by Işıl Aral
IntLawGrrls celebrated its 10th year anniversary on the 3rd of March 2017 with a Conference at the University of Georgia. The Conference opened on the 2nd of March with the screening of Sundance-selected documentary 500 Years directed by Pamela Yates, shedding light on the resistance of Mayan people against the violent and repressive military measures of the Guatemalan government in recent history. The next day, all participants gathered at the Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia. With more than 60 presentations, the Conference offered a great range of subject diversity and women took the floor to have their say on almost every subject of international law. This diversity was equally valid for the participants, who had travelled from all around world including from Japan, Australia, Denmark, Kosovo, North and South America.
As a PhD student, it was a truly inspiring experience to be surrounded by so many accomplished women and to meet other young lawyers and academics. The balance of each panel was carefully constructed to mix early career and senior academics. I had the privilege of sharing the panel with distinguished professors and senior scholars, and to receive constructive feedback on my paper. Each panel enabled deep discussions and was a great opportunity to exchange ideas for all. The lunchtime panel was opened with the remarks of IntLawGrrls’ founder Diane Marie Amann and, as can be seen in the video, she explained the creation of the Blog and how she launched it by accident! It was also a great pleasure to listen to the plenary session where Beth Van Schaack, Mary Dudziak, Catherine Powell, Lucinda Low, Jaya Ramji-Nogales and Patricia Wald discussed “Strategies to Promote Women’s Participation in Shaping International Law and Policy amid the Global Emergence of Antiglobalism”. When Lucinda Low, the president of the American Society of International Law, took the floor, her first remarks to celebrate the success of women who occupy prominent positions today reflected the difficulty of that struggle: “We have come a long way baby!”
I would like to thank Diane Marie Amann for this wonderful Conference and also Kathleen Doty and Britney Hardweare who attended to every second we spent in Georgia. Special thanks again to Jaya Ramji-Nogales and Beth Van Schaack for taking the time to take part in an interview with WILNET, to tell us how the Blog came into being, and its journey to date. IntLawGrrls is much more than a blog; it is a driving force that empowers women in international law from all backgrounds and at any stage of their career. The Blog is a clear example that international law does not only have ‘founding fathers’; women too take the lead to become founding mothers of wonderful initiatives!
Please watch the video to listen to Diane Marie Amann telling the story of IntLawGrrls, Karen Bravo commemorating late members of IntLawGrrls, Lucinda Low explaining how ASIL changed in terms of gender equality over the years, and finally Jaya Ramji-Nogales and Beth Van Schaack explaining how the Blog came into being and how it evolved over the years.
(cross-posted at IntLawGrrls)