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Global Affairs Blog

  • April 1, 2019

    Brian Yeh, L’19; Emma Morgenstern, L’19; Fatoumata Waggeh, L’20 & Meroua Zouai, L’20

    A post published last week titled, “A Diverse House,” accused freshman Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) of being a driving force behind the spread of anti-Semitism within the halls of Congress. While we strongly disagree with this false allegation, we write to emphasize that, much like the frenzied outcry that Rep. Omar’s Tweets generated, that post failed to acknowledge the broader context in which Rep. Omar’s criticisms of AIPAC and Israeli policies must necessarily be understood–in particular, the rise of white nationalism and Islamophobia in this country. We write to provide some of this necessary context.

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    Tags: Antisemitism , Blog , Democracy , Human Rights , Ilhan Omar , Israel , Palestine
  • March 19, 2019
    By: Shane Fischman L’19 & Hannah Fischman, Barnard College ’18, Private Wealth Management Associate, Alliance Bernstein

    Liberty– the preeminent value protected by our Constitution– guarantees all citizens the right to form their own opinions, to create their own raison d’etre, and to champion, or to elect someone to champion, their beliefs. It is why we have the benefit of being governed by a diverse Congress. And appropriately, it is their election– democracy in action– that sets the parameters and guarantees the protection, of the very liberty that gave us the ideas and design to elect them in the first place.

    It is therefore ironic and paradoxical that the 116th Congress is slowly eroding the fabric of our democratic principles.

    Earlier this month, House Minority Leader Congressman Kevin McCarthy of California made a statement urging House Democrats to take action against two Freshman Congresswomen, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, for their acerbic remarks against Israel, and Americans who support Israel. 

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    Tags: Blog , Diversity , International Affairs , Israel , United States
  • March 6, 2019
    By: Shane Fischman L’19 in conversation with Carlotta Pregnolato LSE LLM’19 and Rachael Baillie LSE LLM’19
    Historically, there has been widespread dissent over the precise definition of “feminism”. However, what is most powerful about the concept’s lack of a precise definition is that it is broad enough to encompass the hopes and ambitions of a plethora of different women around the world. International Women’s Day capitalizes on the different needs of women across the globe, presenting the opportunity for these vast and deviating needs to converge around a central theme, to demonstrate that despite our differences, despite our diverging needs, women are still—always—stronger when they are united. This is particularly important in an age where borders are becoming vapider, and people are migrating to different countries to pursue their ambitions. It is critical, therefore, on this momentous day, to understand what women in different places think and feel about feminism, about their country’s progress, and about their hopes for the future.

    This past Fall, I had the distinct privilege to study law at the London School of Economics. I sat down recently with two female student-leaders from LSE to talk about feminism, how the movement has changed to adapt to the 21st century, and to hear their thoughts on entering the legal profession as young women. What is most interesting about this conversation is that, though all three of us come from different countries and backgrounds– Carlotta is from Italy, Rachael from New Zealand, and I am from New York– we all see ourselves as actors that are part of the larger societal fabric, intricately benefitting from, and contributing to the feminist movement. All three of us were touched by Hillary Clinton’s avowal that women’s rights are indeed human rights: with these words echoing across oceans and deserts and reverberating across the metaphoric wild west of the internet, this conversation is proof that 108 years later, women are still united and driven to achieve not only equality but parity in every community and professional field.
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    Tags: Blog , International Women's Day , International , Women's History Month , Womens Rights
  • March 1, 2019
    By: Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Associate Dean for International Affairs
    To mark Women’s History Month, we present four extraordinary stories that change the public conversation. On a personal level,  I celebrate the women who have made history and shaped my thinking: Radhika Coomaraswamy, Asma Jahangir, Hina Jilani, Mary Robinson, Martha Minow, Nancy Gertner, Hillary Clinton, Melanne Verveer, Deborah Rhode, Paula Johnson, and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
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    Tags: Blog , global women leadership project , International Women's Day , Mentorship , Women's History Month , Womens Rights
  • February 28, 2019
    By: Bill Burke-White, Richard Perry Professor and Inaugural Director of Perry World House in conversation with Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Associate Dean of International Affairs
    In The Odyssey, before he leaves for the Trojan War, Odysseus asks Mentor, a wise old friend to watch over his son, Telemachus. While Odysseus was on the battleground, goddess Athena, also disguised herself as Mentor to watch over Telemachus, creating Western history’s first interpretation of a female-male mentor relationship. Below, Bill Burke-White, Richard Perry Professor and Inaugural Director of Perry World House, speaks of the role of powerful female mentors and role models in his journey to leadership with Associate Dean of International Affairs Rangita de Silva de Alwis.
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    Tags: Blog , global women leadership project , International Women's Day , Mentorship , Sponsorship , Womens Rights
  • February 27, 2019
    By: Sophia Gaulkin L’20 interviewed by Jake Romm L’20
    In a special edition of the Penn Law Feminism Podcast Series to acknowledge International Women’s Day, Sophie Gaulkin speaks to Jake Romm on becoming a woman lobsterer.
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    Tags: Blog , Feminism , global women leadership project , International Women's Day
  • February 27, 2019
    By: Dorothy E. Roberts, Penn Integrates Knowledge Scholar, George A. Weiss University Professor, and the inaugural Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights in conversation with Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Associate Dean of International Affairs

    Twenty-two years ago Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty changed the national conversation on race, gender and reproductive justice. Two decades later, it remains more critical than ever before–a rallying cry around the world, for education, awareness, and action. Its vision for reproductive justice for all women engages in the global conversations on Female Genital Mutilation, virginity testing, forced pregnancy, forced sterilization and asks questions on how women’s ability to control their bodies is constantly challenged by politics, economics, race, cultural traditions, and injustice.     

    A whole generation of feminist scholars and practitioners are trained on Dorothy Robert’s groundbreaking scholarship. In marking International Women’s Day, we speak to her about the way she continues to exert an influence on the study of law, gender, and its intersections.  

    A Q&A with Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Associate Dean of International Affairs

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    Tags: Blog , global women leadership project , Human Rights , International Women's Day , Reproductive Justice , Womens Rights
  • February 27, 2019
    By: Sharada Srinivasan, CTIC Fellow with an Introduction by Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Associate Dean for International Affairs
    For Women’s History Month, Sharada Srinivasan, CTIC Fellow, talks about the way in which a global leader at Penn Law has championed her academically, professionally, and personally.

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    Tags: Blog , global women leadership project , International Women's Day , International , Sponsorship
  • February 7, 2019
    By: Ryan Plesh L’20
    In 1900, Lord Kelvin declared to a conference of physicists, “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.” Just five years later, a young Swiss physicist published the reports known as the Annus mirabilis papers, which included the first mathematical description of quantum mechanics, along with the infamous mass-energy equation: E=mc2. International law has yet to have its miracle year, but if 2016 was any indication, sovereignty has become and will remain relevant again after years of scholarship proclaiming its demise.
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    Tags: Blog , International Affairs , International Law , Sovereignty
  • November 13, 2018

    Shane Fischman L’19,  President of Penn Law Students for Israel and Penn Law Global Affairs Blog Editor & Rachel Chiger L ’19, President of the Penn Law Chapter of the Louis B. Brandeis Society

    In the aftermath of this attack, CNN reported: “Dismay, horror, and disbelief were feelings shared by many in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.” Similar headlines blazed the front pages of international dailies, such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC, and The Guardian. While the international community certainly reacted to the shooting with dismay and horror, disbelief was not among the emotions that registered in the Jewish community.

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    Tags: Antisemitism , Blog , Constitutional Law , Freedom of Religion , Human Rights , International Affairs