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Public policy panel on violence against women, March 27 (Released: 3/14/96)

by Sherry Fisher, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- Violence Against Women as a Human Rights Issue is the subject of a public policy panel at the University of Connecticut on March 27 in the Doris and Simon Konover Auditorium of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.

The panel, from 1 to 4 p.m., is part of UConn s year-long observance of Fifty Years After Nuremberg: Human Rights and the Rule of Law.

The panelists are: Anne Menard, National Resource Center for Domestic Violence in Harrisburg, Pa.; Marge Schuler of Women, Law and Development International in Washington, D.C.; Seble Dawit of ALLIANCES: African Women s Network in New Jersey; and Sonia Fritz, a film maker from the University of Sacred Heart in Puerto Rico.

The program is sponsored by UConn s Women s Studies Program, the Women s Center, the Institute for Puerto Rican and Latino Studies and the Dodd Year Academic Committee.

Menard was appointed director of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence in 1994. The center is a project of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Menard has been an activist working with battered women and sexual assault survivors for the past 17 years. She was director of the Office of Victim Services of the Connecticut judicial branch and executive director of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Schuler is founder and executive director of Women, Law and Development International, a research and training organization and global network dedicated to the defense and promotion of women s rights.

She has spent the last 20 years working for women s rights in Latin America, Asia and Africa. She was instrumental in developing several autonomous regional women s rights advocacy networks. Since 1986, she has edited six books and authored articles on various themes relating to women s rights, including: Empowerment and the Law: Strategies of Third World Women; Legal Literacy: A Tool for Women s Empowerment; Freedom From Violence: Women s Strategies from Around the World; and From Basic Needs to Basic Rights: Women s Claim to Human Rights.

Dawit is director of ALLIANCES: An African Women s Network, an advocacy project located at the Center for Women s Global Leadership at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Her expertise is in international human rights of women and the law of armed conflict. She is working on a book for Zed Press on female genital mutilation and human rights. The book deals with human rights questions raised by genital mutilation, state responsibility, policy implications, and discusses how African and international human rights law may be used by women to seek redress.

Mexican-born Sonia Fritz is one of Puerto Rico s most prolific documentary film makers. She is a professor in the communications department at the University of the Sacred Heart in Puerto Rico. Her films often explore the struggles of women to find a voice in society. Included among her films are: Luisa Capetillo: A Passion for Justice; Dreams Ensnared: Dominican Migration to New York; and Puerto Rico: Art and Identity.

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