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January 18, 2005

Morse Chair professor examines missing voice of women in Iraq War

Hilary Charlesworth, an expert on the role of women in international law and current holder of the Wayne Morse Chair of Law and Politics at the University of Oregon, spoke on “The Missing Voice: Women and the War in Iraq” on Wednesday, January 26 at the law school.

“Issues of sex and gender are rarely considered relevant to invasions, conflict or state-building,” Charlesworth says. “In fact, the roles of women and the values assigned to these roles shape our understanding of violence at the international level. The war in Iraq and its aftermath illustrate this point well.”

Charlesworth is a professor of international law in the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University, Canberra. Her books include “Writing in Rights: Australia and the Protection of Human Rights” and “The Boundaries of International Law: A Feminist Analysis.”

She was educated at the University of Melbourne and Harvard Law School. Her writings focus on the role of women’s issues and argue that the absence of women in the field of international law has legitimated the unequal position of women worldwide.

“Because of her work, issues such as domestic violence, trafficking in women and rape as a tool of war finally are being recognized as international law issues,” says Ibrahim Gassama, who teaches international law at the UO School of Law.

While Morse Chair holder, Charlesworth will be in residence at the UO School of Law from Jan. 8 through Feb. 4. During her tenure, she will deliver several public lectures and teach a law school class on “Sex, Gender and Human Rights.”

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