UN Women Executive Director to discuss progress on women’s rights during visit to Washington

The Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, will visit Washington D.C., USA, on 12 April to attend a series of events aiming to advance public discourse on gender equality.

In a discussion hosted by the acclaimed Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka will highlight some of the leading barriers for women’s equality in an evolving international landscape. The event, entitled “Nothing for Women Without Women: Raising Voices for Change”, will also feature Ms. Jeni Klugman, Adjunct Lecturer of International Development at Johns Hopkins SAIS and Managing Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.

Through an interactive conversation, the event will examine key issues of gender equality in both public and private spheres, identify the major factors driving and stalling progress towards women’s economic empowerment, and exchange ideas on effective actions for change.

Later that day, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka will join an international panel of judges, lawmakers and legal experts at the “Conflict and Constitutions: Ensuring Women's Rights” discussion, as part of the Second International Symposium on Gender, Law and Constitutions (April 12-13), co-hosted by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). The panellists will discuss the opportunities that constitutional reforms offer to rethink the rights of citizens, particularly those of women and girls, and practical approaches to drafting post-conflict constitutions.

Constitutions are, for instance, indispensable for the reform of gender discriminatory laws. While there has been a significant growth in gender-responsive constitutions since the 1980s, gender-discriminatory provisions in some constitutions remain, and there is a lack of clear pathway between constitution-making and policy and legislative change that hinders progress towards gender equality.

Moderated by Susan Deller Ross, Professor of Law at Georgetown University, other panellists for the event include Iris Yassmin Barrios Aguilar, President Judge of the High Court in Guatemala; Tito Rutaremara, Senator and Constitutional expert of Rwanda; Robin Lerner, Senior Adviser and Counselor in the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues; Nancy Lindborg, President of USIP, and UNDP Constitutional expert Jason Gluck.

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