Don’t Undermine Fight for Women’s Rights With Seemingly Discriminatory Working Environments

Target: Nobel Women’s Initiative Laureates

Goal: Support end to reported systemic racism, sexism, and workplace bullying within women’s rights movements.

A troubling trend of apparent prejudice and toxicity has emerged within organizations that are supposed to advocate for equality. Two major international women’s health organizations have recently faced accusations of racism and demeaning working environments. Now, seven employees of the Nobel Women’s Initiative—a group billed as a defender of women’s rights worldwide—have resigned in a stunning rebuke of similar systemic inequality within this organization.

In their collective resignation, the former employees claimed the Initiative requires “profound organizational reforms – based on transparency, equity, inclusivity and a commitment to uproot embedded patriarchal practices – in order to fully uphold its values.” Many of the recent issues plaguing these organizations have revolved around the apparent unequal treatment between white workers and workers of color. All leadership positions within the three groups under scrutiny are overwhelmingly occupied by Caucasians.  Minority employees have consistently lamented how their attempts to raise concerns about a toxic working environment were dismissed. Now, the ongoing strife threatens to undermine the mission of a global representative of peace and justice for all.

Sign the petition below to hold the founders of the Nobel Women’s Initiative to their pledge of serious and meaningful reform.


Dear Nobel Laureates,

The United States just celebrated the anniversary of one of its most heralded victories for women’s rights: the right to vote. We often take for granted that for a large number of women in America, that struggle took much longer. Women of color have consistently endured double the obstacles and double the challenges in their fight for equality, even from the very individuals who should have been their kindred spirits.

Unfortunately, this struggle continues today….in the United States and around the world. The crises befalling Women Deliver, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and the Nobel Women’s Initiative reflect this sad reality. Employees of the Initiative felt so unheard, so demeaned, and so without hope for true change that they had no other choice but to utilize one final form of protest: leaving. The behaviors they allege run counter to the very heart of your mission and threaten lasting damage to this movement.

Please do not let this seemingly troubling self-destruction continue. You claimed: “this is a moment for deep soul searching and change” and affirmed your commitment to a true “healing process.” If you meant these words, truly listen to these workers and take every necessary action to cleanse this beacon for the world of inequality and regressive oppression.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Johnny Silvercloud

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164 Signatures

  • Salinna DEL SOLL
  • Evan Mehrman
  • Barbara Larson
  • Mary Jo Lopez
  • Sandra Dorst
  • Jillana Laufer
  • Dana Johnson
  • Clarence Cote
  • Marguerite Ogata
  • Manu S-M
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