Videos: Virtual NGO CSW65 Forum

March 16-19, 2021 

This annual event is one of the largest gatherings of UN entities, global leaders, the private sector, and women’s rights advocates to focus on the rights and empowerment of women and girls. The ABA Panels at the Virtual NGO CSW65 Forum are organized by the ABA Representatives and Observers to the United Nations, ABA Rule of Law Initiative, ABA Center for Human Rights, and ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.

Vice President Harris Remarks to the UN at the 65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women

Panel One: Dignity Rights Law in Practice

The inherent right of each person to dignity is affirmed in the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human rights treaties, and more than 160 constitutions worldwide. Our fundamental right to individual dignity forms the core foundations of peaceful, just, and inclusive societies governed by the rule of law.

Opening Remarks:
Patricia Lee Refo, ABA President

Moderator:
Judge Bernice B. Donald, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit and Chair of the Dignity Rights Initiative of the ABA Center for Human Rights

Panelists:

  • Erin Daly, Executive Director, Dignity Rights International
  • James R. May, Co-Founder, Dignity Rights Project, and Founder, Environmental Rights Institute, Delaware Law School
  • Amy Lin Meyerson, ABA Deputy Representative to the United Nations

Closing Remarks:
Karen Mathis, ABA Representative to the United Nations

Panel Two: Gender-Lens Investing Strategies to Empower Women

Investors increasingly understand that gender equality, women’s rights, and women’s empowerment through meaningful participation and inclusion as decision-making leaders are crucial to realizing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Opening Remarks:
Patricia Lee Refo, ABA President

Moderator:
Hilarie Bass, Founder of the Bass Institute for Diversity and Inclusion and Bass Foundation, and former President of the American Bar Association

Panelists:

  • Teresa Jennings, Head of Rule of Law Development, LexisNexis Legal and Professional and Board Member, LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation
  • Steve Hollingworth, CEO/President, Grameen Foundation
  • Christina (CJ) Juhasz, Chief Investment Officer, Women’s World Banking Asset Management
  • Mikhail Reider-Gordon, Managing Director of Institutional Ethics & Integrity, Affiliated Monitors, Inc.

Closing Remarks:
Karen Mathis, ABA Representative to the United Nations

Panel Three: Justice Voices: The Pandemic's Impact on Women's Access to Justice

The pandemic has disproportionately impacted women and juveniles, creating new barriers to access to justice and increasing the dangers of domestic violence, sexual assaults, and sex trafficking. What are some strategies for courts, justice sector actors, and civil society organizations to meet the challenges?

Opening Remarks:
Patricia Lee Refo, ABA President

Moderator:
Karen Mathis, ABA Representative to the United Nations

Panelists

  • Judge Julianna Michelle Childs, U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina and Chair of the ABA Judicial Division
  • Monia Kari, Chair, Women’s Observatory, Tunisia
  • Justice Robert J. Torres, Jr., Supreme Court of Guam
  • Judge Isabela Ferarri, Federal Judge, Second Regional Federal Court, Brazil

Closing Remarks:
Karen Mathis, ABA Representative to the United Nations

Panel Four: Reversing Shrinking Space for Women's Rights Defenders

Recent trends demonstrate erosion to democratic systems of governance at national levels, exacerbated by social inequalities brought about by the pandemic and a decline in the rule of law. Learn about the role of lawyers, bar associations, and the judiciary in reversing rule of law breakdowns and the shrinking political space for women's rights defenders.


Opening Remarks:
Patricia Lee Refo, ABA President

Moderator: 
Mary Smith, ABA Representatives and Observers to the United Nations

Panelists:

  • Michel Forst, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders
  • Eva Abu Halaweh, Executive Director of the Mizan Law Group for Human Rights and recipient of the 2011 International Women of Courage Award from the U.S. Department of State
  • Makanatsa Makonese, Deputy Chief of Party, ABA Advancing Rights in Southern Africa Programme
  • Lelia Mooney, Executive Director, Center for the Advancement of the Rule of Law in the Americas, Georgetown Law

Closing Remarks:
Karen Mathis, ABA Representative to the United Nations