The Anita Ashok Datar Lecture on Women's Global Health


Being a woman makes a significant difference in health outcomes. Women’s health around the world is shaped as much by social, economic, political, and environmental forces as by biology. Unequal power relations, poverty, violence, and decreased access to education disproportionately affect women and girls, creating barriers to attaining the best possible level of health.

Educating a New Generation of Leaders

To inform and engage students, faculty, and the public about pressing issues in women’s global health, the Institute for Women’s Leadership (IWL) conducts a lecture series in honor of the late Anita Ashok Datar.

Anita Ashok Datar, a graduate of Rutgers University ('95), dedicated her career to public health issues, especially those concerning women and children. While working on a mission for USAID in the African country of Mali, Anita's life was tragically cut short when she was the lone American killed on November 20, 2015 in a terrorist attack that claimed twenty other lives. The creation of a lecture in Anita’s name is a fitting tribute to her life, to her passion for women’s health, and to the cause that guided her leadership.

The Anita Ashok Datar Lecture on Women's Global Health draws to campus groundbreaking pioneers, researchers, field workers, and activists to explore growing international health challenges and the vital role that the United States and leaders from across the globe must continue to play in addressing them. The lecture series is a resource to help forge a new understanding of women's global health challenges and is a catalyst for new collaborations across Rutgers to address these issues.

Inaugural Lecture featuring Gayle E. Smith

The Institute for Women's Leadership and Rutgers Global presented the inaugural Anita Ashok Datar Lecture on Women's Global Health featuring Gayle E. Smith on October 9, 2017. Gayle is the president and CEO of The ONE Campaign, a grassroots campaigning and advocacy organization that aims to end extreme poverty and disease.

Take Action, Create Change

You can help Rutgers educate and inspire the next generation of leaders who, like Anita, will make a positive difference globally. Our goal is to raise $350,000 to establish and endow this annual program, ensuring its success well into the future.



Institute for Women’s Leadership
162 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8555
P: 848.932.1463

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