09 March 2018

Celebrating International Women’s Day

This year’s International Women’s Day took place in a context of unprecedented global mobilisation for women’s rights, equality and justice. 

“In the last few years we’ve seen a lot of mass mobilisation of women, which is really exciting”, said Assistant Professor of International History Nicole Bourbonnais.  “Hopefully this can translate into policy changes and some larger structural change in coming years. International Women's Day is important because it provides an opportunity to survey the landscape of women’s right and gender equality, and to highlight the work of different activists and organisations that are working on these issues.”

To mark the day, the Graduate Institute’s Gender Centre organised a debate exploring the risks and opportunities of engaging men and boys in achieving global gender equality, featuring Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights and Nazhat Shameem Khan, Fijian ambassador to Geneva, and Institute professors Elisabeth Prügl, Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou and Keith Krause.

“Feminism used to be a women’s issue, yet throughout history there have been male allies of the movement, and more recently we have seen increasing numbers of men signing on to the feminist struggle”, said Elisabeth Prügl. “The 2017 Women’s March included large number of men, UN Women has launched the HeForShe campaign, and organisations of men are forming that are committed to changing toxic masculinities, sharing common cause with feminists.”

The event was organised in collaboration with International Gender Champions-Geneva, a network of leaders, including Graduate Institute director Philippe Burrin, who are working to break down gender barriers. You can watch the event video below.

photo credit:  Molly Adams