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Lawyers to discuss protecting women's human rights in former Soviet bloc (Released: 4/8/96)

by Luis Mocete, Office of University Communications.

HARTFORD, Conn. --Nearly 70 international lawyers from the former Soviet Union, central Europe and North America will gather at the University of Connecticut s School of Law to discuss strategies on how to protect women s human rights in the former Soviet bloc nations. The two- day workshop on the Status of Women in New Market Economies will be held April 14 and 15.

The workshops will focus on the relationship between human rights, gender and market economies, said Joel Paul, a professor of law and the director of the International Legal Programs. The participants will explore the social context and legal strategies needed to protect women s human rights in these transitional market economies.

These workshops offer an opportunity for lawyers from Central Europe and the former Soviet Union to discuss their concerns and learn from the experiences of North Americans, added Paul, who organized the workshop.

One of those women who will share her experiences concerning human rights issues for women will be Anita Hill, a professor of law at the University of Oklahoma. Hill will participate in a workshop entitled Women in the Workplace, which will provide strategies for organizing and empowering women, handling job discrimination and sexual harassment and exercising economic power.

The all-day sessions will be held at the Law School's new library at 65 Elizabeth St. in Hartford.

The schedule of workshops is as follows:

April 14:

  • Women at Home. Reports on the condition of women in the family. 10 a.m. - noon.
  • Women in the Workplace. Strategies for organizing and empowering women, addressing job discrimination and sexual harassment and exercising economic power. 1-3 p.m.
  • Shana Penn, executive director of the Network of East-West Women in Washington, D.C., will read from her forthcoming book Talking Revolution, which focuses on women s roles in the anti-communist opposition in central Europe. 3-3:30 p.m.
  • Breaking the Silence. Discussion of legal solutions for women through international mediums. 3:30-5:30 p.m.

April 15:

  • Women and the Disparate Impact of Violence. Discussion of economic insecurity and constraints on sexual freedom. 9-10:30 a.m.
  • Women Seeking Shelter. Discussion on providing housing to abused and homeless women and children. 10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
  • Keynote speaker: Joan Ringelheim, director of oral history archives at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, will discuss the history of Eastern Euopean women in relation to the Holocaust. 1-2 p.m.
  • Teach-in on the Market and Structural Adjustment. How the shift to a market economy affects human rights and services. 2:15-4 p.m.
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