Passionate Politics: Feminist Theory in Action, Class and Feminism, Gender Violence: A Development and Human Rights Issue, Demanding Accountability: The Global Campaign and Vienna Tribunal for Women's Human Rights
She was a history major at Duke and graduated magna cum laude in 1966, and was involved with many groups such as the Young Women's Christian Association and the Methodist Student Movement. Bunch has said that she participated in "pray-ins" organized by the Methodist Student Movement at Duke University, but later took a "break" from Christianity because of the homophobia within the religion.
She has been extremely active in political movements for decades and is openly lesbian. She found inspiration for being a women's and human rights activist through her family's dedication to "activism as good works."
Shortly after graduating from Duke University, Bunch became a youth delegate to the World Council of Churches Conference on Church and Society in Geneva, Switzerland. That same year she became president of the University Christian Movement in Washington D.C. for one year.
Through inspiration from Black Nationalism, Bunch took part in founding The Furies Collective, a group that published its first newspaper, The Furies, in January 1972. The goal was to give a voice to lesbian separatism. While the collective only survived for about one year, the home of the Furies Collective later was named the first lesbian-related historic landmark in Washington D.C., and became the first lesbian site on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1977, Bunch became an associate of the Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press (WIFP). WIFP is an American nonprofit publishing organization. The organization works to increase communication between women and connect the public with forms of women-based media. She participated in or facilitated numerous international workshops and conferences, and from 1979 to 1980 she was a consultant to the secretariat for the World Conference for the United Nations Decade on Women which was hosted by WIFP.
The Center for Women's Global Leadership (CWGL) lobbied the United Nations and the international community to view women's rights as a human rights issue. CWGL is a component of the Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) Campaign, working towards the establishment of a new United Nations Gender Entity that works for equality for all of the world's women. Bunch has been a major voice for this campaign. The gender entity was finally created after four years of advocacy on July 2, 2010, and deemed UN Women.
At its 20th-anniversary symposium on March 6, 2010, following panel discussions on body, economy, and movement, CWGL organized a tribute to its founder, Charlotte Bunch, who transitioned on September 1, 2009 from her role as executive director to working with CWGL in her new capacity as founding director and senior scholar. Attendees watched a short preview of the then-upcoming documentary film Passionate Politics: The Life & Work of Charlotte Bunch(2011), directed by Tami Gold, which chronicles Bunch's lifelong personal and political commitment to women's human rights.
She has served on the boards of numerous organizations and is currently a member of the Advisory Committee for the Human Rights Watch Women's Rights Division, and on the boards of the Global Fund for Women and the International Council on Human Rights Policy. She has been a consultant to many United Nations bodies and recently served on the Advisory Committee for the Secretary General's 2006 Report to the General Assembly on Violence against Women. She has also voiced her support for the Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, an organisation which campaigns for democratic reform in the United Nations.
2002 21 Leaders for the 21st Century Women's Enews
2001 Spirit of American Women Award Girls Incorporated of Central New York
2000 Women Who Make a Difference Award National Council for Research on Women
1999 Church Women United Human Rights Award Church Women United
1999 Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights President William Jefferson Clinton
1998 The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program Recognition Award to the Center for Women's Global Leadership by the Department of Urban Planning and Policy Development, Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey
1997 award in recognition of its "international educational and organizing work fighting violence against women" to the Center for Women's Global Leadership by the Center for Anti-Violence Education
1993 Feminist of the Year to the Center for Women's Global Leadership by the Feminist Majority Foundation
1992 Resourceful Women Award
1987 The Jessie Bernard Wise Woman Award Center for Women Policy Studies
Works and publications
Bunch has written and edited many pieces of work, which focus on women's rights and human rights. The papers of Charlotte Bunch can be found at the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute.
A full list of her publications can be found here.
(This list is only a few of her published titles.)
A Broom of One's Own. Washington: Washington Women's Liberation. 1970. OCLC2292078.
Transforming the Faiths of our Fathers: Women who Changed American Religion. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 2004. ISBN978-1403964601.
International Feminism: Networking Against Female Sexual Slavery. Report on Global Feminist Workshop Against Traffic in Women, edited with Barry and Castley. NY: International Women's Tribune Centre, 1984. (Also published in French by Nouvelles Questions Feministes, Paris, 1985; and in Spanish by CIPAF, Santo Domingo, 1985.)
(This list is only a select number of more than 250 published articles.)
“Feminism, Peace, Human Rights, and Human Security,” Canadian Women's Studies/Les Cahiers de la Femme, York University, Canada, special issue on “Women and Peace-Building,” Vol, 22, No. 2, 2003.
“Women’s Human Rights and Security in the Age of Terror,” Nothing Sacred: Women Respond to Religious Fundamentalism and Terror, Betsy Reed (ed.), New York: Nation Books, 2002. (Shorter version published as “Whose Security,” The Nation, Vol. 275, Number 9, September 23, 2002.)
“Human Rights at the Intersection of Race and Gender,” Women at the Intersection: Indivisible Rights, Identities, and Oppressions, Rita Raj with Charlotte Bunch and elmira Nazombe (eds.), NJ: Center for Women's Global Leadership, 2002.
“Women’s Leadership: Why Should You Care?” Power for What: National Dialogue on Educating Women for Leadership, NJ: Institute for Women's Leadership, No. 2, May, 2002.
“Human Rights as the Foundation for a Compassionate Society,” Toward a Compassionate Society, Mahnaz Afkhami (ed.), Washington, DC: Women's Learning Partnership, 2002.
“International Networking for Women’s Human Rights,” Global Citizen Action, Michael Edwards and John Gaventa (eds.), CO: Westview, 2001.
“Women’s Rights are Human Rights Post 9/11,” English/ Spanish in Lola Press: International Feminist Magazine, No. 16 November 2001; (Also published in German in Leben Heist Frei Sein Dokumentation Internationaler Kongress, Berlin: Terre Des Femmes and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, October, 2001).