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Charlotte Bunch

Charlotte Bunch
A photograph of Charlotte Bunch, courtesy of the Center for Women's Global Leadership
Born (1944-10-13) October 13, 1944
North Carolina
Occupation Activist, author
Known for Founding the Center for Women's Global Leadership

Charlotte Bunch (born October 13, 1944) is an American activist, author and organizer in women's and human rights movements.[1][2][3]

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.[4]

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.[5]

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.[6][7] The gender entity was finally created after four years of advocacy on July 2, 2010, and deemed UN Women.[8]

At its 20th Anniversary Symposium on March 6, 2010,[9][10] following panel discussions on body, economy, and movement, CWGL organized a tribute[11] to its founder, Charlotte Bunch,[12] 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.[13]

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.[14]

In October 1996 Bunch was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.[15] 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.[16]

Bunch in 2011

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.[17][18] 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.[19]

The papers of Charlotte Bunch can be found at the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute.[20][21]

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).[22][23]

She is openly lesbian.[24]


  • A Broom of One's Own. Washington: Washington Women's Liberation. 1970.  
  • Lesbianism and the Women's Movement. Baltimore, Md.: Diana Press. 1975.  
  • Building Feminist Theory: Essays from QUEST, a Feminist Quarterly. New York, N.Y.: Longman. 1981.  
  • Feminism in the 80's: Facing Down the Right. Denver, Colo.: Inkling Press. 1981.  
  • Passionate Politics: Essays, 1968–1986: Feminist Theory in Action. New York: St. Martin's Press. 1987.  
  • Transforming the Faiths of our Fathers: Women who Changed American Religion. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 2004.  


  1. ^ "Legendary Women of Causes, Charlotte Bunch Profile". October 13, 1944. Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  2. ^ Gross, Jane (May 31, 2000). "Charlotte Bunch, NYTimes Profile". Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Charlotte Bunch Staff Profile, Center for Women's Global Leadership". Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Entry on Bunch in the Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture". October 13, 1944. Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Introductory Letter from Radhika Balakrishnan, New CWGL Executive Director" (PDF). Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Bunch's June 14, 2010 statements at the UN on behalf of the GEAR Campaign" (PDF). Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Reflections on the 54th CSW and GEAR". Global Fund for Women. Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  8. ^ MacFarquhar, Neil (July 2, 2010). "A U.N. Agency for Women? Yes! But Those Names...". The New York Times. Retrieved June 11, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Program Highlights, Including a short description of the Symposium and Bunch Tribute". Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  10. ^ "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). Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  11. ^ "NCRW Hosts Article from SAGE Magazine | May 2010 about Charlotte Bunch, including a mention of the March Tribute". Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Podcast of the tribute to Charlotte Bunch at the 20th Anniversary Symposium" (MP3). Retrieved June 11, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Passionate Politics: The Life & Work of Charlotte Bunch". Retrieved October 7, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Charlotte Bunch Women's Human Rights Strategic Opportunities Fund Launched" (PDF). Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  15. ^ "National Women's Hall of Fame, Charlotte Bunch Profile". Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Charlotte Bunch Awards List". Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  17. ^ "ICHRP Homepage". Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Former Council and Board Members ICHRP List, Including Charlotte Bunch". Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  19. ^ Danne Polk. "Charlotte Bunch biography on's A Legacy of Names". Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Charlotte Bunch's Papers, 1967–1985". October 13, 1944. Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Charlotte Bunch's Papers, 1950–1988". Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  23. ^ Thalif Deen. "A detailed list of Bunch's articles and speaking engagements". Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Bunch, Charlotte (b. 1944)". glbtq. Retrieved June 11, 2012. 


  • Watkins, M. Charlotte Bunch (1944–), 1999
  • Listen Up: UN Must Hear Women on Violence, an article published in On The Issues Magazine, Spring 2009

Further reading

External links

  • Charlotte Bunch's Biographical Information from Rutgers University
  • Charlotte Bunch's Publications
  • Articles, Statements, and Videos by Charlotte Bunch
  • IPS News Article with Quotes by Charlotte Bunch
  • Papers of Charlotte Bunch, 1967–1985. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.
  • Additional Papers of Charlotte Bunch, 1944-2010. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.
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