Wintersession 2020

The Spirit of Beijing: Revisiting the Fourth World Conference on Women.

The Albright Wintersession 2020 revisited the UN Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China. Fellows and Faculty revisited the goals and impact of the conference and explored the extent to which it has achieved its aims. This year’s program explored the role of soft power, international organizations, diplomacy, and civil resistance in creating change around gender.


During the first two weeks of Wintersession, the Albright Fellows attended classes with prominent speakers, including Wellesley faculty, alumnae practitioners, and thought leaders from outside organizations and around the globe. The Fellows worked in interdisciplinary groups to research and form perspectives on pressing international issues, culminating in presentations to the Institute’s Distinguished Visitor at the end of Wintersession. The eight topical issues of the 2020 Wintersession were:


1. Gender quotas in national legislatures: mandating representation in government

2. Boko Haram and the small arms trade: impact on women and girls

3. The long term impact of ethic cleansing in the Balkans on women and girls

4. Women's access to family planning in the Philippines

5. The Gendered Impact of Climate Change and Drought in South Africa

6. Women's access to land rights in India

7. Shifting Gender and Sexual Identity Rights in Brazil

8. Women's Involvement in Conflict Resolution in Afghanistan


This year’s Distinguished Visiting Professor was Madeleine K. Albright, a professor, author, diplomat and businesswoman who served as the 64th Secretary of State of the United States. For our annual Dinner Dialogue, Secretary was joined by Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (2013–2017) and Senior Counselor at the Albright Stonebridge Group.

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