Harvard GlobalWE is a shared interest group of the Harvard Alumni Association. We are dedicated to the empowerment of women through education, dialogue and connection among individuals working for women's rights and freedoms worldwide. Harvard GlobalWE does not advocate a specific ideology or agenda; rather, we highlight and raise awareness about issues concerning women's empowerment worldwide, including but not limited to: education, political rights, freedom from violence, women's health, and economic empowerment.
Become a member of Harvard GlobalWE
We invite all members of the Harvard community to join Harvard GlobalWE. Membership is open to Harvard alumni, current students, affiliates, and members of the larger Harvard community, including staff and family members. Our events span the globe, and our discussions include and respect diverse points of view. Harvard GlobalWE is an inclusive organization with membership open to and comprising all genders. We welcome you to join our community, and to join the GlobalWE conversation.
In order to become a member, please make sure you log in before selecting the membership choice. If you don't have an alumni login but are a member of the Harvard community, please select membership and add your Harvard affiliation (e.g. school or program and year, staff position, relationship to a Harvard alum, etc.) into the Special Instructions section of the membership form. Please note that your Harvard GlobalWE Membership is free, however we are a non-profit and welcome Donations to defray administrative costs. Thank you in advance for your support of our mission and efforts. Please scroll to the bottom of the page to submit your GlobalWE membership form.
GlobalWE Statement on Political Neutrality
Harvard Alumni for Global Women’s Empowerment (“GlobalWE”) is a Shared Interest Group (“SIG”) of the Harvard Alumni Association (“HAA”). GlobalWE’s mission states, among other things: “We are dedicated to the empowerment of women through education, dialogue and connection among individuals working for women's rights and freedoms worldwide. Harvard GlobalWE does not advocate a specific ideology or agenda; rather, we highlight and raise awareness about issues concerning women's empowerment worldwide…” Our primary goal is akin to what Marty Baron identified in his May 2020 Harvard Commencement address, to “reveal the world as it is -- because someone might then make things better.” We strive to carry out our mission in a way that is politically neutral without advocacy. We are planted firmly on the education side, with a core focus on nurturing a community of Harvard alumni who are devoted to empowering women around the world. GlobalWE welcomes and embraces all people who choose to join us, regardless of political or ideological perspectives.
We assume as a foundational principle that women, like all people, have inalienable human rights, which are universal and not subject to politics or ideological argument. We recognize, as stated in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“UDHR”) that “the inherent dignity and … the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” Civil rights advocate Eleanor Roosevelt passionately supported the UDHR, which was accepted unanimously by all nations of the 1948 UN General Assembly. We believe the basic rights and freedoms included in the UDHR apply to all humans, including women, and these are prior to and not subject to politics or ideology.
GlobalWE aspires to reach as many people as possible, as we gather members who share our mission of women’s empowerment. Our political neutrality facilitates this engagement by allowing those with diverse ideological views to join our efforts, without fear that they will be required to endorse political positions with which they disagree. Our apolitical nature allows those who work in government or other sensitive positions to embrace our efforts without transgressing workplace or other restrictions on political affiliation. Our political neutrality provides opportunities for our members to participate in a mission to which they feel profoundly connected but which would be disallowed by their employers if it were politically aligned.
As we are a Global SIG, many of our members live in countries where expressing or aligning with political views critical of their governments could put them in grave danger. Even with our transparent standpoint on political neutrality, there is danger for some who share our mission. One GlobalWE affiliate has received death threats for speaking up about women’s empowerment. Some of our essay contest writers must remain anonymous for fear of being harmed if their participation is discovered. Therefore, since the beginning of our SIG’s existence, our firm commitment to political neutrality remains an ongoing, relentless challenge, but one to which we are devoted.
Of course, many of our members are politically active. And we encourage all who learn from our programs and events, and from the student essays we’ve collected, to be advocates and influencers, political or otherwise, outside of GlobalWE. Each year, we host events which connect our members, Harvard students, and other Harvard affiliates to women’s empowerment organizations, both political and nonpolitical, facilitating personal advocacy.
Some issues that impact women’s freedoms and rights are so controversial that they cannot be divorced from politics and ideology. For those, we have learned that remaining neutral is an advantage that allows us to welcome all voices on an issue rather than alienating some of our members by advocating for one side.
As political polarization has become more insistent, the demand that GlobalWE align with a particular political agenda has become louder. We will continue to avoid doing so for all of the reasons stated above. We sincerely and enthusiastically welcome all who care to learn more about human rights for women and girls to join our efforts.