NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Global Affairs Launches Global Gender Studies Concentration This Fall

Program Offers Distinctive Interdisciplinary Approach that Examines the Current State of Gender Equality and Its Importance in Building Peaceful and Prosperous Societies

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NEW YORK, September 17, 2015 – Gender inequality is pervasive around the globe. Although women and sexual minorities have made advances on many fronts, their rights are under siege globally —from the Islamic State and Boko Haram sexually enslaving thousands of women; to religious extremists seeking to purge public spaces of sexual minorities; to women’s access to full reproductive health care services being severely curtailed, among other issues.

Recognizing that gender equality is an international priority, the NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Global Affairs (CGA) is launching a new concentration in Global Gender Studies within its renowned M.S. in Global Affairs. It will be one of the few graduate-level programs in North America to examine how gender relations affect and are shaped by international processes including conflict, environmental and humanitarian crises, the defense of human rights, and the pursuit of economic development.

“What makes our program unique is that we are offering gender studies with a global, interdisciplinary approach,” said Vera Jelinek, divisional dean of the NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Global Affairs. “The majority of such programs focus on traditional women’s studies in the context of humanities or public policy. In our new Global Gender Studies concentration, we will focus on the role of women and gender minority issues in a larger framework—in peacebuilding, in economic development, in international affairs, in human rights, in the environment, and in transnational security —and how they can influence stability or uncertainty in each of these areas.”

“There is increasing awareness that abuses of women’s rights are among the drivers of the demographic changes and social inequalities that trigger violent conflict, as well as poverty and other ills,” said CGA Clinical Assistant Professor Sylvia Maier, who developed the concentration in collaboration with CGA Clinical Professor Anne Marie Goetz. “Our new concentration reflects the vital importance of gender equality in building peaceful, stable, and prosperous societies.”

The program provides students with a solid foundation to promote social justice, development, human rights, and corporate social responsibility in international development, peace and governance organizations, national foreign affairs, aid, social policy and defense departments, private sector organizations, the not-for-profit sector, and academia.

To celebrate the launch of this new concentration, the NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Global Affairs will hold a public event, “Uncovering the Gendered Dynamics in Global Affairs: Peace, Development, and Human Rights Beyond 2015,” on Thursday, September 24, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the NYU Kimmel Center for University Life, Rosenthal Pavilion, 60 Washington Square South.

Moderated by Nermeen Shaikh, co-producer and co-host of Democracy Now!, the panel will feature Anne Marie Goetz, CGA clinical professor and former chief advisor on Peace and Security, U.N. Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women; Shahrashoub Razavi, chief, Research and Data Section, U.N. Women, and former research coordinator on gender, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD); Dubravka Simonovic, U.N. special rapporteur on violence against women; and Lauren Wolfe, journalist and director, Women Under Siege.

“These speakers work at the cutting edge of the struggle to defend women’s rights,” said Professor Goetz. “They are bearing witness to the impact of conflict on women, and analyzing the impact on women of economic crises. They are building solutions. This is the type of policymaking for which our Global Gender Studies concentration will equip students.” 

The following day, CGA graduate students and international researchers, practitioners, and policymakers will participate in a special all-day workshop on “Challenging Pervasive Narratives of Gender-Based Violence in Conflict.” The outcomes of this event will be published in a white paper.

CGA students and alumni who have focused their academic work on gender have found employment at organizations as varied as U.N. Women, Women’s Environment and Development Organization, the International Rescue Committee, the International Center for Transitional Justice, Human Rights Watch, American Red Cross, Girl Rising, the Foundation Center, and CNN Asia. Students entering the new concentration will have the advantage of these existing alumni networks as they seek careers addressing issues such as violence against women, promoting women’s economic security, education, human rights, reproductive rights, and international criminal justice.

For more information on the Global Gender Studies concentration, CLICK HERE.

To register for the event, visit bit.ly/NYUGenderLaunch.