About Us



The Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights was founded in 2002 with the goal of integrating the study of gender and of women into work on human rights, security, and armed conflict.  Scholars from five leading academic centers and programs in the Boston area came together with the purpose of “changing the political and academic understanding of the security field so that the dynamics of gender become salient at all points in the conflict process, from prevention through post-conflict reconstruction.”  Each of the five centers brought a specific expertise to the Consortium:

  • The Women and Public Policy Program at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, which advocates for the inclusion of women, and an attention to gender, in developing public policies, with a focus on gender issues in peacebuilding and international security;
  • The Center for Gender in Organizations at the Simmons School of Management, which uses a gender lens to look at how organizational practices will have to change in order for more diverse perspectives to be represented and heard;
  • The Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, which integrates concerns for human rights and justice with concerns for inclusion and relationship-building in situations of conflict prevention and post-settlement peacebuilding;
  • The Carr Center for Human Rights at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, which emphasizes changing norms of conflict and human rights, including post-conflict trauma;
  • The Program on Peace and Justice at Wellesley College, which researches human rights from the ground up, with a focus on gender issues, particularly violence against women.
The Boston Consortium research program has brought internationally recognized research fellows to each of our member centers; to read the Boston Consortium Fellows Working Papers, click here.   



In the fall of 2008, the Consortium moved to the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

The Consortium’s goal is to bring knowledge about gender and security to bear on the quest to end armed conflicts and build sustainable peace.  We see our role as twofold:  to foster the development of new knowledge about gender, armed conflict, and security; and to help bridge the gap between the scholarly research community on the one hand, and policy makers and practitioners on the other. Our programs are both international and local. 

The International Pillar of our programming aims at strengthening international collaboration between scholars and policy practitioners through our website’s Interactive International Research Agenda on Gender and Armed Conflict, convening international conferences and knowledge-building workshops, collaborations with UN entities such as UNIFEM and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and our activities as a member of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security. A sample of these activities includes:

We have partnered with the Joan B. Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego on two international conferences

“Promoting Women's Equal Participation in Peace & Security Processes: Operationalizing UN Security Council Resolution 1325,” November 18-20, 2004;

Who's Making Policy? What Difference Does it Make? An International Conference on Gender-inclusive Decision Making for Peace with Justice,”  October 18-20, 2006

As a member of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, we focus on supporting implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 at both the international and national levels.  Recent publications we have contributed to include:

Five Years On Report—From Local to Global: Making Peace Work for Women, which examines the how SCR 1325 has been operationalized at the international, national and local levels;

Six Years On Report: SCR 1325 and the Peacebuilding Commission, which examines the recent establishment of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, its structure, mandate and obligation to implement SCR 1325. 

The Boston Pillar of our programming aims to create an intellectual community of faculty and graduate students from area colleges and universities who are committed to forging new ways of thinking about gender, security and armed conflict.  A sample of our Boston activities include:

Our Speaker Series brings prominent scholars, policy practitioners, and women leaders from armed conflict-affected countries to engage in dialogue about their cutting edge work; detailed reports on many of these events are available on our Meeting Reports page.  If you would like to be notified of upcoming events, join our mailing list by sending an email to: elist@genderandsecurity.org.  

For graduate students, the Consortium also holds meetings to network researchers with interests in gender, security and human rights, and provides mentoring for those who wish to bring a gender lens to their coursework, research, and internships.