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Course Details

Int'l Women's Human Rights: the Shadow Pandemic (de Silva de Alwis)

Spring 2021   LAW 900-001  

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Faculty
Rangita de Silva de Alwis

Senior Adjunct Professor of Global Leadership

rdesilva@law.upenn.edu
Additional Information

Skills Training
Oral Presentations

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement

Yes

Location

Class meets online.

Meeting Times/Location
T 1:00PM - 3:00PM

Category
Seminar

Credits
3.0

New Debates in International Women's Human Rights: The Shadow Pandemic Spring 2021 Meeting Times/Location Tuesday 1:00PM - 3:00PM Location TBD Rangita de Silva de Alwis University of Pennsylvania Law School Non-resident Leadership Fellow Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Women and Public Policy Program 2019-2021 Distinguished Adviser to the Head of UN Women rdesilva@law.upenn.edu Office Hours: Friday 8:00 am-7:00 pm (and on any day convenient to the student) Overview 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 COVID and 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 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, Security Council Resolutions and comparative laws as analytical tools to draft a paper that will explore violence against women in public and private spheres, including in political participation and workplace. An overarching theme will also examine violence against women as a signifier of crisis, conflict and violent extremism. 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, film and experiential learning.

Requirements • Students in the seminar will draft a chapter on a topic of their choice for a Report (on Violence Against Women, Peace & Security, Women’s Rights Violations) for UN Women. The papers will be presented to UN Women. (80% of grade) • Class Participation (20% of grade)

Course Concentrations

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.