Miami Law Hosts Conference on Gender Justice in the Americas


Miami Law, along with the Human Rights Center of the University of Diego Portales (Chile), the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the Human Rights Institute of Columbia Law School, hosted a conference titled "Gender Justice in the Americas: A Transnational Dialogue on Sexuality, Violence, Reproduction & Human Rights" on February 23-25. Professor Caroline Bettinger-Lopez, Director of Miami Law's new Human Rights Clinic, organized the Convening.

The conference, held on the UM Coral Gables campus, was a unique event that included leading scholars and advocates from over 20 countries in North, South, Central America and the Caribbean. Participants examined recent law and policy developments at the local, national, and international levels in the areas of human rights, women's rights, gender, reproduction, sexuality and economic justice, as well as the legal and advocacy strategies employed by the women's and human rights movements in the region to deepen their effect.

The goals of the Gender Justice Conference were multifold. One of the main purposes was to promote an exchange of transnational perspectives between advocates working on sexual, reproductive and women's rights issues in the Americas. Additionally, the conference intended to revitalize the women's rights movement in the region and foster a new network of advocates and scholars engaged in using the international human rights framework as a tool for advancing women's human rights.

The Gender Justice Conference featured such renowned international figures as Elizabeth Abi-Mershed, the Adjunct Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; Susana Chiarotti, Member of the Advisory Board for the Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women's Rights (CLADEM); Rebecca Cook, Professor of Law at the University of Toronto; and Nancy Northup, President of the Center for Reproductive Rights. Miami Law Dean Patricia D. White gave the opening remarks on Thursday, February 24.

In addition, Michele Bachelet, inaugural President of United Nations Women and the former President of Chile, recorded a video address especially for the convening. U.N. Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Rashida Manjoo, also took part in the event.

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