The United Nations awarded UW-Madison Tuesday with its UNESCO Chair on Gender, Well-being and a Culture of Peace, according to a university news release.
“This recognition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) affirms UW-Madison’s strength in addressing global issues,” said Chancellor Rebecca Blank in the release. “The interdisciplinary ethic of our faculty, staff and students allows us to engage on complex issues from a host of perspectives. That’s a valuable asset to the UNESCO network around the world.”
The UN honor will allow UW-Madison’s Department of Gender and Women’s Studies as well as the campus 4W (For Women and Well-being in Wisconsin and the World) Initiative to access new global resources, according to the release.
UW-Madison joins a network of more than 670 university chairs across the world, 12 of which are gender chairs. The university was granted the award based on its plans to encourage innovation through technological databases and online portals.
The Madison chair’s activities will include organizing an annual summit and releasing publications related to gender. It will be headed by Araceli Alonso, a senior lecturer in the gender and women’s studies department, and Teresa Langle de Paz, co-director of Women’s Knowledge International at the Foundation for a Culture of Peace.
“The UNESCO chair can take our work at UW–Madison a step further into a global arena,” Alonso said in the release. “We expect to create a global learning community and a platform of leaders committed to gender equality and equity.”
UW-Madison is the first UN chair to focus on gender, well-being and culture of peace in North America, according to a statement from the UNESCO Chair Selection Committee. John Karl Scholz, dean of the College of Letters & Science, said he is excited for the university to serve this pioneering role.
“This will enhance our efforts to improve the health, education and well-being of women all over the world,” Scholz said in the release. “With this recognition, we will be able to engage more students and scholars from across campus, which truly epitomizes the Wisconsin Idea.”