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Highlights from the 33rd annual Edward Sparer Symposium

February 28, 2014

On Friday, February 21, Penn Law hosted its 33rd annual Edward Sparer Symposium titled “Gender and Social Inequalities: Why Women’s Rights Still Matter.” Presenters discussed a range of topics, including domestic violence, sexism, women in immigration, and trafficking women.

Speakers included Carol Tracy, executive director of the Women’s Law Project in Philadelphia, and Soraya Chemaly, a woman’s activist and writer for the Huffington Post, Salon, and CNN.

Both speakers emphasized that women’s rights are still relevant and important. The issues, now beyond basic equality and fairness, are about ongoing cultural bias and inequality. There was also a detailed discussion about laws helping to protect victims of domestic violence, rape, and abuse.

Whitney Viets, a Toll Public Interest Scholar who helped organize the event explained, “The issue of women’s rights are still incredibly important in the political and social landscape, and we wanted to highlight ongoing discrimination and discuss a potential solution.”

The Sparer Symposium occurs every year in honor of the late Ed Sparer, who was a Professor of Law and Social Policy at the Law School. The event helps to continue Sparer’s legacy and passion for public service.Past Sparer Symposium topics include Immigration Advocacy, “Partnering Against Poverty,” and “Crime in the city.”