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Women’s Rights as Human Rights: The Seeds of Transformation

November 2, 2023 @ 4:30 pm

The Institute for Women’s Leadership consortium, Rutgers Global, and the Innovation, Design, and Entrepreneurship Academy are holding the Anita Ashok Datar Lecture on Women’s Global Health at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 2, 2023.

This year’s event, titled “Women’s Rights as Human Rights: The Seeds of Transformation,” features a lecture by Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Sri Lankan lawyer, diplomat, and human rights advocate who served as the under-secretary-general of the United Nations and the special representative on children and armed conflict. Coomaraswamy was appointed the first special rapporteur on violence against women in 1994, a position she held until 2003. In Sri Lanka, she was director of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies for over 20 years and served as chairperson of the Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission from 2003 to 2006.

Following the lecture, Coomaraswamy and Rutgers professors Charlotte Bunch and Radhika Balakrishnan will engage in a roundtable conversation to consider progress towards women’s full inclusion in the human rights agenda and the challenges that remain. The roundtable conversation is inspired by the 30th anniversary of the United Nations’ World Conference on Human Rights and the associated Vienna Tribunal, for which the Rutgers Center for Women’s Global Leadership was an organizer. Bunch is the founding director and a senior scholar at the Rutgers Center for Women’s Global Leadership, and Balakrishnan is a former director of the center and a core faculty member of Rutgers Global Health Institute; both are professors in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

A reception will take place after the roundtable.

The Anita Ashok Datar Lecture on Women’s Global Health draws to campus groundbreaking pioneers, researchers, field workers, and activists to explore growing international health challenges and the vital role that the United States and leaders from across the globe must continue to play in addressing them. Rutgers graduate Anita Ashok Datar dedicated her career to public health issues, especially those concerning women and children. While working on a mission for USAID in the African country of Mali, Datar was killed on November 20, 2015, in a terrorist attack that claimed 20 other lives. Rutgers is proud to join Datar’s family and friends to create a lasting tribute to her remarkable life of service.

Trayes Hall, Douglass Student Center, 100 George St., New Brunswick, NJ

Free and open to the public. Register online to attend. Visit the event webpage or contact the Rutgers Institute for Women’s Leadership for more information.


Institute for Women’s Leadership
View Organizer Website


Douglass Student Center
100 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901 United States
View Venue Website