Second Annual International Law Conference on the Status of Women

The City Bar Association’s United Nations Committee hosted the Second Annual International Law Conference on the Status of Women. The Conference commemorates International Women’s Day and was held in the lead up to the 65th Regular Session of the Commission on the Status of Women. The Conference consists of two panels, which focus on separate legal and policy issues confronting women around the world. 

The first panel analyzes the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had upon women. The impacts of the pandemic have manifested in a variety of ways, including but not limited to increased levels of domestic violence, women and girls being more susceptible to becoming victims of human trafficking and other forms of exploitation, and decreased participation in the work force by women due to the need to provide childcare for their families.

The second panel explores efforts to eliminate violence against women, which is essential to permit their full and effective participation and decision-making in public life. Eliminating violence against women is also crucial to achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls. The panelists explore the harmful impacts of violence against women, and how these impacts hinder the realization of gender equality and women’s involvement in public life, which harms society as a whole. 

The objective of the Conference is to have an honest conversation about the current situation of women and girls around the world, with a focus on how laws and policies have contributed to the situation. The panelists provide their insights and expertise as to how the legal profession can address the situation in order to promote a more equitable and less discriminatory environment for women and girls. Furthermore, the panelists highlight their efforts, and the efforts of their respective organizations, to promote gender equality and empower women and girls. 

First Panel: Understanding and mitigating the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on women
Taina Bien-Aimé, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women
Beate Andrees, International Labour Organization, Special Representative to the United Nations and Director
Valentine Rugwabiza, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations
Moderator: Clayton Cheney, Chair of the UN Committee 

Second Panel: Eliminating violence against women in order to allow for women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life
Pramila Patten
, United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict
Akila Radhakrishnan
, President of the Global Justice Center
Dubravka Šimonovic
, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women
Moderator: Chanya Sainvilus
, Member of the UN Committee

Fireside Chat:
Introduction: Catherine van Kampen, Member of the UN Committee and the African Affairs Committee  
Reshma Saujani, Attorney, Activist, Author of Brave, Not Perfect, and Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code 

Sponsoring Committee:
United Nations, Clayton T. Cheney, Chair

Co-Sponsoring Committees:
African Affairs, Scott Caplan & Doris Toyou Co-Chairs
International Human Rights Law, Lauren Melkus, Chair
International Law, Ulyana Bardyn, Chair

Co-Sponsoring Organizations:
City Bar Justice Center
Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice 
New York State Bar Association’s Women in Law Section
New York State Bar Association President’s Committee for Leadership Development
Soroptimist International

Sponsored by: