Promoting Gender Justice and an Equitable Society
For 45 years, CWGCS has been a premier academic research and education center with a social change agenda.
We expand opportunities and create possibilities for women and their families. The Center for Women in Government & Civil Society is part of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy.
A world where people of all background participate equally in shaping the future.
CWGCS seeks to deepen and broaden political access, economic opportunities and social inclusion for women by strengthening the capacity of government, nonprofit and business sectors to implement gender-responsive, inclusive and equitable policies, practices and services.
Participatory decision-making and mutual respect
Recognition and celebration of diversity among women
Sensitivity toward boundaries, including those of geography and identity
Engagement with the community to inform our practices and work
Continuous evaluation of our work towards achieving gender equity
Readiness to embrace challenge as an agent of growth
Equity, Inclusion, Diversity, Integrity, Equality
Provide purposeful research and transformative education that:
Fill the knowledge gap about women’s status and facilitate the implementation of evidence-based approaches to advancing equity.
Raise awareness about gender and intersecting inequities.
Promote equal participation of women in all aspects of society.
The staff and Board of Directors of the Center a rigorous research and education agenda that focuses on advancing women’s status in four emphasis areas: Women & Leadership, Economic Security, Health & Gender-Related Disparities, and Safety & Wellbeing.
The lack of balanced representation of women at the decision-making tables in every sector, particularly in public service leadership, is one of the most critical challenges we face as a society today. It is a challenge because, when we do not see women equitably represented at the decision-making tables, we tend to trust government less and have less confidence in the credibility and legitimacy of government. We tend to have less faith in the ability of government to fully represent us and genuinely act in our interests. All of this translates to political alienation, less political participation and an unhealthy democracy. The perception of exclusion of women from decision making can be absolutely destructive to the health of our representative democracy.
When women are not equally represented in leadership, we tend to treat critical societal needs and issues as “women’s issues.” The needs and issues that affect women disproportionately tend to be marginalized. When we keep in place structures that stigmatize women and shed doubt on their competency and ability to serve as leaders, we tend to maintain the cycle of exclusion. When we do not have role models who look like us, we cannot be what we cannot see. Furthermore, when we narrow the pool of talent from which we are drawing, we diminish our ability to capture the full potential of the workforce.
While women have made incredible strides, we must work hard to change the balance in gender representation at every decision-making table. To do so, we must help women construct and internalize leadership identities and provide them with the tools to address subtle and invisible forms of gender bias that interfere with their leadership identity construction.
There are artificial dichotomies that hinder women from accessing high paying careers in science, technologies, engineering and mathematics. This is a matter of economic justice and gender justice, but it is also a matter of maintaining economic development and global competitiveness. Our ability to meet workforce needs mandate that we widen the pool of talent that we are drawing from to include women and minorities. Our changing demographics point to this critical need. Furthermore, research illuminates disparities in economic, political and social outcomes between foreign and native born Americans. We must reform implicit and explicit institutional cultures as well as formal and informal structures that create exclusions and marginalization and that sabotage women.
There is a growing body of evidence that women and men experience health problems differently. These differences are not only functions of biology, socialization and societal norms, but service structures, environments and conditions as well. The service-providing system does not sufficiently take into account the differences between male and female experiences. There is a need to raise awareness about women’s unique health needs and promote a gender mainstreaming framework that calls for taking into considerations gender differences in polices, practices and protocols.
Despite the progress women made, the statistics about women subjected to forms of violence against women in the US and globally are shocking. The persistence of this problem is a clear indication that, as a society, we have not yet succeeded in getting rid of the idea of female subordination and control. The objectification of women in popular culture and in the media exacerbates the problem.
CWGCS has been relentlessly working to fill the knowledge gaps about the status of women, develop evidence based approaches to advance gender parity, strengthen system responsiveness to the needs of women, raise awareness about existing inequities, and deepen and broaden women's access to educational and economic opportunities. Our vision of a society, free of gender inequities where women and men of all backgrounds participate equally in shaping the future, remains at the center of everything we do.
Our work must continue until women, locally and globally, are equally represented in leadership, feel equally competent as their male counterparts in running for office and confident in their advancement in a ceiling-free society, and are assured of their access and success in any and all occupations.
Together, we can keep the momentum alive, and make our collective vision a reality. Get involved with your Center for Women in Government & Civil Society!
The Directors are drawn from both the public and private sectors, from agencies and advocacy groups, labor and management, elected and appointed officials, former Fellows on Women & Public Policy and academia.
CWGCS Board of Directors
- Dr. Rukhsana Ahmed
- Honorable Dr. Dorcey Applyrs
- Dorianne Blanchard
- Lola Brabham
- Kathleen Brady-Stepien
- Dr. Shanleigh Corrallo
- Honorable Patricia Fahy
- Desiree Farley
- Dr. Janell Hobson
- Canon Kay Hotaling
- Honorable Rachel Kretser
- Dr. Julie Novkov
- Dr. Jennie Law
- Honorable Kelli Owens
- Susan Pedo
- Mary Ellen Piche
- Dr. Debernee Privott
- Jessica Tanguay
- Lauren Tobias
- Ruth Walters
Dina Refki, DA
Sue Faerman, PhD
Co- Chair, Women's Leadership Academy
Eunhyoung Kim, PhD
Senior Research Associate
Dr. Debernee Privott
Co-Chair Women’s Leadership Academy