Social • Cultural • Economic Equity

Three African woman proudly display traditional jewelry, especially earrings

Social • Cultural • Economic Equity

Climate change. Gun deaths. War. Human trafficking. COVID-19. All shine new light on vast inequities—across societies, cultures and communities—affecting the health and well-being of vulnerable populations in Wisconsin and around the world.

The United Nations tells us that income inequalities between countries is on the rise. Migrants in 2021 faced their deadliest year since 2017. The number of refugees has hit an all-time high. We know that groups that have historically been marginalized and demonized—based on income, sex, gender, age, race, ethnicity, indigenous identity, migratory status and disability—know too well the many faces of violence and discrimination. In government. In society. In the classroom and the boardroom.

Global Health pushes toward justice and liberation for communities and populations. Creating educational and economic opportunities for girls and women. Expanding educational and maternal health choices in underserved and remote areas. Acting to end gender-based violence and supporting HIV-positive teens. Honoring Indigenous wisdom and making room for new ways of knowing and living. Finding better ways to serve those with physical or mental disabilities.

We recognize that the health of the most vulnerable communities is vital to the health of all. Together, with colleagues and communities across the world, we open doors for new conversations, ask new questions and invite new voices into the discussion. Together, we contribute to a safer, healthier and more just world for all.

Two Ecuadoran female artists sort beads for their jewelry projects. They are wearing traditional dress.
Massai women from Kenya, top, are committed to health and well-being (Photo courtesy of Araceli Alonso.) Women from LaCalera, above, worked with UW-Madison faculty and students to develop a microenterprise project for their jewelry business. (Photo by  Mollie Overby.)

The 4W Initiative

The 4W (Women and Well-being in Wisconsin & the World) Initiative was established by GHI, the School of Human Ecology and the Department of Women and Gender Studies. 4W leverages the strengths of UW-Madison to be a convener and leading voice in education, applied research, and impactful engagement to promote gender equity and global well-being. Through a range of local-to-global, research-to action projects, 4W addresses issues such as micro-enterprise and health, ending human trafficking, promoting financial equality in relationships, and more. No matter the topic, 4W’s work is guided by the lived experiences of women and supports women to move from suffering to subsistence to thriving.

Lori DiPrete Brown, a GHI Advisory Committee and Transition Team member,  is director of the 4W initiative. For a full-listing of 4W activities and faculty, visit

Equity News

Global HealthMay Global Health Tuesday to focus on women global health leadersWatch the full recording of our recent Global Health Tuesday: Women. Leadership and Global Health here on our Youtube channel.  Join the UW-Madison Global Health Institute (GHI) for this month’s Global Health Tuesday: Women, Leadership …Read more…

Global HealthWork with GHI: Apply to be a Communications InternStudents interested in supporting communications, editorial and events at the Global Health Institute with demonstrated interest in life sciences communication, global health and journalism are encouraged to apply! Position starts immediately and will continue through …Read more…

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