Working To Advance Gender Equality

Sarah Pfund
MA ’19
International Development

When Sarah began her studies at the school, she was looking for a way to get involved outside of academics. The Global Women in Leadership (GWL) club provided her the opportunity to really dig her teeth into a group and an event with wide impact and reach. It was also a natural fit given that she is interested in advancing gender equality issues.

Sarah believes that one of the most important ways anyone can contribute to a particular cause is by giving that cause a voice, and GWL provides that opportunity to women—at the school and beyond. Currently, she has been helping to organize GWL’s annual conference on March 29 that will examine global shifts in gender relations. Sarah is most looking forward to the networking opportunities available at both the conference and the reception that will offer plenty of time to meet with speakers and high-level attendees.

In addition to GWL, Sarah has explored the vital role woman play in the economic, political, and security arenas through her Women, Peace, and Security class, which recently hosted a screening of a new documentary titled, “Wave Goodbye to Dinosaurs.” This film told the story of a group of women from Northern Ireland who fought for female representation in the Good Friday Agreement peace negotiations. Even though they were told they didn’t belong, the women continued to fight, and ultimately helped broker a deal that took into consideration the needs of all people, not just those represented on the negotiation council.

Sarah continues to be inspired by women such as those in the Women’s Coalition in Northern Ireland who work toward change on the local level and make the conscious choice to work for progress in contexts where they often have little voice or structural support. She would like women everywhere to know they can make a difference, and that their work doesn’t have to cross state or international borders to change the world.