Global Affairs Blog features Penn Law stories on gender to commemorate Women’s History Month
In celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, Penn Law’s Global Affairs Blog is highlighting stories that change the national and global conversation on gender. These pieces feature Penn Law faculty and students who are breaking barriers and working toward women’s advancement across a wide range of fields and disciplines.
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 moral lens for normative and legal change. Its vision for reproductive justice for all women engages with 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.
Men in positions of power can play a critical role in advancing women in their careers. According to the Harvard Business Review, having a sponsor who supports a woman’s career is the single most important tool in leveling the playing field for women. In a post-#MeToo world, men need to step into rather than step away from productive mentoring relationships which advance women and their institutions. For Women’s History Month, Sharada Srinivasan, CTIC Fellow talks about the way in which Christopher Yoo, John H. Chestnut Professor of Law and the Director of the Center for Technology, Innovation & Competition has championed her academically, professionally, and personally.
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. 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.
Sophia Gaulkin’s L’20 podcast focuses on growing up in a family of lobster fishermen in Maine. Sophia spent long days at sea on a fishing boat not knowing whether she would make it home that night. As the only woman on the boat, Sophia lacked a vernacular to describe herself and gave name to her work as the “lobsterer.” This podcast is part of Sophia’s story as told to her classmate Jake Romm L’20.
To mark Women’s History Month, Associate Dean of International Affairs Rangita de Silva de Alwis celebrates the women who have made history and shaped her thinking, and the many men who have advanced women’s rights generally and supported her work.