Rutgers University scholar Mona Lena Krook has won the 2022 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order for exploring the nature of violence against women in politics and suggesting ways to prevent it.
Krook, a political science professor who chairs Rutgers’ doctoral program on women and politics, received the prize for ideas set forth in “Violence Against Women in Politics,” her 2020 book published by Oxford University Press.
For the book, she collected details on the growing attacks against women in politics worldwide and reviewed dozens of previous studies on the issue. Based on her findings, she sorted the violence into five types: physical, psychological, sexual, economic and intimidation through words and images. In all cases, the intent of the behavior was to exclude women from public life, she said.
As she chronicles the stories of women who have been bullied, shamed, threatened, arrested and even murdered while serving in political roles, Krook explains how the phenomenon has caused women to withdraw from politics and has made others reluctant to enter the field. She ends the book with ideas to address the problem.
“Besides harming individual victims, violence against women in politics tramples on human rights, disrupts institutions and undermines gender equity,” she said. “The hostile acts continue with little being done to stop them.”
Krook has received honors from the American Political Science Association and International Political Science Association for her studies of women and politics. She collaborated with the National Democratic Institute to develop #NotTheCost, a global campaign to end violence aimed at keeping women out of political life, and has advised the United Nations and U.S. Congress on gender and politics issues.
“Her work shines a spotlight on the worldwide pervasiveness of violence against women in politics and challenges us with a call to action,” said Charles Ziegler, Grawemeyer World Order Award director. “What’s more, she details specific ways to correct the problem at all levels, from local electoral districts to international organizations.”
Recipients of next year’s Grawemeyer Awards are being named this week pending formal approval by university trustees. The annual, $100,000 prizes also honor seminal ideas in music, psychology, education and religion. Winners will visit Louisville in April to accept their awards and give free talks on their winning ideas.