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Charlotte Bunch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charlotte Bunch
A photograph of Charlotte Bunch, courtesy of the Center for Women's Global Leadership
Born (1944-10-13) October 13, 1944 (age 74)
North Carolina
EducationDuke University
OccupationFounding director and senior scholar of the Center for Women's Global Leadership

Board of Governor's Distinguished Service Professor in Women's and Gender Studies


Known forFounding the Center for Women's Global Leadership
Notable workPassionate Politics: Feminist Theory in Action, Class and Feminism, Gender Violence: A Development and Human Rights Issue, Demanding Accountability: The Global Campaign and Vienna Tribunal for Women's Human Rights

Charlotte Bunch (born October 13, 1944) is an American feminist author and organizer in women's rights and human rights movements.[1][2][3] Bunch is currently the founding director and senior scholar at the Center for Women's Global Leadership at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.[3] She is also a distinguished professor in the Department of Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers.[4]


Bunch, one of four children to Charles Pardue Bunch and Marjorie Adelaide (King) Bunch, was born in West Jefferson, North Carolina. That same year, her family moved to Artesia, New Mexico. She attended public schools in Artesia before enrolling at Duke University in 1962.[5]

She was a history major at Duke and graduated magna cum laude in 1966, and was involved with many groups such as the Young Women's Christian Association and the Methodist Student Movement.[6] Bunch has said that she participated in "pray-ins" organized by the Methodist Student Movement at Duke University, but later took a "break" from Christianity because of the homophobia within the religion.[7]

She has been extremely active in political movements for decades and is openly lesbian. She found inspiration for being a women's and human rights activist through her family's dedication to "activism as good works."[7]


Shortly after graduating from Duke University, Bunch became a youth delegate to the World Council of Churches Conference on Church and Society in Geneva, Switzerland. That same year she became president of the University Christian Movement in Washington D.C. for one year.

Following this position, Bunch became a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington D.C., and she founded the Washington D.C. publications, Women's Liberation and Quest: A Feminist Quarterly.[8]

Through inspiration from Black Nationalism, Bunch took part in founding The Furies Collective, a group that published its first newspaper, The Furies, in January 1972. The goal was to give a voice to lesbian separatism.[7] While the collective only survived for about one year, the home of the Furies Collective later was named the first lesbian-related historic landmark in Washington D.C., and became the first lesbian site on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1977, Bunch became an associate of the Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press (WIFP).[9] WIFP is an American nonprofit publishing organization. The organization works to increase communication between women and connect the public with forms of women-based media. She participated in or facilitated numerous international workshops and conferences, and from 1979 to 1980 she was a consultant to the secretariat for the World Conference for the United Nations Decade on Women which was hosted by WIFP.[6]

In 1989, she founded the Center for Women's Global Leadership at Douglass College, Rutgers University, of which she remains the founding director and senior scholar. She was succeeded as executive director by Radhika Balakrishnan in September 2009.[10]

The Center for Women's Global Leadership (CWGL) lobbied the United Nations and the international community to view women's rights as a human rights issue. CWGL is a component of the Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) Campaign, working towards the establishment of a new United Nations Gender Entity that works for equality for all of the world's women. Bunch has been a major voice for this campaign.[11][12] The gender entity was finally created after four years of advocacy on July 2, 2010, and deemed UN Women.[13]

At its 20th-anniversary symposium on March 6, 2010,[14][15] following panel discussions on body, economy, and movement, CWGL organized a tribute[16] to its founder, Charlotte Bunch,[17] who transitioned on September 1, 2009 from her role as executive director to working with CWGL in her new capacity as founding director and senior scholar. Attendees watched a short preview of the then-upcoming documentary film Passionate Politics: The Life & Work of Charlotte Bunch (2011), directed by Tami Gold, which chronicles Bunch’s lifelong personal and political commitment to women’s human rights.[18]

The Center for Women's Global Leadership launched the Charlotte Bunch Women's Human Rights Strategic Opportunities Fund in recognition of her contributions to the global women's human rights movement.[19]

She has served on the boards of numerous organizations and is currently a member of the Advisory Committee for the Human Rights Watch Women's Rights Division, and on the boards of the Global Fund for Women and the International Council on Human Rights Policy.[20][21] She has been a consultant to many United Nations bodies and recently served on the Advisory Committee for the Secretary General's 2006 Report to the General Assembly on Violence against Women.[22] She has also voiced her support for the Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, an organisation which campaigns for democratic reform in the United Nations.[23]

Awards and recognition

In October 1996, Bunch was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.[24] In December 1999 she was selected by United States President Bill Clinton as a recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights. She received the "Women Who Make a Difference Award" from the National Council for Research on Women in 2000, and was honored as one of the "21 Leaders for the 21st Century" by Women's eNews in 2002, and also received the "Board of Trustees Awards for Excellence in Research" in 2006 at Rutgers University.[25]

Bunch in 2011
Bunch in 2011

List of awards, fellowships and grants

    • 2008 Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award SAGE (Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders)
    • 2008 Rutgers College Class of 1962 Presidential Public Service Award Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
    • 2007 Honorary degree of Doctor of Laws University of Connecticut
    • 2006 Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
    • 2004 New Jersey Honorary United Nations Day Chair Appointed by the Governor of New Jersey
    • 2002 Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor Recipient Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
    • 2002 Women Who Make a Difference Award International Women's Forum
    • 2002 21 Leaders for the 21st Century Women's Enews
    • 2001 Spirit of American Women Award Girls Incorporated of Central New York
    • 2000 Women Who Make a Difference Award National Council for Research on Women
    • 1999 Church Women United Human Rights Award Church Women United
    • 1999 Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights President William Jefferson Clinton
    • 1998 The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program Recognition Award to the Center for Women's Global Leadership by the Department of Urban Planning and Policy Development, Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey
    • 1997 award in recognition of its "international educational and organizing work fighting violence against women" to the Center for Women's Global Leadership by the Center for Anti-Violence Education
    • 1996 Induction into the National Women's Hall of Fame
    • 1993 Feminist of the Year to the Center for Women's Global Leadership by the Feminist Majority Foundation
    • 1992 Resourceful Women Award
    • 1987 The Jessie Bernard Wise Woman Award Center for Women Policy Studies[26]

Works and publications

Bunch has written and edited many pieces of work, which focus on women's rights and human rights. The papers of Charlotte Bunch can be found at the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute.[27][28]

A full list of her publications can be found here.


(This list is only a few of her published titles.)

  • A Broom of One's Own. Washington: Washington Women's Liberation. 1970. OCLC 2292078.
  • Lesbianism and the Women's Movement. Baltimore, Md.: Diana Press. 1975. ISBN 978-0-884-47006-9. OCLC 1365238.
  • Building Feminist Theory: Essays from QUEST, a Feminist Quarterly. New York, N.Y.: Longman. 1981. ISBN 978-0-582-28210-0. OCLC 256686819.
  • Feminism in the 80's: Facing Down the Right. Denver, Colo.: Inkling Press. 1981. OCLC 9868505.
  • Passionate Politics: Essays, 1968–1986: Feminist Theory in Action. New York: St. Martin's Press. 1987. ISBN 978-0-312-00667-9. OCLC 15196697.
  • Transforming the Faiths of our Fathers: Women who Changed American Religion. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 2004. ISBN 978-1403964601.
  • International Feminism: Networking Against Female Sexual Slavery. Report on Global Feminist Workshop Against Traffic in Women, edited with Barry and Castley. NY: International Women’s Tribune Centre, 1984. (Also published in French by Nouvelles Questions Feministes, Paris, 1985; and in Spanish by CIPAF, Santo Domingo, 1985.)


(This list is only a select number of more than 250 published articles.)

  • “Feminism, Peace, Human Rights, and Human Security,” Canadian Women’s Studies/Les Cahiers de la Femme, York University, Canada, special issue on “Women and Peace-Building,” Vol, 22, No. 2, 2003.
  • “Women’s Human Rights and Security in the Age of Terror,” Nothing Sacred: Women Respond to Religious Fundamentalism and Terror, Betsy Reed (ed.), New York: Nation Books, 2002. (Shorter version published as “Whose Security,” The Nation, Vol. 275, Number 9, September 23, 2002.)
  • “Human Rights at the Intersection of Race and Gender,” Women at the Intersection: Indivisible Rights, Identities, and Oppressions, Rita Raj with Charlotte Bunch and elmira Nazombe (eds.), NJ: Center for Women’s Global Leadership, 2002.
  • “Women’s Leadership: Why Should You Care?” Power for What: National Dialogue on Educating Women for Leadership, NJ: Institute for Women’s Leadership, No. 2, May, 2002.
  • “Human Rights as the Foundation for a Compassionate Society,” Toward a Compassionate Society, Mahnaz Afkhami (ed.), Washington, DC: Women’s Learning Partnership, 2002.
  • “International Networking for Women’s Human Rights,” Global Citizen Action, Michael Edwards and John Gaventa (eds.), CO: Westview, 2001.
  • “Women’s Rights are Human Rights Post 9/11,” English/ Spanish in Lola Press: International Feminist Magazine, No. 16 November 2001; (Also published in German in Leben Heist Frei Sein Dokumentation Internationaler Kongress, Berlin: Terre Des Femmes and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, October, 2001).


  1. ^ "Legendary Women of Causes, Charlotte Bunch Profile". October 13, 1944. Archived from the original on April 27, 2005. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  2. ^ Gross, Jane (May 31, 2000). "Charlotte Bunch, NYTimes Profile". Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Charlotte Bunch, Founding Director". Center for Women's Global Leadership, Rutgers University. Archived from the original on August 23, 2017. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
  4. ^ "Faculty: Bunch, Charlotte". Department of Women's and Gender Studies. Rutgers University. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
  5. ^ "Harvard University Library".
  6. ^ a b "Harvard Library".
  7. ^ a b c "Films for the Feminist Classroom".
  8. ^ "Entry on Bunch in the Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture". October 13, 1944. Archived from the original on December 7, 2009. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  9. ^ "Associates |  The Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press". Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  10. ^ "Introductory Letter from Radhika Balakrishnan, New CWGL Executive Director" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 3, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  11. ^ "Bunch's June 14, 2010 statements at the UN on behalf of the GEAR Campaign" (PDF). Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  12. ^ "Reflections on the 54th CSW and GEAR". Global Fund for Women. Archived from the original on June 11, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  13. ^ MacFarquhar, Neil (July 2, 2010). "A U.N. Agency for Women? Yes! But Those Names..." The New York Times. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  14. ^ "Program Highlights, Including a short description of the Symposium and Bunch Tribute". Archived from the original on July 1, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  15. ^ "See Page 74 of this 148-page CSW 54 Handbook put out by the NGO Committee to the CSW for a one-page flyer for the CWGL Symposium Beijing +15 Parallel Event" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 27, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  16. ^ "NCRW Hosts Article from SAGE Magazine | May 2010 about Charlotte Bunch, including a mention of the March Tribute". Archived from the original on April 10, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  17. ^ "Podcast of the tribute to Charlotte Bunch at the 20th Anniversary Symposium". Archived from the original (MP3) on March 2, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  18. ^ "Passionate Politics: The Life & Work of Charlotte Bunch". Retrieved October 7, 2012.
  19. ^ "Charlotte Bunch Women's Human Rights Strategic Opportunities Fund Launched" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 2, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  20. ^ "ICHRP Homepage". Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  21. ^ "Former Council and Board Members ICHRP List, Including Charlotte Bunch". Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  22. ^ Danne Polk. "Charlotte Bunch biography on's A Legacy of Names". Archived from the original on February 5, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  23. ^ "Overview". Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly. Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  24. ^ "National Women's Hall of Fame, Charlotte Bunch Profile". Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  25. ^ "Charlotte Bunch Awards List". Archived from the original on July 1, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  26. ^ "Rutgers University Department of Women's and Gender Studies".
  27. ^ "Charlotte Bunch's Papers, 1967–1985". October 13, 1944. Archived from the original on September 2, 2006. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  28. ^ "Charlotte Bunch's Papers, 1950–1988". Archived from the original on September 2, 2006. Retrieved July 18, 2010.


Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 24 November 2018, at 18:22
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