A pioneering strategist and organizer, Charlotte Bunch is one of the foremost advocates of international attention to women’s issues, and the inclusion of gender and sexual orientation on global human rights agenda.
A 1966 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Duke University, Bunch became active on the national scene as a writer, lesbian activist and lecturer, particularly in movements for women’s liberation and women’s rights. She created and edited Quest: A Feminist Journal (1974), one of the first and the leading journals to promote analysis and policy making to improve women’s status in society.
Expanding her activities into the international arena, Bunch built an international network of women, united by common concerns, and prepared by education and training for effective action. Through her speeches and organizing at international conferences, she served as a critical catalyst for action on women’s issues. For example, her speech to Amnesty International in 1989 marked the beginning of that organization’s efforts to address gender-specific human rights issues. Her leadership was crucial to the adoption by the 1993 U.N. Conference on Human Rights, in Vienna, of strong support for women, and at the 1995 U.N. Conference on Human Rights, in Beijing, for supporting woman’s place in human rights advocacy.
In 1989, Bunch founded The Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Douglass College, Rutgers University, where she remains as Founding Director and Senior Scholar. Through the Center, she served as leader of national and international networking, advocacy and training, to advance women’s well-being around the world.