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Millennia2015 V19: Women and Human Rights
Created at Millennia2015-UNESCO in December 2012
Marcia S. Cohen, Esq,
Attorney and Mediator,
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA / Paris, France
Hon. Irene Sullivan,
Circuit Court Judge, retired,
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
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] millennia2015.org
The Millennia2015 ILAW Steering Committee is working on ILAW-Steering-Com [at] millennia2015.org
The global Millennia2015 ILAW work will take place on the ILAW [at] millennia2015.org
Thank you and welcome!
Millennia2015 ILAW International Working Group (IWG) Steering Committee
Alliance for Women
USA / Italy,
Women's UN Report Network
University of Vienna
Finland Futures Research Centre,
Finnish Federation of University Women
and UN Women Finland
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
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