All 4W Projects

The primary focus of Health by Any Means (HbAM) is to create change and change agents from within communities to improve health outcomes and the general wellbeing of women and girls, especially in the global south. HbAM started in 2009 in rural Kenya as Health by Motorbike, providing health education for women and adolescent girls through “train-the-trainers” programs and through the basic distribution of health services on mobile clinics via motorbikes. In 2013, the project received the UN Award for Public Service for its work with women and girls, health, and sustainable development.

STREETS (Social Transformations to End Exploitation and Trafficking for Sex) is contributing to the end of human trafficking through education and action research that is grounded in the perspectives and preferences of survivors. We are having an impact in communities locally and globally, and are becoming an effective voice in the legal and policy realm. Activities include education and outreach through courses, mentoring, internships and research; improving practice in service provision for survivors and outcome measurement; creating local and global women-centered partnerships; developing training tools and other online resources; influencing policy and the strategic targeting of funding for effective interventions; and exploring how technology may be used in innovative ways to identify and support women and girls affected by trafficking or other forms of gender-based violence.


The MORE (Money, Relationships, and Equality Initiative) was created to establish equality for women and men in relationships, family life, and financial decision making, while embracing the central questions of self-worth, purpose and meaning-making throughout the life course. MORE educates women and men of all ages, in classroom settings and beyond, with the understanding that full equality for women cannot be accomplished without education and behavior change of the men with whom they partner. MORE is founded on the Wisconsin Idea principles of outreach, research and education.

The Wellbeing through Design and Microenterprise Project seeks to support community and family well-being through economic empowerment. The project connects the work and lives of artisans to the educational experiences of our students. Through the collaboration, these artisans increase their capacity to create desirable products, command fair prices in the marketplace, and bring much needed resources into their families and communities. Through experiential learning in the classroom, internships, and ongoing exchange with artisan partners, students strengthen their expertise as well as gain a genuine and global perspective on their chosen careers. The Microenterprise Project currently works with women from Ecuador, Mexico, India and Nepal. The project has also supported the expansion of market opportunities for these groups in their local settings, a permanent retail outlet at the Robin’s Nest Badger Market in the School of Human Ecology and, product sales on campus and venues throughout Madison.

The Declaration Initiative marshals evidence from the health and social sciences to document current and historical inequalities in precursors to successful and full participation in contemporary American society, basing its framework on the rights guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The Arts and Well-being project recognizes the importance of the arts in personal and social transformations and as a critical part of individual and social health and well-being. Working to support the many efforts at UW-Madison, including the Arts Institute’s Interdisciplinary Artists in Residence Program, and in collaboration with various units across campus, we seek to develop opportunities for visiting artists and artists in residence to expand their reach and programming both on campus and in local communities. The 4W initiative is committed to supporting venues and opportunities that embrace, share in, and make visible to students and the wider community the power and potential of the arts to address enduring individual and social challenges.

Leadership in Women’s Philanthropy builds on the historic role that UW-Madison has played in women’s philanthropy. This research and networking effort will explore and articulate future directions in women and philanthropy and provide ongoing networking, locally and nationally.

The Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) is an international peer-mentoring network of women in the Earth Sciences, many of whom are in the early stages of their careers. Their mission is to promote career development, to build community, to provide opportunities for informal mentoring, and to support professional collaborations. Providing more opportunities for women to advance in science supports discovery, innovation, and gender equity.

“One Health” refers to the interdependencies of health among humans, animals, and shared ecosystems. The Women and One Health effort is a cluster of interrelated projects that employ participatory methods and women- and girl-centered approaches to contribute to educational programs and assessment methods, and to inform the research agenda. The projects explore the various ways that women can achieve equity and well-being, as they contribute to agricultural productivity, animal welfare, family economics, and health

Our environmental commons project focuses on ways to educate younger generations about of the fundamental interdependence of humans with one another and with other species and life forms, as well as intersectional issues of identity (including gender) and power and about how our collective choices as humans impact the wellbeing of current and future generations of humans and species we may never meet. Connie Flanagan is conducting a mixed methods study of the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI) and the Southeastern Michigan Stewardship (SEMIS) Coalition's Place-Based Stewardship Education (PBSE) model with several hundred K-12 students, most of whom are from ethnic minority and low-income backgrounds.

The WKDL offers lists of resources, including websites, reports, articles, research, and audiovisual materials, that are available to students and researchers across the UW system as well as the general public. These lists are curated by topics ranging from Aging to Female Genital Mutilation to Zines.


In her new book, Sumudu Atapattu describes how climate change will exacerbate existing inequalities and vulnerabilities. Gendered power differentials in many parts of the world already result in disproportionate workloads, higher levels of poverty, and greater human insecurity for women, disparities that are likely to be aggravated by climate-induced migration and extreme weather events.

UW Madison's Center for Research on Gender and Women is part of a three-institution consortium on women and peacebuilding. The research addresses three themes: Inclusion and Exclusion of Women in Postconflict Governance; Women Activists’ Informal Peacebuilding Strategies; and Women’s Legal Rights as a Site of Contestation in North Africa.


Dr. Carnes has worked to make STEMM fields (science, technology, engineering mathematics, and medicine) more diverse and academic culture more inclusive.