Sign In

Center for Global Women's Health


The Center for Global Women's Health (CGWH) is an interdisciplinary collection of faculty and students who collaborate on women’s health scholarship, education, and clinical practice relevant to global issues. Faculty practice and programs of research use a health equity framework with a focus on social justice.

Center members with scholarly and nursing practice interests aligned with the Center Mission and Vision (below) serve as core faculty. Faculty programs of research reside in three domains: Safety from Violence and Harm; Equity, Empowerment, and Advocacy; and Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Faculty work to promote the health and well-being of women and girls, recognizing that as the health of women goes, so goes the health of the world.

Penn Nursing Professor Marilyn (Lynn) Sommers, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Director of the Center for Global Women’s Health. Her research focuses on risk-taking, injury, and violence in vulnerable populations.  Dr. Sommers has changed the paradigm of the forensic sexual assault examination with her finding that skin injury prevalence after rape is higher in women with light as compared to dark skin, regardless of race/ethnicity. This work has illuminated new areas of science for explicating the role of injury in women after sexual assault.


 To advance health for women and girls around the globe.


To generate and translate research to promote the health of and empower women and girls.

Values: Advocacy, Empowerment, and Innovation

  • Advocate for policies and programs that illuminate social injustices, conserve environmental resources, and reduce violence and discrimination against women and girls;
  • Empower women to lead in their institutions, communities, and nations as well as in their homes;
  • Forge innovative solutions to promote the health of women and girls, partner with them to manage symptoms of health-related conditions, and improve their quality of life across the lifespan.

Activities to Meet our Mission

  • To promote advocacy for women and girls through individual and community action and health policy initiatives;
  • To partner with communities in Philadelphia, throughout the nation, and around the globe to identify health risks and create solutions for women and girls;
  • To design studies and programmatic initiatives that foster gender equity, enhance the health and safety, and empower women and girls;
  • To train the next generation of women’s health scientists, practitioners, and leaders locally, nationally, and globally.

Member Spotlight 

Catherine McDonald​

Kimberly Trout​