Charlotte Bunch

Biography of Charlotte Bunch

Charlotte Bunch (born October 13, 1944) is an American activist, author and organizer in women's and human rights movements.

A Board of Governor’s Distinguished Service Professor in Women's and Gender Studies, Bunch founded Washington D.C. publications, Women's Liberation and Quest: A Feminist Quarterly.

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.

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 really works for equality for all of the world's women. Bunch has been a major voice for this campaign. The gender entity was finally created after four years of advocacy on July 2, 2010, and deemed UN WOMEN.

At its 20th Anniversary Symposium on March 6, 2010, following panel discussions on body, economy, and movement, CWGL organized a tribute to its founder, Charlotte Bunch, 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.

CWGL launched the Charlotte Bunch Women’s Human Rights Strategic Opportunities Fund in recognition of her contributions to the global women’s human rights movement.

In October 1996 Bunch was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. 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.

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. 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.

The papers of Charlotte Bunch can be found at the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute.

She is the author of several books and articles. Her writings include Passionate Politics: Feminist Theory in Action (NY: St. Martin's Press, 1987); "Preambulo: Abriendo las Copuertas," in Declaracion Universal de Derecho Humanos: Texto Y Comentarios Inusuales, edited by Alda Facio (San Jose, Costa Rica: ILANUD Programa Mujer, Justiciaa y Genero, 2001); and "Taking Stock: Women's Human Rights Five Years After Beijing" in Holding On to the Promise: Women's Human Rights and the Beijing + 5 Review, edited by Cynthia Meillon and Charlotte Bunch (NJ: Center for Women's Global Leadership, 2001).

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