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Women Creating Change

Women Creating Change


Distinguished scholars from Columbia and Barnard lead the Women Creating Change initiative to focus on how contemporary global problems affect women and the role women play in addressing those problems.

Women Creating Change (WCC) draws together distinguished feminist scholars from across Columbia to focus on contemporary global problems affecting women and on women’s roles in addressing those problems. At the heart of WCC are working groups – scholars, students, practitioners, and socially engaged artists (filmmakers, dramatists, photographers) who meet in New York and at Columbia’s Global Centers with partners from across the world. Promoting networks of experts and activists that cross national and disciplinary borders, WCC envisions ethical and viable solutions to urgent problems concerning women, gender, and inequality. It also engages with other global networks and groups working to raise awareness of these problems, on campus and beyond, and is committed to the pursuit of social justice and a democratic future. WCC pursues research, teaching, writing and collaborative work that is necessarily interdisciplinary as well as comparative and transnational and that benefits from the rich resources and global perspective afforded by the Center for the Study of Social Difference (CSSD) and by Columbia University’s Global Centers.

There are currently four Women Creating Change working groups: 

  • "Gender & the Global Slum," convened by Saidiya Hartman, Neferti Tadiar, and Anupama Rao, addresses the global slum as the product of a complex interplay between the political economy of urban space and the spatialization of social difference, especially gender/sexuality.
  • "Gender, Religion & Law in Muslim Societies," directed by Lila Abu-Lughod and Katherine Ewing, explores the divergences and points of contact between the work of individuals termed “Islamic feminists” and “Islamist women” and has evaluated the academic research used to promote the social inclusion and wider political transformation of women in the Islamic world.
  • "Women Mobilizing Memory," headed by Marianne Hirsch and Jean Howard, focuses on the political stakes and consequences of witnessing and testimony as responses to historical trauma.
  • “Social Rights After the Welfare State,” led by Alice Kessler-Harris, explores the implications of the declining welfare state for American politics, gender and race relations, and the future of American democracy.