"The fight for women’s rights: learning from success" by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC

Past Event

06 March 2014, 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

The Oxford Martin School lecture for International Women's Day with Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Principal of Mansfield College, and distinguished human-rights lawyer

The past century has seen huge progress in women's rights, but inequality persists globally. Recent high-profile incidents of violence against women in India, continuing severe restrictions on the personal and working lives of women in Saudi Arabia, draconian punishments and the practice of genital mutilation demonstrate the extent to which women are still deemed second-class citizens in many countries and cultures.

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, who was in 1999 given the Times Newspaper's Lifetime Achievement Award for her work for women, will look back at where campaigns have been successful, and explore what lessons from these can be applied in the fight to secure equal rights for all women, worldwide.

This lecture will be live webcast on Youtube at this address: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IA6y44JgThE

About the Speaker

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC is one of the United Kingdom’s most distinguished lawyers. A Queen’s Counsel and member of the Upper Chamber of the British Parliament, the House of Lords, she is still a practicing barrister in the field of human rights. She has received many honours for her work on the Rule of Law and the rights of the disadvantaged: 34 Honorary Doctorates from leading universities, Fellowship of three Royal Medical Colleges, Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Science and the Royal Society of Arts. She was also recently appointed an Honorary Fellow of the British Academy. She was appointed a Cavaliere di Gran Croce, Italy’s highest honour, in 2003 and was a recipient of the Palme Academique from the French Government in 2004. She received the Royal Medal from the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2011 for her work in Human Rights. She is also currently Principal of an Oxford College, Mansfield College.

Helena Kennedy has in the courts and in parliament given voice to the voiceless in British society and has created legal reform that has resonated around the world. As Chair of the British Council from 1998-2004 she created a forum for international dialogue on the rule of law. As Chair of the UK Human Genetics Commission, 2002 2010 she worked on the legal and ethical issues arising from genetic advances.

Helena Kennedy’s current work derives mainly from the recent wave of international terrorism, issues of national security and torture as well as the impact of conflict on women and children. She sat on the International Bar Association Commission into International Terrorism after 9/11.

She has held a number of leading roles which have advanced the international development of human rights and is now co-chair of the International Bar Association’s Institute of Human Rights. She is at present leading an Oxford team of lawyers in assessing US State Department funded Human Rights programmes in Iraq – from prisoners rights to the rights of women and children.