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Contact: Ryan McKenna
Phone: (202) 691-4217


WASHINGTON – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars announces a series of events marking the beginning of the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), an annual international campaign focused on the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

Included will be a series of events, publications, and interviews to facilitate dialogue and understanding, not only of the ongoing crisis of GBV worldwide – made worse by the global pandemic – but also of the programs and policies that are beginning to make a difference. 

“Gender-based violence is not new—these are crimes with deep societal roots. What is new is the growing sense of urgency among policymakers,” said Anya Prusa, Slater Family Fellow at The Wilson Center. “COVID-19 laid bare the vulnerability of women and girls to violence, underscoring the need for effective, targeted policy responses around the world.”

The series is co-sponsored by the Wilson Center’s Africa Program, Asia Program, Brazil Institute, Environmental Change and Security Program, Kennan Institute, Latin American Program, Maternal Health Initiative, Mexico Institute, Middle East Program, and Polar Institute.

-For updates and event invitations, join our mailing list here:

-For more of the Wilson Center’s work examining gender-based violence, and to RSVP to the events below, visit:


Events in the Series:

Nov 30 at 9:00am EST | Women and Work: The Impact of Gender-Based Violence
The discussion will explore how unequal status and power dynamics in labor markets—including unequal access to economic opportunities—leave women vulnerable to harassment and violence. RSVP: 

Dec 1 at 9:00am EST | Book Launch: The First Political Order: How Sex Shapes Governance and National Security Worldwide
A conversation with the author on how the relationship between men and women shapes the wider political order, and how leaders can better promote gender equality, which could lead nations towards a path of peace and security. RSVP:

Dec 1 at 2:30pm EST | The 2020 Stefansson Memorial Lecture: The Seawomen of Iceland
A discussion on women’s roles in the fishing industries of Iceland and Alaska, based on the book Seawomen of Iceland: Survival on the Edge by Margaret Willson. RSVP:

Dec 3 at 9:00am EST | Countering Domestic Violence: A Talk with Leslie Morgan Steiner
In partnership with the U.S. Embassy Rome, a conversation with author, women’s leadership expert, and domestic violence survivor Leslie Morgan Steiner on common misconceptions about victims of domestic violence, and how we can all help break the silence. RSVP:

Dec 4 at 9:00am EST | Gender-Based Violence in Conflict and Humanitarian Settings
Experts will address the impact of GBV during COVID-19, with a special focus on humanitarian & crisis settings, and will offer solutions and interventions to prevent GBV and support women and girls who report violence. RSVP:

 Dec 9 at 1:00pm EST | Gender-Based Violence and the Rule of Law: Improving Protections for Women
Why are laws often insufficient to protect women? This conversation will draw out best practices for preventing and responding to gender-based violence globally—from training police and prosecutors alike to better data collection and services integration. RSVP:

 Dec 10 at 4:00pm EST | Book Launch: Our Bodies, Their Battlefield: What War Does to Women
A conversation with author and award-winning foreign correspondent Christina Lamb on the prevalence of gender-based violence in modern conflict, based on her decades of reporting from the frontlines around the world. RSVP:



Notes to Editors:

  1. The Wilson Center was chartered by Congress as the nation’s living memorial to President Woodrow Wilson. Through the work of its staff and fellows, it connects deep scholarship to urgent policy questions.

About the Author

Anna (Anya) Prusa

Anya Prusa

Slater Family Fellow & Senior Associate, Brazil Institute
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Brazil Institute

The Brazil Institute—the only country-specific policy institution focused on Brazil in Washington—works to foster understanding of Brazil’s complex reality and to support more consequential relations between Brazilian and U.S. institutions in all sectors.  Read more

Africa Program

The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and U.S.-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial U.S.–Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, including our blog Africa Up Close, public discussion, working groups, and briefings that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to analyze and offer practical options for tackling key challenges in Africa and in U.S.-Africa relations.    Read more

Environmental Change and Security Program

The Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) explores the connections between environmental change, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human insecurity, and foreign policy.  Read more

Kennan Institute

The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American understanding of Russia, Ukraine, and the region through research and exchange.  Read more

Latin American Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

Maternal Health Initiative

Life and health are the most basic human rights, yet disparities between and within countries continue to grow. No single solution or institution can address the variety of health concerns the world faces. By leveraging, building on, and coordinating the Wilson Center’s strong regional and cross-cutting programming, the Maternal Health Initiative (MHI) promotes dialogue and understanding among practitioners, scholars, community leaders, and policymakers.  Read more

Mexico Institute

The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.   Read more

Middle East Program

The Wilson Center’s Middle East Program serves as a crucial resource for the policymaking community and beyond, providing analyses and research that helps inform U.S. foreign policymaking, stimulates public debate, and expands knowledge about issues in the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.  Read more

Polar Institute

Since its inception in 2017, the Polar Institute has become a premier forum for discussion and policy analysis of Arctic and Antarctic issues, and is known in Washington, DC and elsewhere as the Arctic Public Square. The Institute holistically studies the central policy issues facing these regions—with an emphasis on Arctic governance, climate change, economic development, scientific research, security, and Indigenous communities—and communicates trusted analysis to policymakers and other stakeholders.  Read more