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.

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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 sexual assault, there was hope that advances in evidence gathering would lead to more prosecutions. ...
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 child brides are all horrific and this day makes it clear that violence against women is ...
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 the planning conference, held in Philadelphia, ...
Everyone Needs to STOP the Pain! Everyone Needs the Pain to STOP! “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 groups. This simple fact has recently ...
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 an “improbable&rdquo...
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 had become aware that peace was ...
We 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. The $2 million is almost cute, considering...
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. Because I am a priest and a psychiatrist I spend a ...
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 understanding difference, particularly ...
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, year-round earn only 78 cents for every dollar a man earns. While ...
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 necessary process, ploddingly pursued by dedicated women and men...
“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 WCW Senior Scholar Jean ...
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 along. As head of the Wellesley Centers for Women, the ...
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. Their message--that sport should be about self-...
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 ...
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. That ...
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 happen? When I heard ...
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 us wondering who we are as a nation. ...
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, “What is that new boy doing in...
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 the system that runs in the back ground of your ...
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 executive director of ...
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, along with celebrations. Today, ...
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 parents and our children, ...
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 how ...
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 ...
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-numbing pace of life, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised by my clients&...
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...
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 among adolescents (Hoyert & Xu, 2012...
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 amounts of stress in the ...
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, is a ...
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 ...
Two Open Circle trainers from the Open Circle Program, Jen Dirga, MSW, and Sallie Dunning, Ed.M., traveled to Uganda ...
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 ...
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 returned to the school...
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 (...
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 movement. I found a ...
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. ...
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 difference in their communities and the world. Further,STEM ...
Wellesley College has a legacy for producing storied female leadership. Our alumnae include two Secretaries of State and the most female Fortune 500 CEOs of any American college or university. This legacy was what drew me, along with many other students, to the College. We, too, wanted to be leaders, and ...
Social Justice Dialogue: Leadership for Social Change Too often, discussions about leadership confuse leadership with authority or management, and ignore the unique imperatives public leaders face. This trend is especially troubling in a socio-political context that characterizes “the public” as dependent and inefficient, and redistributes financial and political power from ...
Last year, when President Barack Obama proclaimed February Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, he noted that an estimated one in ten teens will be hurt intentionally by someone they are ...
This will be the first time that female athletes are allowed to compete in ski jumping at the Olympics so it’s fitting that the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia ...
New York Times columnist and anti-trafficking advocate Nicholas Kristof recently opened January’s Human Trafficking Awareness month with a Google+ Hangout entitled, “What does 2014 hold for the fight against modern-day slavery?” My answer is the need to dispel myths about...
When Nelson Mandela died, many of us reflected on his efforts at reconciliation. We wondered how anyone who had endured nearly three decades of imprisonment and witnessed the denigration of his people could emerge from his cell and talk about reconciliation with his jailors. For ...
This time of year, many people are thinking about their New Year’s resolutions. More often than not, these resolutions revolve around things we’d like to change in ourselves or our lives. But what about the things we’d like to change about our world--the things that are bigger than ourselves and our own individual lives? This year, I’m advocating for a different...
This article was originally published December 19, 2013 on Girl w/ Pen by Susan McGee Bailey, who served as executive director of the Wellesley Centers for Women ...
  WOMEN=BOOKS, the blog of Women's Review of Books (WRB), features reviewers and book authors ...
Empathy and mutual respect provide the underpinnings for societal trust and economic stability. Neuroscience confirms that we are hardwired to be in connection with one another; cultures that create an ethic of hyper-individualism put us at odds with our natural proclivity to relate and connect. As Einstein once said: &...
Policies, procedures, and protocols for bullying prevention and intervention are now a requirement for most schools across the country. Yet policies that are developed and implemented in isolation are insufficient to address the challenges of bullying behavior. It is also critical to create a school culture and climate of communication, collaboration, and trust where children and ...
I was asked to write this post about The International Day for Tolerance and I must admit that I had never even heard of it. But as I considered "tolerance," I thought of its role in my life. Being a middle aged queer mom, I came of age in the 70s and 80s not expecting tolerance from ...

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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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