. Our weekly Zoom meetings were welcomed as constant reminders of my connection to Wellesley, despite studying off campus. My work with her focused on the role of entrepreneurship and how it affects social mobility ...
The Urgency of Ending Violence Against Women and Girls in the Midst of COVID-19
Linda Williams
Women Change Worlds
Today, the International Day to End Violence Against Women and Girls, we call for a renewed commitment to this work in the U.S. The UN Women’s executive director has called for governments to make visible at the highest level a “commitment to addressing violence against women and...
A New Era of Compassion and Unity
Layli Maparyan
Women Change Worlds
We at the Wellesley Centers for Women are starting our week with a sense of hope and possibility. We are proud to have a new President-Elect who has the courage to put gender equality, social justice, and human wellbeing first. We share these ...
Parents' Communication with Teens About Dating is Changing During the Pandemic
Jennifer Grossman
Women Change Worlds
The pandemic has altered family life in unexpected ways. Some kids are happier now that they’ve gotten a chance to slow down; more people are cooking; ...
Are Men Really More Confident Than Women?
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
In my recently released book, Leading a Life in Balance: Principles of Leadership from the Executive Suite to the Family Table, I talk about the impact of confidence on one’s career, professional, and personal development, and the importance of ...
Despite Challenges of Pandemic, Depression Study Finds Silver Linings
Tracy Gladstone
Women Change Worlds
In 2018, I began a multi-year clinical trial to compare the effectiveness of two approaches to preventing depression in teens. One of the approaches is an online intervention -- an app -- called CATCH-IT and the other...
Voting as an Act of Community: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment
Layli Maparyan
Women Change Worlds
Women in academic dress marching in a suffrage parade in New York City, 1910. Source: Schlesinger Library; Photographer: Jessie Tarbox BealsOne hundred years ago today, the 19th Amendment was ratified in ...
The New Sexual Assault Response Rules for Colleges Require Them to Behave Like the Criminal Justice System. Here's Why That's a Problem.
Linda Williams
Women Change Worlds
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, under CC BY-SA ...
Immigrants Play a Critical Role in Economic Recovery
Sari Kerr
Women Change Worlds
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office. Photo courtesy of iStock.com/Andrei StanescuLast week, President Trump suspended new work visas for foreigners seeking employment in the United ...
Placards of Hope, Placards of Change: A Reflection in Response to the Killing of George Floyd
Layli Maparyan
Women Change Worlds
The callous killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 by a uniformed police officer while on duty and while being filmed by bystanders was arguably the most brazen act of police brutality involving an unarmed Black civilian since the Black Lives Matter ...
Now More Than Ever, Title IX Coordinators Need Greater Institutional Support
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
Sage Carson was raped by a graduate student in her sophomore year of college. In an article for VICE in 2018, she recounts the grave trauma she endured as a result. Unable to transfer schools and experiencing a steady decline in her GPA, Carson ...
A Research Internship that Expands Horizons
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
I never knew that I would have the opportunity to do social science research as an undergraduate until I got to Wellesley College. Towards the end of my first year, with my academic interests starting to gravitate toward Sociology and South Asia Studies, I knew I wanted to connect the concepts I was learning in the classroom to action-oriented research that produced tangible results for ...
Tips for Preventing Depression While Social Distancing
Katherine Buchholz
Women Change Worlds
The challenges of isolation and loneliness have become apparent over the past several months of social distancing. Not only are we physically separated from our friends and extended families, but we’re concerned about their health and wellbeing as well as our own. We may be juggling childcare, homeschooling, and our own work. Or we may be wondering how we’ll support ourselves ...
Honoring Three Generations of Student Parents on Mother's Day
Autumn Green
Women Change Worlds
Last year on Mother's Day, I was driving through the Rocky Mountains, on my way from Oregon to Maine where my life was about to change forever. It was the first Mother's Day I had spent without my kids since they were born, and the first Mother's Day since my own mother had passed away. I yearned to call her to share the news of my latest adventure, as I always had during our frequent long...
Research Connections: A Student Teacher’s View on Social Media in the Classroom
WCW admin
Women Change Worlds
It is the spring of 2020, and my senior year at Wellesley College is not at all what I imagined it would be like. Before concerns about COVID-19 led schools around the country to close their doors, I was student teaching at a nearby ...
Social and Emotional Learning During COVID-19 Crisis: Equity Lens Reflection
Karen Craddock
Women Change Worlds
This article was originally posted by Karen Craddock, Ph.D., on April 17, 2020, on The Wellness Collaborative. While we manage the ...
Social vs. Physical Distancing: Why It Matters
Amy Banks
Women Change Worlds
This article was originally posted by Amy Banks, M.D., on April 12, 2020, on her Wired for Love blog on Psychology Today. To ...

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Views expressed on the Women Change Worlds blog are those of the authors and do not represent the views of the Wellesley Centers for Women or Wellesley College nor have they been authorized or endorsed by Wellesley College.

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