Call for Papers: Wisconsin International Law Journal Annual Symposium, April 4-5, 2014

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Internationally acclaimed women scholars and advanced PhD candidates are invited to the second conference on the Creation of International Law, to be hosted by the University of Wisconsin on April 4-5, 2014 as part of its Wisconsin International Law Journal annual symposium. The intention is to continue and expand the network of women scholars and practitioners that was launched in 2009 in Norway to support their engagement in public international law.  The theme of the second conference is: Exploring the International Law Components of Peace. The pursuit of peace remains a global challenge and there is a need for reflection as to how the current international public law institutional and normative structure functions and what are the gaps? Call for papers and more details here.

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Jacob Levi says

May 16, 2013

I am absolutely astonished by this call for papers! A Symposium made just for women scholars! This can only mean that men scholars are excluded from it unless they decide to go through a sex-change operation...
Are we still in the XXIst century or were we all sent back to the time when people were discriminated against because of their gender. This cannot even be called positive discrimination, given that most Law Schools in the USA, Latin America or Europe have more young female scholars than male ones... This is pure old-fashioned sexism! But given that's in favor of women, even a distinguished blog like EJIL talk advertises it!

Simon Herman says

May 20, 2013

This is correct, Mr. Levi, you were brought back to the gruesome times of gender oppression, during which men all over the world cower in fear of the female academic overlords.
In this horrific age, about 10% of full professorships in the UK are held by women, 19% in Germany, 12% in the Netherlands, and unbelievable 25% in the US, not to speak of other parts of the world. Truly, we live in times of egregious injustice towards men.

srishti says

May 27, 2013

Maybe we should view this symposium as a means of upliftment for women rather than a bias against men. it is afterall, about peace.

Pavel Caban says

May 27, 2013

Simon Herman: However, you do not provide any argument why there should be a women-only conference at all. Will it have a special agenda which men would not understand or should not be aware of? The image of a male-scholar standing in front of the conference hall and being denied access on the basis of his sex (or gender or whatever it is) seems to be a bit weird.

Simon Herman says

May 28, 2013

Dear Pavel Caban: That is true - I thought I did not have to.

There are some reasons for all-women conferences once in a while:
1. Women are still discriminated against even in academic settings. This has its roots (among other things) in the (unconscious) prejudice that women are bound by family duties, not as capable of leadership etc. It is therefore necessary (in order to achieve, in the end, full equality) that they can network without male interference.
2. As they are being discriminated against, they also have a special path to high-level positions, face special challenges. It is therefore essential that female students, PhD-candidates and Postdocs are provided inspiration and specific information by those that have already "made it to the top".
3. Female scholars´ work is still valued less than male scholars´, irrespective of its quality (I am sorry that I cannot give you all the relevant references here, but with a short search on ssrn or jstor you can find them). Similarly, women´s voices are heard less, their questions answered less often at conferences. All-women conferences can partially remedy this by giving female scholars´ work a discrimination-free space.

One has, of course, to keep in mind that "separate but equal" scholarship cannot be the goal. In the end, we would like to see an inclusive academic world in which people of all genders (not only male and female, by the way) participate equally. Therefore, all-women conferences are only an intermediary means, not a final solution, but they are necessary to improve the current state of the academic world.

This may also interest you:

Hope Leman says

May 30, 2013

I would like to thank Simon Herman for his comments in defense of the idea of an all-female symposium. I would just point out to Jacob Levi that it is commonplace for professional groups and their respective meetings to be organized on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, etc.

For example, we have the Hispanic National Bar Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Association of Women Surgeons, the National Muslim Law Students Association, and so on. These organizations exist to enable their members to network, to learn from one another and to advance the aims and ideals of their respective fields. There is nothing “astonishing” or sinister in such endeavors.

The sad fact is that women are still underrepresented in many fields and in the pages of important journals as the organization VIDA documents in its reports:

Someday (the sooner the better!), there will be no need for a female-only symposium. But we are not, sadly, there yet.

I am grateful to Mr. Levi for having generated this fascinating discussion.

Pavel Caban says

May 30, 2013

I am just trying to imagine the organizing of men-only conference on international law. I guess that the only conceivable agenda of such a conference could be how to suport better representation of women in the field ...