Inspiration July 30, 2018
Academics who are #WomenThatDo can be influencers, too! Check out these five feminist policy influencers to stay abreast of current issues in domestic and foreign policy that pertain to women's empowerment and gender equality.
Think of the term “influencer” and the kind of personalities that come to mind are most likely reality TV stars, musicians, YouTubers and bloggers. It’s rare to hear about academic infuencers, specificially female academic influencers. It’s even rarer to hear about feminist policy influencers.
Forget the image of a scatterbrained professor in an ivory tower somewhere far away. Feminist academics, especially in the area of policy studies, are active in their field often consulted by companies and governments. While their numbers of followers may not reach the likes of Kim Kardashian or other mainstream celebrities, there are plenty of academics and educators out there working hard every day to make the world a better place for #WomenThatDo. Some of them even Tweet about it in the process.
Here are five feminist policy influencers surely to smarten any social media feed.
The term “policy” doesn’t only include foreign policy, and the term “academic” doesn’t just mean universities. Case in point, Ileana Jiménez is a New York high school teacher who’s teaching courses on feminism and activism. To encourage teachers to bring intersectional feminism to the K-12 classroom, she launched a blog in 2009 and created the hashtags #HSfeminism and #K12feminism.
She’s also an associate faculty member at Bard College’s Institute for Writing and Thinking. As a recipient of the Distinguished Fulbright Award in Teaching, she conducted research in Mexico City on how to create safe schools for LGBT youth. Ultimately, Jiménez deserves a spot on this list for her longstanding efforts to rethink K-12 education for the next generation.
Just look at this Tweet of Sarah Degnan Kambou casually advising the Canadian government on international assistance. Well ok, probably not casually. Talk about #careergoals! Kambou is among the top 20 of apolitical‘s top 100 most influential people in gender policy, as part of The Most Influential People in Global Policy. She’s the current President of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), a think tank affiliated with American University. According to their website, the ICRW seeks to “improve the lives and opportunities of women of diverse backgrounds, circumstances, and experiences” through research, policy analysis and public education.
Kambou holds a doctorate in international health policy. She’s an expert in sexual and reproductive health, HIV and AIDS and adolescent health. For 10 years she lived in Sub-Saharan Africa where she managed programs for the relief agency CARE. Former President Barack Obama appointed her to his Global Development Council in 2012. She also advised former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., is the founding President and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) in Washington, D.C.,headquartered at The George Washington University. IWPR focuses on empowering local leaders to improve legislation that benefits women and their families. She’s also an Economist in Residence at American University and serves as the Editor of the Journal of Women, Politics & Policy. Hartmann frequently testifies before Congress and provides commentary for CNN, ABC News, The New York Times and PBS NewsHour. Her areas of expertise include women’s contribution to the economy, social security and the gender wage gap.
Melanne Verveer‘s tweet shows that academics and policymakers are just as capable of throwing shade as the rest of us. Her savage response to President Trump’s policies make her one of the badass feminist policy influencers. She’s referring to the fact that she was the first U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. Then-President Obama nominated her for this position in 2009 and she served in this role until 2013. She’s currently the executive director of the Institute for Women, Peace and Security at Georgetown University. The institute provides analysis and expertise about the role of women in conflict resolution and peace-building efforts. Additionally, she co-founded Seneca Point Global, an organization which advises Fortune 100 companies on practices and policies to advance women and girls.
Earlier in her career, she served as the Chief of Staff to then-First Lady Hillary Clinton. She oversaw Clinton’s involvement in the historic 1995 UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Verveerco-drafted Clinton’s speech with the iconic line, “human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.” That line was considered edgy at the time. *finger snapping*
Iris Bohnet also ranks among the top 20 of apolitical‘s top 100 list. The native of Switzerland co-directs the Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. According to their website, WAPPP “closes gender gaps in economic opportunity, political participation, health and education.” Bohnet wrote the book “What Works: Gender Equality by Design” in 2016, which offers solutions for addressing gender bias through behavioral design. Forbes, the Washington Post and other publications included the book in its top lists for the year.
At the end of the day, it’s important to recognize that not all feminist policy influencers use social media. Furthermore, there were plenty of feminists back in the day before social media existed. In this digital age, however, it’s easier than ever to stay informed about topics that are important for #WomenThatDo.
Send this to a friend