• Charlotte Bunch
  • Founding Director


Charlotte Bunch, Founding Director and Senior Scholar of the Center for Women's Global Leadership, Rutgers University, has been an activist, writer and organizer in the feminist and human rights movements for over four decades.  A Distinguished Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies, Bunch was previously a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in DC and a founder of Quest: A Feminist Quarterly.  She has served on the Board of Directors of many organizations and is currently on the Board of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) and the Advisory Committee for the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch.


She has edited nine anthologies and authored Passionate Politics: Feminist Theory in Action and Demanding Accountability: The Global Campaign and Vienna Tribunal for Women's Human Rights pdf as well as numerous essays.

Bunch has been central to feminist organizing around the UN World Conferences on Women (1980-95) and to numerous civil society efforts at the UN, including the Advisory Committee for the Secretary General’s 2006 Report to the General Assembly on Violence Against Women, and a leaders in the GEAR (Gender Equality Architecture Reform) campaign for a new UN Women agency.  Her contributions to women's human rights are recognized by many including the National Women's Hall of Fame, the White House Eleanor Roosevelt Award, and the “1000 Women Peace Makers” nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Research Interests

Professor Bunch's work focuses on the application of feminist theory to public policy questions, particularly at the global level. Her current investigations center on developing an analysis and understanding of human rights that incorporates women's lives more fully and utilizes the question of violence against women as a way of exploring the parameters of their issues both theoretically and practically. Her other public policy work has focused on issues of gender and international development. 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).


  • 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



  • Rutgers Today featured Charlotte Bunch in Pioneering Feminist Activist Passing Knowledge Along to Next Generation by Fredda Sacharow.
  • VIENNA +20 - The World Has Changed Considerably, As Women's Rights Are Taken More Seriously As Human Rights by Tolmay, S. (2013)Interview with Charlotte Bunch, Founding Director and Senior Scholar of the Center for Women's Global Leadership, illustrating why Vienna +20 is necessary for progress on international human rights.
  • Women’s Human Rights: 20 Years After Vienna by Bunch, C. (2013) These articles provide a brief history of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights. Also, includes an analysis of why the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action made significant contributions to putting women’s rights on the human right’s agenda.
  • Founding Director and Senior Scholar Charlotte Bunch featured in UN Women at its First Birthday: Systems and Visibility Growing, More Funding and Civil Society Engagement Needed, February 17, 2012
  • A Powerful Women's Agency: will the UN deliver? by Charlotte Bunch, Founding Director and Senior Scholar, CWGL, posted on openDemocracy, October 27, 2009
  • Listen Up: UN Must Hear Women on Violence by Charlotte Bunch, Executive Director, published in On The Issues Magazine, Spring 2009 edition
  • August 2006: Executive Director, Charlotte Bunch, and Senior Policy Advisor, Cynthia Rothschild, have written an article on the Human Rights Council in a new publication on UN Reform, UN Reform: What's in it for Women?, edited by Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, Tina Johnson and Liane Schalatek and published by the International Women’s Tribune Center and the Heinrich Böll Foundation. This article is an overview of the Council and some of the concerns and interests of the women’s human rights community, such as preservation of the special procedures and of NGO access. Read her full publication here.
  • A Feminist Human Rights Lens on Human Security, article by Charlotte Bunch, Executive Director, March 2004
  • Human Rights Dialogue: Violence Against Women, Series 2, Number 10 (Fall 2003), Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. Impunity and Women’s Rights in Ciudad Juárez: Lydia Alpízar explains how women’s organizations are responding to the systematic killings of women in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. In From Ciudad Juárez to the World, Charlotte Bunch notes that their efforts have opened doors for the human rights movement to address other important issues.
  • Charlotte Bunch, Executive Director, and elmira Nazombe, former Program Director, are featured in Journeys that Opened up the World, Rutgers University Press, October 2003.
  • Whose Security?, article by Charlotte Bunch, Executive Director, published in the September 23, 2002 issue of The Nation



  • Passionate Politics: The Life and Work of Charlotte Bunch is now available for purchase on DVD. The film brings Charlotte Bunch's story to life, from idealistic young civil rights organizer to lesbian feminist activist to internationally recognized leader. Charlotte's story is told by women from Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean who have worked with her to put women's rights on the global human rights agenda. Braided throughout the film are excerpts from Charlotte's personal letter that illuminate her determination to create a more just world.