Women in the World Panel by Emma Christman (A’23) and Emily Witherell (A’23)

by Chris Burke
Apr 15

In honor of International Women’s month, Tufts Women in International Relations (WIIR) and Tufts Women for Higher Education Now (WHEN) joined forces to host a panel on Women in the World. Panelists included Tufts Political Science Professors Anna Larson and Deborah Schildkraut, as well as professionals in peacebuilding and women’s empowerment, , Agnieszka Fal-Dutra Santos of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders and Heela Yoon, founder and CEO of Afghan Women Welfare and Development Association.

Through a series of moderated questions, panelists discussed barriers that they have faced as women in international affairs and political science (traditionally male- dominated fields) as well as issues facing women and female activists around the world. Specific attention was given to the politically motivated violence targeting Afghan women trying to get involved in politics and activism. Panelists highlighted the need for women to have a meaningful seat at the table in negotiations and peacebuilding efforts. They mentioned the issue of funding as a barrier to the success of women’s empowerment movements and women’s political campaigns. The lack of diverse representation in IR fields was also discussed. Panelists concluded that it was important not only for girls to see women as politicians and diplomats, but for all children to see a diverse array of people participating in politics.

Student moderators Emily Witherell, Brie McGowan, and Chelsie Wei encouraged engagement among the panelists. The audience also had the opportunity to engage with the panelists at the end of the event through a Zoom Q&A. Women in International Relations was thrilled to host this event during Women’s History Month and we hope to continue our fruitful collaboration with WHEN in the future.