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Millennia2015 V19:  Women and Human Rights



Millennia2015 ILAW


Millennia2015 International Laws Affecting Women - ILAW

International Working Group (IWG)


Created at Millennia2015-UNESCO in December 2012



 Marcia S. COHEN

Marcia S. Cohen, Esq,

Attorney and Mediator,

St. Petersburg, Florida, USA / Paris, France


Hon. Irene Sullivan,

Circuit Court Judge, retired,

Pinellas Park,

Florida, USA






   Who are we?



We are an international working group under the auspices of Millennia2015 and the Destree Institute of Namur, Wallonia, Belgium.  The ILAW group was established at the Millennia2015 conference at UNESCO in Paris on December 4, 2012 to survey the laws affecting women in various countries of the world and to make recommendations for changes that would improve the lives of women in those countries.


The Co-Chairs are Marcia Cohen, an attorney in St. Petersburg, Florida USA and Paris, France, and the Hon. Irene Sullivan, a retired Judge of the Circuit Court of Pinellas County, Florida USA.  The members of the group live and work in many countries and have agreed to undertake to investigate the laws affecting women in their countries of residence. 




   What questions are we to answer?


1. What are the laws affecting women in your country? 


We are particularly interested in:

a. Family law:  marriage, divorce, child custody, financial support of wives and children after divorce or separation.

b. Employment law:  issues of equal pay for equal work, promotions and job status of women, sexual harassment.

c. Violence against women: committed by husband, father, other family members, friends, strangers, in times of peace and

    in war times.

d. Religion: the effect of religious and cultural practices on the lives of women, limitations placed on women by religious laws.


e. Government: women's roles in political life, especially in law-making bodies such as legislatures, parliaments and senates,

    as well as policy-making institutions.

f. Reproduction: laws affecting women's reproductive capacity, such as contraception, abortion, gynecological health.

g. Education: laws limiting or encouraging girls and women to obtain an education and to prepare themselves for work outside

    the home.

h. Criminal Justice: the effect of harsh sentencing laws on girls and women, alternatives to prisons and jails.

i. Human trafficking: laws focusing on prevention, protection of victims and prosecution of offenders.






2. Do these laws benefit or hinder women in their pursuit of a better life?

a. If these laws benefit women and girls, are they being enforced? 

    If not, why not?

b. If they are not being enforced, what will encourage enforcement? 

    Can the laws be improved? 

    If so, in what manner?

c.  If these laws hinder women and girls, how can they be changed to remove  obstacles to the achievement of a better life for them?





3. If there are no laws in place to assist women, can new law be written to fill the need?

a. Are there sympathetic legislators who need our help in writing new law?

b. Are there constitutional protections for women, and if so, can they be strengthened? 

    If not, can such protections be enacted?





    What will we do with the answers to these questions?


The results of our research will be compiled and placed on the Millennia2015 website for members of the working group and other researchers to review.  An action plan will be developed in each country and proposals for new legal initiatives made.





This draft has been circulated to the ILAW Steering Committee members listed below, as well as the Director of Millennia2015. 


The Millennia2015 ILAW International Working Group, created at the Millennia2015 international conference at the UNESCO in December 2012, is part of the Action plan for women's empowerment.


ILAW is officially launched on the 1st February 2012.


The final working plan is distributed to the Millennia2015 Community: we invite you to register as ILAW members:


The Millennia2015 ILAW co-chairs request initial reports from each member within one month after the final working plan is received.  The method of gathering the information needed will be decided by each member of the group individually.  All group contact will be by email in English.  Please address all inquiries to the co-chairs: ILAW-Chairs [at]


The Millennia2015 ILAW Steering Committee is working on ILAW-Steering-Com [at]


The global Millennia2015 ILAW work will take place on the ILAW [at]


Thank you and welcome!




   Millennia2015 ILAW International Working Group (IWG) Steering Committee



Renée Gérard


Renee Gérard,
Alliance for Women


Lois Herman


Lois Herman,
USA / Italy,
Women's UN Report Network

Sandra Jean-Gilles


Sandra Jean-Gilles,

World Bank

Claudia Koller


Claudia Koller,

University of Vienna



Leena-Maija Lauren


Leena-Maija Lauren,


Finland Futures Research Centre,

Finnish Federation of University Women
and UN Women Finland
registered associations


Ngozi P. Nwosu


Ngozi P. Nwosu,
Nasarawa State University





   Millennia2015 ILAW International Working Group (IWG) Members 


=> ILAW Members  (members only: log in to see the list)






Marie-Anne Delahaut, Director of research, The Destree Institute, Head and Founder of Millennia2015,

President, Millennia2025 Women and Innovation Foundation (PUF), Namur, Wallonia, Belgium




=> Register as member of Millennia2015 ILAW



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  Millennia2025 Woment and Innovation Foundation  

Millennia2025 Women and Innovation Foundation, Public Utility Foundation
in Special consultative status with
the United Nations ECOSOC since 2019 


Fondation Millennia2025 Femmes et Innovation, Fondation d'utilité publique
en statut consultatif spécial auprès de l'ECOSOC des Nations Unies depuis 2019 



Institut Destrée - The Destree Institute

The Destree Institute, NGO official partner of
UNESCO (consultative status) and 
in Special consultative status with
the United Nations ECOSOC since 2012 


L'Institut Destrée, ONG partenaire officiel de
l'UNESCO (statut de consultation) et 
en statut consultatif spécial auprès de l'ECOSOC
des Nations Unies depuis 2012




International conference,

with the patronage
of the UNESCO 


Conférence internationale

avec le patronage
de l'UNESCO    ©   Institut Destrée - The Destree Institute