Skip to main content area Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to search Skip to section navigation
Feedback

Global Affairs Blog

  • June 5, 2019
    By: Ryan Plesh L’20, co-Editor of the Global Affairs Blog
    Ebola. It’s perhaps appropriate that the name itself is a French bastardization of an indigenous name for a river in the Congo. As the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one of the most fragile states in the world, struggles to find its footing amid a contested presidential election and various rebellions, the nation is also facing the newest instantiation of Ebola outbreak. The ongoing outbreak, first identified in August 2018, is now the deadliest since the outbreak of 2014-16, which began in Guinea in 2013, directly caused more than 10,000 deaths and indirectly caused many thousands more.
    More »
    Tags: Africa , Blog , Ebola , Economic, Social and Cultural Rights , Global Heath , Human Rights , International Affairs , United States
  • May 15, 2019
    By: Radhika Coomaraswamy, Bok Visiting International Professor, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict and High-level Mediation Advisory Group to the UN Secretary-General

    Radhika Coomaraswamy, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict and High-level Mediation Advisory Group to the UN Secretary-General, will serve as a Bok Visiting International Professor in the Fall of 2019 and will teach a course on Women, Peace, and Security with Associate Dean of International Affairs, Rangita de Silva de Alwis.


    More »
    Tags: Blog , Conflict , Human Rights , International , Terrorism
  • May 9, 2019
    By:
    Few law school classes involve convenings at the UN. Even fewer give students a forum to discuss their policy proposals with UN leadership. Yet Penn Law students in Associate Dean for International Programs Rangita de Silva de Alwis ’s seminar on “New Debates in International Women’s Rights” did just that when they convened at the United Nations on April 29 to present their research  to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UN Women, Office of Legal Affairs , and the newly appointed Office of the Secretary-General’s Victims’ Rights Advocate. The students had the opportunity to present to Under-Secretary-General and Legal Counsel Miguel de Serpa Soares and Assistant Secretary-General Jane Connors  and other experts. For students eager to share a semester or more of research, this audience of key policy leaders was an inspiration.
    More »
    Tags: Blog , global women leadership project , Human Rights , International Law , Womens Rights
  • April 1, 2019
    By:

    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.


    More »
    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. 


    More »
    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.
    More »
    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.
    More »
    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.
    More »
    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.
    More »
    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


    More »
    Tags: Blog , global women leadership project , Human Rights , International Women's Day , Reproductive Justice , Womens Rights