Featured Events

Explore events GHJG has hosted since its launch in November 2018:

Roe v. Wade

SEPTEMBER 27, 2021

GHJG hosted a discussion on Roe v. Wade and the future of abortion rights in the U.S.

PANELISTS:

Cecile Richards, Co-Founder, Supermajority

Loretta J. Ross, Assistant Professor of the Study of Women & Gender, Smith College

MODERATOR:

Terry McGovern, Professor & Chair, Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health and Director, Global Health Justice and Governance Program, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Watch the recorded event here: Roe v. Wade

Over the Counter Contraceptives

SEPTEMBER 20, 2021

Recently, the Global Health Justice and Governance Program issued a letter urging the FDA to make oral contraceptives readily available over-the-counter (OTC), as oral contraceptives meet the regulatory criteria for OTC access and improve quality of life. The letter, which has over 480 signatories, can be seen here: https://bit.ly/OTCletter.

On September 20, 2021 our expert panelists discussed availability and access to OTC contraceptives (OTC) in the U.S.

PANELISTS

Dazon Dixon Diallo, DHL, MPH 
Founder and President of SisterLove, Inc.

Lupe Rodriguez
Executive Director, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice

Carolyn Westhoff, MD
Sarah Billinghurst Solomon Professor of Reproductive Health in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Professor of Population and Family Health at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center

MODERATOR

Terry McGovern, JD
Professor and Chair, Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, and Director, Global Health Justice and Governance Program at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Watch the recorded event here: Over-the-Counter (OTC) Contraceptives

Reconstructing Children's Rights Institute

MAY-SEPTEMBER 2021

The Care and Protection of Children (CPC) Learning Network, housed in the Program on Forced Migration and Health within PopFam, and GHJG decided to host the Reconstructing Children's Rights Institute following the aftermath of the global pandemic and discussions around racism and equity. We recognize that these conversations have both been happening for a long time and yet remain long overdue.

The Institute has two overarching goals:  

Demonstrate and engage: Raise awareness and recognition of how racism, patriarchy, and power are not just theoretical concepts but very real drivers of inequality, ineffectiveness, and harm in the international child rights and protection sector. 

Sow the seeds and demonstrate action for effective change: Critique the problems inherent in international child protection and child rights but also highlight practical ways to dismantle and reconstruct the existing system.

The primary format for the Institute is a series of pre-recorded online broadcasts of critical conversations, in which experts share their insights about racism, colonialism, patriarchy and power as they affect children and families around the world. We will also use a range of practical resources and tools to further the conversations – artwork, briefing notes, reference list, and discussions board. You can access all the conversations and resources on the Reconstructing Children's Rights website.
  
The first three conversations were broadcast in May and June, 2021, on the CPC Learning Network YouTube Channel

Conversation #1: Confronting Colonialism, Racism, and Patriarchy in International Relations, Development and the Humanitarian Aid Industry 

Conversation #2:  Confronting Colonialism, Racism, and Patriarchy in Child Welfare and Child Rights Programming 

Conversation #3: Confronting Colonialism, Racism, and Patriarchy in Funding 

We have created additional resources to support stakeholder’s learning and to further the conversations:

Discussion Board: Stakeholders can engage in online discussions by visiting the Institute’s Discussion Board. This is an anonymous, safe and protected space for the Institute’s users to share their reflections and questions. Click here to visit the Discussion Board.

Master Reference List: A list of resources by academics, researchers, practitioners and activists critically examining colonialism, racism and patriarchy in international relations, development and the humanitarian aid industry. This will be continually updated. Click here to see the Master Reference List.

We hope that the Institute will be a vehicle for learning, information sharing, and actionable next steps. We are striving to create a space in which our discussions and resources can tackle hard topics while remaining a safe and respectful environment for evolution and growth among those who participate. Due to this sensitivity, please note that the views expressed by our speakers in each broadcast are personal and not a reflection of their organization's views.

Anyone is welcome to join in! You can access all the conversations and resources directly on the Reconstructing Children's Rights website. Follow the online conversations on the Discussion Board and on social media: #ReconstructingChildrensRights.
   
Register to learn more about the Institute and future conversations.

Innovations for Advancing Women’s Rights: Beijing +25 & Beyond Virtual Event Series

FALL 2020 - SPRING 2021

Women’s human rights advocacy has diversified and expanded globally over the past 25 years. The Human Rights Institute (HRI) at  Columbia Law School and the Global Health Justice and Governance Program (GHJG) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, jointly organized a six-month virtual event series to explore innovations in women’s rights advocacy since the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action (BPfA) was adopted unanimously by 189 countries at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.

Through a series of six events, activists and artists from around the world reflected on key questions, such as what the Beijing Declaration achieved, how youth activists are maximizing Beijing+25 to advance women’s rights today, and the role of art as a tool for activism.

Photo of Fannie Lou Hamer, voting rights activist and civil rights leader, whose speech “I am Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired.” was featured in the event "A Musical Meditation on Women's Suffrage and the Fight for Intersectionality".

The virtual series featured intergenerational dialogue between activists and artists, and the goal was to connect with a wide audience on paths forward to advance women’s rights. Nearly 900 people from 95 countries participated.

Jessica Pierson, Assistant Director of Programs at HRI, discussed how the series—which was convened virtually as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic—offered a unique platform to expand the reach of these critical conversations.   

“In the virtual learning environment we were able to bring together activists, artists, and academics from around the world, and experiment with new formats. This series used music, visual art, film, and other artistic mediums to shed light on avenues to end gender-based violence, protect and expand voting rights, advance reproductive justice, and to fight for gender equality.”

"Lessons from the Movement to Overturn Ireland’s Abortion Ban: The 8th Film Screening with Panel Discussion" featured Emily Maistrellis of GHJG, Irish activists Ailbhe Smyth and Andrea Horan, Aideen Kane, filmmaker of "The 8th," Leah Hoctor from The Center for Reproductive Rights, and Dr. Wendy Chavkin from Global Doctors for Choice.The series featured advocates, artists, and academics with expertise in human rights, gender justice, and civic engagement, including Lina Abou Habib from the American University of Beirut; William Crow and Stacie Brennan from Lehigh University Art Galleries; Rahima Sajid from the Malala Fund at International Alliance of Women; Sarah Overton from The Dream Unfinished Orchestra; Etaf Rum, author of A Woman Is No Man; and Dr. Wendy Chavkin from Global Doctors for Choice; among others.

Each event incorporated art, such as film, music, visual art, fiction, and featured partnerships from across Columbia University schools—and even campuses—as well as external NGOs such as The Dream Unfinished: An Activist Orchestra, The Commonwealth Youth Network for Peace, and the Center for Women's Global Leadership at Rutgers University, among others. 

Each event was recorded and can be viewed on our YouTube channel

“How the Beijing Women’s Conference Speaks to Us Today” opened the series, spotlighting activists who attended the Beijing conference in conversation with youth leaders responding to the pressing crises of our times.

“20 Years of UNSCR 1325: The Link Between Peace and Gender Equity” featured a conversation on the relationship between peace, conflict, and women’s equity, and the ways conflict resolution and justice systems can aid in restoring peace.

“Art As Activism: Documenting Change" celebrated the radical practices of creatives across the globe who use visual art and photography to advance civic and social justice issues.

“A Musical Meditation on Women's Suffrage and the Fight for Intersectionality” featured a recording of The Dream Unfinished: An Activist Orchestra’s community reading of Fannie Lou Hamer’s 1964 speech, “I am Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired,” and emphasized themes of the speech that still resonate today.

“Cross-Sectoral Approaches to Ending Gender-Based Violence: Art, Activism, and Research” focused on strategies and practices to eliminate gender-based violence, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Lessons from the Movement to Overturn Ireland’s Abortion Ban: The 8th Film Screening with Panel Discussion” concluded the series, illustrating the various roles and approaches that activists with different backgrounds and vantage points can take in creating lasting, normative change, as documented by the filmmakers of "The 8th".

Within the context of COVID-19, and the rise in antiracism protests in the US, each event offered an important reminder of the role of advocacy in creating change to improve gender and racial justice, especially during health emergencies.

“During this year of crisis, experienced by so many as disenfranchisement, racism, grief, uncertainty, and suffering, it felt particularly important to invoke the strength of collaborative, intergenerational, and interdisciplinary activism, and talk about how to build movements that create lasting social change,” shared Emily Maistrellis, Senior Program Officer for GHJG and a co-organizer of the series. “There is so much to learn from the sexual and reproductive health and rights movement(s), and we designed this series with the intention of celebrating some of the many achievements of the last 25 years, while also teasing out where there have been missed opportunities and setbacks, and reflecting on what our demands for the future should be.” 

"Cross-Sectoral Approaches to Ending Gender-Based Violence: Art, Activism, and Research" featured Terry McGovern of GHJG; Yolanda Dyantyi, South Africa-based activist/artist; Dr. Nicoletta Mabhena, medical doctor and population-based epidemiologist; Anna MacDonald, international campaigner and advocate; and Etaf Rum, author of "A Woman Is No Man".

The series was co-sponsored and implemented in partnership with the Feminist and Women's Movement Action Plan (fwMAP), the Columbia Society of International Law (CSIL); the Columbia University Institute for the Study of Human Rights; the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, NY (NGO CSW/NY); RightsLink; and Soroptimist International. For more information about the series, click here.

Global Health Justice and Governance Mini-Series: Gender-Based Violence, SRHR, and COVID-19

JANUARY 25 AND FEBRUARY 1, 2021

In this two-part mini-series, Global Health Justice and Governance Core Faculty, Corresponding Faculty, and student researchers share findings from our six-country study that examined the extent to which the availability of gender-based violence (GBV) and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services and programs are explicitly part of governments’ covid-19 strategies; and the impacts of covid-19 on GBV/SRHR service provision, demand, and use, on  women and girls, and on funding levels for GBV/SRHR. We shared research findings from the United States in the first event, and from Colombia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda in the second event.  

Watch the recording of the first event, focused on findings from the U.S., here: Global Health Justice and Governance Mini-Series – Part 1 

Watch the recording of the second event, focused on Colombia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda, here: Global Health Justice and Governance Mini-Series – Part 2 

Is a Global Rights-Based Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout Possible?

DECEMBER 9, 2020

Globally, there have been nearly 65 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over 1.5 million deaths, according to the WHO. COVID-19 has worsened existing inequalities and disproportionately impacted communities like seniors, frontline healthcare and other essential workers, communities of color, people living in poverty, and those with pre-existing conditions. In addition, countries are approaching the virus in a myriad of ways and to varying degrees of success. As the world looks to vaccines, the coordination of an equitable global vaccine distribution is uncertain. Who decides which groups receive a vaccine first, and when? How will we successfully manufacture and share it globally? Who pays for it and its delivery?  

To discuss these questions and more, the Global Health Justice and Governance Program (GHJG) convened a panel of experts:  

OPENING AND CLOSING REMARKS

Terry McGovern, JD
Professor and Chair of the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health,
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
Director, Global Health Justice & Governance Program

MODERATOR

Chelsea Clinton, DPhil, MPH
Vice Chair, The Clinton Foundation
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management,
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

PANELISTS

Dr. Iain Barton, MB ChB
CEO, Clinton Health Access Initiative

Dr. Precious Lunga, PhD
CEO & Co-Founder, Baobab Circle

Nina Schwalbe, MPH
CEO, Spark Street Advisors
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Population and Family Health,
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Dr. Prashant Yadav, PhD
Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development
Affiliate Professor of Technology and Operations, INSEAD 
Lecturer, Harvard Medical School

Exporting Harm: Impact of the Expanded Global Gag Rule on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

OCTOBER 20, 2020

Global Health Justice and Governance (GHJG) hosted a virtual launch of a special issue of the journal Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters, which houses our research collaboration with the African Population Health Research Center, the Center for Research on Environment, Health and Population Activities, L’institut National de Santé Publique et Communautaire. 

During the launch, speakers from GHJG and our research partners shared the latest evidence of the impact of the Global Gag Rule in Kenya, Nepal, and Madagascar, and discussed the implications of their findings for health systems, civil society, and women and girls across these diverse contexts.  

Watch the recording in English. 

Watch the recording in French. 

Virtual Convening on Fracking, Environmental Health, and Gender Justice

OCTOBER 6, 2020 

Global Health Justice and Governance (GHJG) and Chelsea Clinton, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management and GHJG Corresponding Faculty, co-hosted virtual forum for scientists, advocates, and policy experts to share findings and strategies to address the public health implications of fracking. 

This convening—comprised of 4 panels--- provided cross-disciplinary engagement on fracking and was structured around the following four areas of inquiry: State of the Evidence; Impact/Leadership of Indigenous Communities and Gender Justice; Regulatory Context and Governance Surrounding Fracking; and Evidence to Action. 

This forum provided a platform for dialogue between stakeholders who often operate on different planes, and focused on information sharing and relationship building. 

Read a full description of each panel, and watch the recording via this link.

Webinar: Impacts of the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) Policy in the Trump Administration

JUNE 22, 2020

The Global Health Justice and Governance Program, amfAR, and CHANGE co-hosted a webinar on the “Impacts of the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) Policy in the Trump Administration.” The event explored the most recent impact data on the PLGHA, also known as the Global Gag Rule (GGR). Attendees engaged in an overview of the current state of GGR research, and a preview of forthcoming publications.

MODERATOR

Bergen Cooper
Director of Policy Research, CHANGE

PANELISTS

Emily Maistrellis
Senior Program Officer, Global Health Justice and Governance Program

Jamie Vernaelde
Senior Research and Policy Analyst, PAI

Jennifer Sherwood
Policy Manager, amfAR 

Margaret Giorgio
Senior Research Scientist, Guttmacher 

Members of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
David Gootnick, International Affairs and Trade Team (IAT) Director 
Leslie Holen, IAT Assistant Director 
Howard Cott, IAT Analyst-in-Charge 
Kelsey Griffiths, IAT Analyst

Gender Justice in the COVID-19 Response

MAY 21, 2020

This conversation brought together prominent feminist leaders to discuss how to incorporate women, particularly women of color, and girls into the global response to COVID-19; and how to ensure reproductive and sexual health justice during the pandemic. Additionally, they responded to the recent commentary in The Lancet, “Centring sexual and reproductive health and justice in the global COVID-19 response.” 

OPENING AND CLOSING REMARKS

Dazon Dixon Diallo, DHL, MPH 
Founder and President of SisterLove, Inc.

Latanya Mapp Frett, JD, MPP
President and CEO, Global Fund for Women

PANELISTS

Winnie Byanyima, MSc
Executive Director, UNAIDS 

Natalia Kanem, MD, MPH
Executive Director, UNFPA

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, PhD
Executive Director, UN Women

MODERATOR

Terry McGovern, JD
Harriet and Robert H. Heilbrunn Professor and Chair
Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Watch the recording of the event here: Gender Justice in the Global COVID-19 Response

Global Health Justice and Governance Program Launch

The Global Health Justice and Governance Program launched in November 2018 with a multi-disciplinary convening of scholars, activists, advocates, and global health leaders. 

 

A panel discussion, moderated by former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, included several distinguished speakers:

Lopa Banerjee, Director, Civil Society Division, UN Women
Terry McGovern, Harriet and Robert H. Heilbrunn Professor and Chair, Department of Population and Family Health; Director, Global Health Justice and Governance, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health
Hilary Pennington, Executive Vice President for Program, Ford Foundation
Jeffrey Shaman, Associate Professor, Environmental Health Sciences; Director, Climate and Health Program, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

Closing remarks were made by Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health