WCW Blog

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.
Connecting with You in 2016 People of all ages are spending more time on smartphones or tablets. Did you know that smartphone users are expected to increase to 70 percent of the global population, or 6.1 billion phones, by 2020? In the past couple of years many have experienced the phenomena of ...
Photo courtesy of MELC An OST Quality Case Study My father-in-law used to say that getting old is not for the faint of heart. It takes a dogged determination to persevere while keeping on top of new issues that arise. I think the pursuit of quality in out-of-school time is similar. That effort is long-term and takes group effort, not just individual commitment. Just as there are services...
Re-Thinking Self-esteem If there is one notion that’s likely to receive nearly unanimous validation in contemporary culture, it’s that self-esteem is a good thing. While there may not be agreement on what is it or how to do it, its elevated placement in Maslow’s hierarchy ...
MotherStruck! This article was originally published on Huffington Post and is posted with permission by the author. Reproductive freedom. What do these ...
Professional Development is a Key to Quality On December 10th, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which includes several provisions for out-of-school time (OST). ...
Local and Global Perspectives on Human Rights, Drugs, Crime, Women and Children Substance abuse among women in Massachusetts is increasing dramatically. It is also a worldwide problem. Locally and globally we need to work for a public health model that is responsive to human rights concerns and effective in protecting families and communities. The United Nations will be holding a General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) in ...
The Right to Research: How Data Helps Women’s Human Rights around the World – The Case of West African Market Women This past November, I had the opportunity to visit Ghana as a member of the international research advisory committee for a study on West African market women that was sponsored by the African Women’s Development Fund, Ford | West Africa, ...
A Global View on the Research-and-Action Connection: Ending Gender-Based Violence in Ghana “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” is an annual campaign sponsored by UN Women to ...
Why Are There So Few Women Leading Theatres and What Can Be Done About It? This blog was originally published on the HowlRound website on December 1, 2015, and is re-posted with permission. This week on HowlRound, we ...
A World AIDS Day Hero: Beatrice Achieng Nas December 1st is World AIDS Day. This year, I’d like to shine the light on someone whose work I really admire, someone who is dedicating her life to serving and lifting up many children and families who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. I’m talking about...
Science and the Law Working Together to Improve the Criminal Justice Response to Sexual Assault Few would argue that the value of forensic science in solving crimes has been a game changer in favor of the investigation and prosecution of criminal offenders. Indeed, forensic evidence can be credited with bringing many criminals to justice (and exonerating the innocent). In cases of ...
"The Hunting Ground”—Ground zero for changing social norms on sexual assault? This week we recognize the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Indeed, gender-based violence impacts women across the globe. Rape in conflict zones or of refugees or of ...
March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights The National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights took place on October 14, 1979. It was the first march of its kind, and the preparation for it was rocky. The first item on the agenda of ...
Everyone Needs to STOP the Pain! Everyone Needs the Pain to STOP! Stopping the Pain of Social Exclusion “Hands up!” The universal symbol of surrender, sign of protest, and signal for self-selection to take action. All of these are integral in stopping the pain of social exclusion. Human beings are built to function physically, emotionally, and spiritually in supportive ...
Maggie Tripp: Firebrand Feminist in a Peck & Peck Suit Maggie Tripp (1921-2014) was a trailblazer with a special connection to the Wellesley Centers for Women. Known for her impeccable appearance in Peck & Peck suits (who remembers these??) when everyone else was dressed in jeans, she was ...
A Reformed Peace Conference Skeptic Earlier this summer I attended--even though I was a skeptical about peace conferences and felt they were a waste of time, energy, and resources--the Third Annual Hague Peace Conference in Holland. Living in a post-conflict country, Liberia, I...
Women's Soccer and the New Feminist PowerWe are in a fresh feminist moment, highlighted thanks to FIFA. Hang with me while I explain. It is obviously ridiculous that the payout to the U.S. Women’s Soccer team for the World Cup victory is $2 million; the German men got $35 million last year. ...
How Foreign Abortion Bans Hurt Children The following blog article and corresponding photo was posted on the New York Daily News, June 3, 2015 by Alex Sanger, chair of the International Planned Parenthood Council and member of ...
Why Relationships Matter  by Kamilah Drummond-Forrester Relationships are essential to fostering equity and excellence in our schools and classrooms. Social and emotional learning (SEL) programs are one of the vehicles that can be used to establish genuine, caring relationships throughout school communities. SEL programs that have a whole-school implementation model and are ...
Healthy Young People Despite a World Filled With Violence The following article was posted May 4, 2015 on the Medicine and Faith blog of Lisa Fortuna, M.D., and is re-posted with permission by the author. She is pictured a pledge to be a Partner in Peace during the Mother's Day Walk for Peace in Boston, MA...
Celebrate Diversity Month-April 2015 The purpose of Celebrate Diversity Month is to recognize and celebrate the rich diversity of cultures around us. Although this is often a necessary first step toward increasing understanding and heightening awareness of the differences and similarities among us, not probing beyond these experiences can lead to a “tourist approach” to ...
Equal Pay Day & A Woman's Worth April 2016 Update: The wage gap cited has improved by 1% point since this article was originally posted in April 2015. What is a woman worth? On Tuesday, April 14, 2015, we celebrate Equal Pay Day, a day to acknowledge the continuing gap in wages between women and men. By now, we are all familiar with the statistics – women employed full-time, ...
Human Rights, Women’s Rights: Plodding Toward Progress This article, by Susan McGee Bailey, was originally published on the Girl W/ Pen blog on March 20, 2015. “Fighting for women’s equality is an arduous but ...
In Memoriam: Jean Hardisty “Fighting for women’s equality is an arduous but necessary process, ploddingly pursued by dedicated women and men who refuse to accept a lesser role for women in society.”Jean Hardisty, Ph.D., August 2013 (Photo credit: Ellen Shub) The Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) community is saddened to share news that social justice champion and ...
The Power of Women’s Social Science Research in Social Justice Movements When most people think about how social change happens, the role of social science research probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Yet, our histories of social change, social movement, and social justice have been shaped by social science research that provided crucial evidence to move things...
Valuing the Ideological Roots of Women’s Athletics Did those female gym teachers back in the early 1900s actually have it right? No one wants to return to bloomers and half-court basketball, but the coalition of female physical educators who ran women’s sports and fought takeover by the NCAA (which took control of women’s college athletics in 1980) were onto something. ...
Black History Month Matters: A Personal Reflection When I was a girl, my grandmother Jannie had only two books in her house. One was the Bible, and the other was Carter G. Woodson’s The Negro in Our History. My ...
“E” Is for Energy The Dopamine Reward System—Friend or Foe? Dopamine is trending as the most popular neurotransmitter. And why not? There are days I think it rules the world or at least the day–to-day activities of my friends and family. The craving you have when you smell the coffee brewing in the morning—thank dopamine. ...
"R" is for Resonance The Four R’s – Reading, ’Riting, ’Rithmetic, and Resonance Do you have someone in your life that “gets” you? I do. My friend Angel and I see each other every six weeks or so but each time we get together I am struck by the resonance we share, the ability to jump back into a conversation as if no time has passed. How does that ...
On King Day, Thinking about Social Movement The past year has generated national and international soul searching on the theme of social movement. In the U.S., events as diverse as the multiple police shootings of unarmed Black men, the killings of police officers on patrol, domestic violence incidents involving professional athletes, and misogynistic serial killings of women, have left ...
“A” is for Accepted I was many things at ten years old, but one thing I wasn't was accepted. My family moved to a new town that summer—it was 1972—and on the first day of school when the school bell rang I stood in the middle of the girls’ line anxiously waiting to meet my new classmates. As I was studying my shoes I heard the laughter and the whispering, &...
“C” is for Calm—Four Ways to Click Twenty-five years ago, when I was studying the human nervous system in medical school, I learned that the body has an automatic system running in the back ground 24/7—the autonomic nervous system—like ...
A 2014 Round-up Below are links to two articles from good friends of the Wellesley Centers for Women—Susan McGee Bailey and Alex Sanger. Susan is the former, long-time ...
The Greying of the LGBTQ Community October was LGBTQ History Month. We should continue to celebrate, reflect, and get back to work! It has been less than 50 years since Stonewall, the start of the current LGBTQ Rights Movement. There have been trials and tribulations, ...
Seeking LGBT Parents in History Opponents of LGBT equality often try to make LGBT parents seem like a new and untested phenomenon, and therefore something to be avoided. The history of LGBT ...
Let’s Talk about Sex October is Let’s Talk Month, part of a national campaign to encourage families to talk with teens about sex and relationships. In March 2013, I shared tips on ...
Brave New Girls: Let’s Celebrate U.N. International Day of the Girl by Supporting the Malala Yousafzais of Our World This article was originally posted on October 11, 2012 on the Women Change Worlds blog. Today, Malala Yousafzai, was named a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. She has ...
Supportive Human Relationships: Often Overlooked in Our Search for Quick Fixes October 10th is Mental Health Awareness Day. We live in a time of easy access and quick fixes. People expect to be able to stream a video in less than 60 seconds, to have the entire written history of the world at their fingertips, even to have a complete dinner delivered in under 30 minutes. Given the mind-...
Let’s Celebrate ALL Students during National School Success Month September is National School Success month, a time when parents are focused on helping their children begin a positive start to the new school year. At this time I urge you to consider those children who, through no fault of their own, are struggling to succeed academically because of exposure to early adversity and trauma. WCW...
Suicide Prevention: The Depression Link This is a repost from an article originally published on this blog September 6, 2013. National Suicide Prevention Week (September 8-14) is a time to both raise awareness of suicide as a national public health issue, and to think critically about how suicide can be prevented. In the United States, suicide is the second leading cause of death ...
Is Stress Making Us Sick? Recently, NPR, with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard School of Public Health, released a poll that found that one-quarter of Americans reported that they had experienced significant ...
Child Care and the Overwhelmed Parent Courtney Martin, a friend of the Wellesley Centers for Women, journalist, author of “Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists,” and one of the founding directors of the Solutions Journalism Network, ...
Facebook: Friend or Foe This blog post is reproduced with permission from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, NJ. It was first published on the Human Capital Blog. If you ...
Open Circle Training Goes to Uganda Two Open Circle trainers from the Open Circle Program, Jen Dirga, MSW, and Sallie Dunning, Ed...
In Memory of Maya Angelou Today we lost a Phenomenal Woman writ large and a national treasure, Dr. Maya Angelou, at the age of 86. Last year on April 4, 2013, we cross-posted a birthday tribute to her extraordinary life here on Women Change Worlds and at the blog page of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights ...
#BringBackOurGirls More than two weeks have gone by since 276 young women were abducted from a high school in Nigeria,* and there has been relatively little attention to their plight from the international community and news media. These are young women who had ...
Middle School Expanded Learning Opportunities: 20 Years and Growing A few weeks ago we recognized Middle School Month--dedicated to re-emphasizing the importance of middle school programming and the unique developmental needs of adolescents. The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST...
A Case of Structural Racism For five years, from 2008 until 2013, I studied how Mississippi implements its child care certificates for low-income women who received the certificates as a welfare benefit. I brought to the work a racial lens and decades of studying the political right as a ...
UN Commission Calls for Increased Efforts to Promote Gender Equality The following blog article was posted onHuffington Post, March 25, 2014 by Alex Sanger, chair of the International Planned Parenthood Council and member of the Wellesley Centers for Women Council of Advisors. After...
Computer Literacy: A valuable skill for all girls and women We need more girls and women to consider careers in STEM--science, technology, engineering, and math--particularly computer science. Computers are everywhere and are part of our lives in so many ways--phones, cars, home, workplace. Women who can master technology may find more career opportunities and new ways to make a ...

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