International Women's Human Rights (de Silva de Alwis)
T 12:20PM - 2:50PM
Tanenbaum Hall 145
International Women's Human Rights Spring 2023 Securing the protection and promotion of the human rights of women globally remains one of the major challenges of the 21st century. Notwithstanding the significant advances in international human rights norms relating to women, systemic discrimination and violence against women remain pervasive. The progress made in the area of women’s human rights in the last decade are at risk of being rolled back during a time of conflict and unparaleled economic stress. This class will focus on the international human rights system as it relates to the protection and promotion of women, the intersectionality of human rights conventions, treaty bodies, UN Security Council Resolutions, and UN special procedures. The seminar will critically analyze the theoretical debates about securing the human rights of women, with a focus on critical new developments and lwa reforms in times of a pandemic and movements to combat violence against women. The seminar will include debates about discrimination, equality, the public-private divide, cultural practices/cultural relativism and a new generation of legal reform in violence against women. The readings will critically comment on the international law-based approaches to securing the rights of women; and the analysis of domestic application and implementation of international norms and the mechanisms for enforcing the human rights of women, including gaps in treaty body reporting, strengths and weaknesses in lawmaking and challenges in women’s rights litigation. Students will examine relevant United Nations treaties and comparative laws as analytical tools to draft a paper that will explore discrimination and violence against women in public and private spheres, including in political participation. I will work with each student to ensure excellence in the written work. The students will present their research papers virtually to United Nations in New York in April. Pedagogical Approach • On a weekly basis, students will be assigned to present the required reading on the class topic. Only those presenting are expected to read the materials assigned to them. • The class engages with global policymakers including the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, film and experiential learning. Requirements • Students in the seminar will draft a chapter on a topic of their choice for a Report for UN Women. The papers will be presented to UN Women. (85% of grade) • Class Participation (15% of grade)
I will be in Geneva for the 84th Session of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) from February 6th to the 24th. Classes will not be taught during those three weeks. I will be teaching 2.5 hours weekly for the rest of the semester. While in Geneva, I will be available for office hours at any time that my students wish to reach me on phone or by zoom after 3 pm ET on every day of the week. I will also schedule a Friday afternoon session from Geneva for students who would like to be involved in the CEDAW proceedings.
International and Comparative Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of international and comparative law, both substantively and procedurally; Perform legal analysis in the context of international and comparative law; Communicate effectively on topics related to international and comparative law; Demonstrate an understanding of the role of international and comparative law, and their interconnection with domestic law.
Perspectives on the Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of how the law affects, and is affected by, the individual course topic; Perform legal analysis in the context of the individual course topic; Communicate effectively on the legal and other aspects of the individual course topic; Demonstrate the ability to use other disciplines to analyze legal issues relevant to the individual course topic, including economics, philosophy, and sociology, as appropriate.
Equity and Inclusion Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of the varied legal aspects of equity and inclusion; Perform legal analysis in the context of topics related to equity and inclusion; Communicate effectively on the legal aspects of equity and inclusion; Demonstrate an understanding of how equity and inclusion are connected to and affected by a wide variety of legal and regulatory structures and doctrines.