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Combatting Pushback Against Gender Equality

A t a time where pushback remains prevalent against gender equality, feminist actors, scholars, and foreign affairs officials came together to discuss the ways in which progress on women’s issues can be sustained. In addition to passing legislation and implementing conventions to pressure governments on accountability, online platforms must also be monitored to promote the security of women in all spheres. 

The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security panel began with a discussion on present setbacks to women’s agendas worldwide. Given Turkey’s recent withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention and the present hesitancy of global governments to pass anti-domestic violence legislation due to “family values,” this severely threatens women’s security on a multinational level. Respondents on the webinar emphasized that abiding by international rules and strengthening conventions will be effective in the battle for gender equality. Conventions such as the CEDAW Convention, the Maputo Protocol, and the Belem do Para Convention need to be abided by international governments to fulfill requirements on gender equality. 

Furthermore, the panelists highlighted effective movements that have proved pivotal for urging reform in governments and academic institutions. The Armenian Coalition to Stop Violence Against Women and the #MeToo Movement in China marked prime examples of trailblazing efforts where women’s groups were able to champion better policy. Additionally, online spaces were another area mentioned on the panel where women need to feel safe and secure as they’re often a platform for harassment – which must be addressed. 


  • Ambassador Melanne Verveer: Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, GWL Voices member. 


  • Susana Malcorra: Former Under-Secretary General for the United Nations, GWL Voices founding member.
  • Dr. Dubravka Simonovic: United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women. 
  • Liang Xiaowen: Feminist Activist for the #METOO Movement in China. 
  • Asha Allen: Policy and Campaign Officer at European Women’s Lobby. 
  • Dr. Jeni Klugman: Managing Director at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. 
  • Michelle Bhatia: Georgetown Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security.