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Sisterhood is Global Institute
History and Background

Founded in 1984 by Robin Morgan (USA), the late Simone de Beauvoir (France), and women from 80 other countries, The Institute has played a leading policy-formulator, strategist, and activist role in the evolution of the international Women’s Movement for almost 25 years. 

The Institute spun off from the book Sisterhood Is Global: The International Women''s Movement Anthology, compiled and edited by Morgan. At publication, Morgan organized the first ever Global Feminist Strategy Meeting. During that assembly, de Beauvoir (France) and Morgan (USA), together with women from Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Finland, Fiji, Greece, Italy, India, Kuwait, Libya, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Palestine/Israel, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Zambia, founded The Institute as the first international feminist think-tank and pledged to visionary yet pragmatic action in support of women''s rights, freedoms, and power.

Among its many activities, The Institute pioneered the first Urgent Acton Alerts regarding women’s rights; the first global campaign to make visible women''s unpaid labor in national accounts; and the first women’s rights manuals (in 12 languages) specifically for Muslim societies.

Original plans called for The Institute to rotate location every five years. Accordingly, The Institute spent its first five years in New York under the Executive Directorship of Karen Berry; the next five in New Zealand, led by former NZ Member of Parliament Marilyn J. Waring; it then moved to Maryland, USA, under Mahnaz Afkhami (Iran); and thence to Montreal, Canada, with Greta Hofmann Nemiroff at the helm.

Today, permanently located in New York City and guided by a distinguished board of directors and expert international advisors, The Institute is taking another pioneering step by addressing the single most urgent need of women’s rights groups around the world: ensuring that the Women’s Movement realizes its potential as source of and engine for unprecedented impact in addressing global problems.

Worldwide concerns can no longer be addressed effectively without acknowledging the centrality of half of humanity to solving them, and without redefining what gets funded, and to what degree. The global Women’s Movement persists in its growth through desperate need and determination, but with support too small to permit the institutional development that is essential to truly invest in women. 

The Sisterhood is Global Institute, an international nonprofit NGO with Consultative Status to the United Nations, is creating a dynamic fundraising engine through which the interests, advice, contacts, and support of individuals, foundations, and corporations can be collectively mobilized for greater and more cost-effective impact in building the global Women’s

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