Gita Sen
IndiaGeneral Coordinator, DAWN


Gita Sen Photo Credit:Todd France Photography, 2012

Dr. Gita Sen has worked for 35 years nationally and internationally on population policies, reproductive and sexual health, gender equality and women’s human rights, as well as issues of poverty, human development and labour markets. Her work has helped to shape the global paradigm shift on population and development.

A citizen of India, Sen holds a PhD in economics from Stanford University. She is Distinguished Professor & Director, Ramalingaswami Centre on  Equity & Social Determinants of Health, Public Health Foundation of India, and adjunct professor of global health and population at Harvard University. She is also the General Coordinator of DAWN (Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era).

The United Nations System has sought out her expertise in a number of ways, including during intergovernmental processes, high-level events and as an advisor to policies and programs. She was lead consultant for drafting UNFPA’s India Country Population Assessment document for the 2003-2007 period.

She currently serves on the Scientific and Technical Advisory Group of WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research, and is cochair of PAHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Gender Equality and Health.

In India, she is a member of the Mission Steering Group for the National Rural Health Mission, and the Governing Board of the National Health Systems Resource Centre.

She is a also a member of the High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Care set up by the Indian Planning Commission.

She was previously a member of the Millennium Project’s Taskforce on Gender Equality, and was the first chairperson of the World Bank’s External Gender Consultative Group.

She served on the Governing Board of UNRISD and is on the Governing Council of the UN University. Her numerous book publications include Gender Equity in Health: the Shifting Frontiers of Evidence and Action (Routledge, 2010), Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Processes – Moving Beyond Cairo (Oxford University Press/IUSSP, 2000), and Population Policies Reconsidered: Health, Empowerment and Rights (Harvard University Press, 1994).

She has received numerous honorary doctorates from the University of East Anglia, the Karolinska Institute (Stockholm), the Open University (United Kingdom) and the University of Sussex; and a recipient of the Volvo Environment Prize for her work on women, population and development.