The Center for Reproductive Rights, University of Miami School of Law, the Human Rights Center of the University of Diego Portales (Chile), and the Human Rights Institute of Columbia Law School hosted the conference, “Gender Justice in the Americas: A Transnational Dialogue on Sexuality, Violence, Reproduction &, Human Rights,” February 23–25, 2011. The conference was a unique event that included leading scholars and advocates from more than 20 countries in North, South, Central America and the Caribbean. Participants examined recent law and policy developments at the local, national, and international levels in the areas of human rights, women’s rights, gender, sexuality and economic justice.
The goals of the conference were multifold. One of the main purposes was to promote a transnational exchange between advocates and academics working on sexual, reproductive and women’s rights issues in the Americas. Additionally, the conference was intended to serve as a catalyst for the revitalization of the women’s rights movement in the Americas. Ultimately, the organizers hope the conference will foster the development of a new network of advocates and scholars across the region engaged in using the international human rights framework as a tool for advancing women’s human rights.
The Gender Justice Conference featured such renowned international figures as Elizabeth Abi-Mershed, the Adjunct Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Susana Chiarotti, Member of the Advisory Board for the Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women’s Rights (CLADEM), Rebecca Cook, Professor of Law at the University of Toronto, and Nancy Northup, President of the Center for Reproductive Rights. The University of Miami School of Law Dean, Patricia White, gave opening remarks on Thursday, February 24.