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Women & Legislative Reform

In March 2017, Penn Law, in conjunction with its partners, convened a high-level roundtable of 30 ministers, judges, and subject matter experts from over 15 countries, to examine policies, programs and strategies through a case-based analysis of three specific fields — gender equality, violence against women and family law.  In 2018, Penn Law and its partners will release a report with findings from the roundtable. 

Poster for the High Level Roundtable on Women &             Legislative Reform



Date  Friday, 10 March
Time/Venue 9:00-9:30am — Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Event Welcome 

Begoña Lasagabaster, Chief of Leadership & Government
UN Women 

Saniye Gülser Corat, Director of the Division for Gender Equality

Paloma Durán, Director
The UN Sustainable Development Goals Fund     

Judit Arenas, Senior Representative                                                                       International Development Law Organization   

Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Associate Dean of International Affairs
University of Pennsylvania Law School


9:30-11:30am — Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Event    Panel 1 — Addressing Gender Discrimination

Moderated by Begoña Lasagabaster, Chief of Leadership & Government, UN Women

  • Slyvia Chirawu – Zimbabwe’s 1997 Amendment to Property & Inheritance Rights
  • Saniye Gülser Corat — Education Laws
  • Xiaonan Liu — Law on the Protection of Women’s Rights & Interests in China
  • Rachel Micah-Jones & Sarah Paoletti – Impact of International Labor Recruitment & Temporary Worker Programs on Women
  • Elizabeth Salguero – Political Representation of Women in Bolivia
  • Ricardo Suro Esteves - Government Policies Addressing Gender Discrimination in Jalisco, Mexico

Concluding Observations by Lashawn Jefferson, Deputy Director, Perry World House, University of Pennsylvania


1:30am-1:30pm — Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz


Panel 2 — Violence against Women


Moderated by: Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Associate Dean of International Affairs, University of Pennsylvania Law School

  • Leta Hong Fincher — China’s Domestic Violence Law
  • Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda — Law Reform Relating to Child, Early and Forced Marriage in Africa
  • Agnes Igoye — Trafficking Law in Uganda
  • Farahnaz Ispahani — Acid Crime Law of Pakistan
  • Jacqueline Pitanguy – Maria da Penha Law of Brazil
  • Fatima Sbaity Kassem— Legal Concerns of Women in Lebanon
Time/Venue 1:30-3:30pm — Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Event  Lunch Reception and Panel

Opening Comments: Alicia Pucheta de Correa, President of the Supreme Court of Justice in Paraguay

Legal Reform & Indigenous Women 


Panel 3 — Personal Laws

Moderated by Haleh Esfandiari, former & founding Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

  • Mahnaz Afkhami – Family Law in Iran
  • Yakin Ertürk — Family Law in Turkey
  • Asma Khader — Gender Equality & Legal Reform Experience of the Women’s Rights Movement in Jordan
  • Rabea Naciri — Family Code Reform in Morocco

Concluding Observations by Lina Abou-Habib, Executive Director, Women’s Learning Partnership

Time/Venue 3:30-4:00pm — Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
 Event   Closing Comments

Jodi Schwartz, Partner, Tax, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Time/Venue 4:00-5:00pm — Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Event  Closing Reception  

Penn Law logo UN Women logo  UNESCO logo  SDGF logo  IDLO logo

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