Bringing Feminism into International Relations: A Road to Optimism

Saturday, November 20, 2:00-3:00 PM

The panel will underscore the critical ways that feminist theory needs to be incorporated into the mainstream field of International Relations. It will push back on the structures of power, which have been mainly masculine, with introspection about how gender affects every decision we make, the importance of intersectional lens in political and diplomatic activities, and how representation matters on the world stage. Ultimately, the panel will reflect on how we can embrace optimism and hope as tools in our feminist work towards a better future. 


Maria Victoria “Mavic” Cabrera Balleza is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders. Her leadership and collaboration with civil society on the implementation of the UN Security CouncilResolutions on Women, Peace, and Security resulted in the establishment of two important global mechanisms on Women, Peace, and Security issues: the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund, where she was a founding board member, and the Generation EqualityCompact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action. She is a current board member of the Compact representing GNWP and the Beijing +25 Civil Society Coalition on Women, Peace and Security, and Youth, Peace, and Security. Ms. Cabrera-Balleza initiated the Philippine National Action Plan on the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security.

Dr. Laurie Nsiah-Jefferson Ph.D., MPH. MA. is an expert on the intersection of race, class, and gender in health, health care, and social policy. She is extremely well versed in the tools and applications of diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism in multiple spheres and venues. As the Director for the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy and the Graduate ProgramDirector for the Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy graduate certificate program at UMass Boston, she is committed to equity and inclusion in her work as a faculty member, executive leader, and researcher.

Dr. Carol Cohn is the founding Director of the Consortium on Gender, Security, and Human Rights, at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She works across scholarly, policy, and activist communities to create the multidimensional, feminist gendered analyses that are imperative to finding sustainable andjust solutions — not only to wars but to the structural inequalities and environmental crises that underlie them. Her current focus is on bringing feminist political-economic analysis into both the Sustaining Peace and the Women, Peace, and Security agendas through a collaborative international knowledge building project to create a “Feminist Roadmap for sustainable Peace and Planet.