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Women as Changemakers

  •  October 18, 2022 
Oleksandra_Matviichuk
Documenting the “dozens of thousands” of Russia’s war crimes that have been committed so far in Ukraine isn’t a problem for Oleksandra Matviichuk, a human-rights lawyer and civil society leader based in Kyiv. But having a fully developed international criminal system tasked with pursuing justice for all victims of war, is. “All people deserve …
  •  September 12, 2022 
Navi Pillay
Nations of the world have taken giant steps in recent decades to build international structures and strengthen institutions to deal with mass human-rights abusers. At almost every stage, Navi Pillay, a South African lawyer, was there, advancing the rights of political detainees and the protection and status of women. Pillay, 80, is a descendant …
  •  August 15, 2022 
photo of Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame
When she was only 10 years old, Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame realized that she could no longer read her classroom’s blackboard at her school in eastern Ghana. She eventually learned that she had retinal dystrophy, an irreversible degenerative condition that would take most of her sight, excluding some sensitivity to sunlight. Being blind has not …
  •  May 30, 2022 
Kathy Gannon, a longtime AP journalist and a Canadian, interviewing survivors of a massacre of 18 people
Kathy Gannon never wanted to be a journalist. That changed when she was urged by a journalist brother to give the profession a try. She became a successful reporter and editor of local newspapers in Ontario and British Columbia. With that experience, she ventured into the Middle East, Central Asia and finally into colorful, …
  •  April 3, 2022 
photo of Comfort Ero at Munich Conference in 2022
Comfort Ero knew that her appointment as the president and chief executive of the International Crisis Group, a New York City-based think tank working to prevent wars, would be arduous. But taking up the role in December, two months before Russia invaded Ukraine, is not exactly what she envisaged. “It is a reminder of …
  •  March 8, 2022 
Rebeca Grynspan, secretary-general of UN Conference on Trade and Development
Rebeca Grynspan, the first woman and first Latin American to lead the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, has a lot of work to do. The organization, founded in 1964 as a standing committee, now has 195 member nations. It meets quadrennially to tackle major economic concerns of developing countries while offering daily …
  •  November 16, 2021 
Celia Umenza
Celia Umenza, an Indigenous leader who has survived three attacks on her life while advocating for the self-determination of Indigenous, Afro-descendant and peasant communities in the northern Cauca region of Colombia, recently told the United Nations Security Council that its bears some responsibility for the rising violence against human-rights defenders in her country. Umenza, …
  •  October 6, 2021 
Jessica Neuwirth, a pivotal force in promoting and supporting the rights of women and girls worldwide, was appointed to the rank of chevalier in the French Legion of Honor by the French government in a ceremony in New York City on Oct. 5. The citation said: “This high distinction expresses the gratitude of the …
  •  August 24, 2021 
Natalia Kanem UNFPA
For Natalia Kanem, the executive director of the United Nations Population Fund since 2017, the last couple of years have been a wild ride. In 2020, women the world over were getting ready to celebrate important anniversaries: 25 years since an international conference in Beijing pledged global action on women’s rights, including their reproductive …
  •  July 22, 2021 
Naoko Yamazaki made space history not only as the second woman astronaut from Japan, but also by participating in the record-setting 2010 NASA space shuttle mission STS-131 to the International Space Station, or ISS. Launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., the mission marked the first time that four women were …
  •  May 24, 2021 
Séverine Autesserre
Séverine Autesserre, a former humanitarian-aid worker, award-winning researcher and professor of political science at Columbia University, has become one of the foremost thinkers on international peace-building in the last decade. Following “Peaceland,” a book critically exploring the parallel worlds of United Nations peacekeeping missions, and “The Trouble With the Congo,” which examines the failed peace efforts …
PassBlue Quiz: Women in Politics. Test your knowledge of female leaders and the issues they confront.
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Seton Hall Graduate Degree in International Affairs

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