Global Women’s Institute (GWI)



Mary Ellsberg

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The Global Women’s Institute (GWI) is an organization started by the George Washington University in 2012 created, “to advance gender equality through interdisciplinary research, education, and policy and outreach.” According to its website, GWI aims to connect its students and faculty with activists around the world “to end violence against women and girls, empower women economically, and increase women’s participation and leadership in society.”1

Political Activism

GWI works locally on the campus of George Washington University and abroad on research projects across the globe. Campus projects include helping to launch the HeForShe campaign in Washington, D.C., partnering with a student organization for Trans Day of Visibility event, and helping to connect interested students with careers in gender equality issues.2

GWI members are involved in research projects with implications around the world,3partnering with and receiving funding from a variety of organizations and government agencies including the International Rescue Committee, CARE International UK, the World Health Organization, the Australian Government Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Sexual Violence Research Initiative in South Africa, Futures Without Violence, and the United Nation Girl’s Education Initiative (UNGEI).


Mary Ellsberg

Before becoming the founding director of GWI, Ellsberg served as the vice president of research and programs for the International Center for Research on Women in Washington, D.C. She’s spent about two decades working in Nicaragua, studying and working against gender-based violence. She has served in an Expert Group on Violence Prevention for the United Nations and has given testimony for dozens of Nicaraguan women seeking to escape domestic violence by gaining asylum in the U.S.4


  1. “About Us.” Global Women’s Institute. Accessed July 6, 2017.
  2. “Campus Outreach.” Global Women’s Institute. Accessed July 6, 2017.
  3. “Research.” Global Women’s Institute. Accessed July 6, 2017.
  4. Ellsberg, Mary. “Mary Ellsberg CV.” George Washington University. 2017. Accessed July 17, 2017.
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