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3 December 2020


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9:00 AM - 6:00 PM (AEDT)


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Online Event



The Fourth World Conference on Women was held in Beijing in September 1995. The Conference adopted a Declaration and a Platform for Action, which identified 12 ‘critical areas of concern’: poverty, access to education; access to healthcare; violence against women; armed conflict; economic inequality; inequality in power and decision-making; promotion of the advancement of women; women’s human rights; media stereotyping of women; the environment; the girl child.

While the Beijing Conference and its outcome documents were regarded as an ambivalent success by some contemporary observers, 25 years later it seems a very progressive moment in the history of women’s rights. Global politics have changed to the point that it is difficult to imagine that the Declaration or Platform could be negotiated in the same terms today.

To mark the occasion of Beijing +25 and to consider the influence of the conference and outcome documents, the Institute for International Law and the Humanities, Melbourne Law School together with the Australian Human Rights Institute, UNSW Sydney, are co-hosting a conference to consider the advances, and retreats, in the situation of women internationally over the past 25 years. It will also identify possible avenues for responding to gender inequality and women’s rights now and into the future.

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, this event will now be held entirely online.


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Kate Jenkins

Sex Discrimination Commissioner

Kate Jenkins became Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner in 2016. She is leading a number of projects at the Australian Human Rights Commission, including the National Inquiry into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces and the Commission’s collaborative project on cultural reform with the Australian Defence Force.

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Phoebe Wynn-Pope

Head of Business and Human Rights at Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Dr Phoebe Wynn-Pope has over 25 years’ experience in the humanitarian sector. As Head of Business and Human Rights at Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Phoebe works with clients to consider the human rights impacts of their operations and the value to be gained by adopting a human rights framework when assessing risks and opportunities.

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Andrea Durbach

Professor, UNSW Law

Andrea Durbach is Professor of Law at UNSW and was Director of the Australian Human Rights Centre (now Institute) (2004-2017). A Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, in 2013 Andrea was awarded the Australian Human Rights Commission Human Rights Law Award for her promotion and advancement of human rights in Australia through the practice of law.

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Andrew Byrnes

Professor, UNSW Law

Andrew Byrnes joined the UNSW Law Faculty as Professor of International Law in May 2005. In 2018, Andrew received the Law Award at the Australian Human Rights Awards, in recognition for his leadership on a wide range of social issues including gender equality, the death penalty, older persons and disability rights.

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Rosemary Kayess

United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Rosemary Kayess is a teaching fellow at UNSW Law and senior research fellow at UNSW’s Social Policy Research Centre, and is serving a three-year term on the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In 2019, Rosemary won the prestigious Human Rights Medal in recognition of her work in international human rights law for people with disability.

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Dianne Otto

Dianne Otto

Professorial Fellow, Melbourne Law School

Dianne Otto is Professorial Fellow at Melbourne Law School. Her research, in the field of public international law and human rights law, covers a broad field including addressing gender, sexuality and race inequalities in the context of international human rights law, the UN Security Council’s peacekeeping work, the technologies of global ‘crisis governance’, threats to economic, social and cultural rights, and the transformative potential of people’s tribunals and other NGO initiatives.

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Carmen Lawrence

Carmen Lawrence

Emeritus Professor, University of Western Australia

After training as a research psychologist at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and lecturing in a number of Australian universities, Dr Lawrence entered politics in 1986, serving at both State and Federal levels for 21 years. She was at various times W.A Minister for Education and Aboriginal affairs and was the first woman Premier and Treasurer of a State government.

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Anne Marie Goetz

Anne Marie Goetz

Clinical Professor, Center for Global Affairs, NYU

Dr. Goetz has been Clinical Professor at CGA since 2014. She served at the United Nations from 2005-2014 as a Policy Director of Governance, Peace and Security, at UNIFEM and UN Women. While at the UN, Dr. Goetz spearheaded initiatives to build women’s participation in representative politics, to promote women’s empowerment in peace building work, and to support the participation of women leaders and rights organisations in peace talks and post-conflict decision-making.

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Christine Chinkin

Christine Chinkin

Emeritus Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science

Christine Chinkin, CMG FBA is Emerita Professor of International Law, Professorial Research Fellow and Founding Director of the Centre of Women, Peace & Security at LSE. She is also a barrister and leading expert on international and human rights law, especially the international human rights of women.

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Ramona Vijeyarasa

Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UTS Faculty of Law

Dr Vijeyarasa is the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia 2020-21 Research Fellow. A leading gender equality scholar, Ramona is a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology Sydney, where she designed a “Gender Legislative Index” to assess the gender-responsiveness of domestic laws.

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Susan Harris Rimmer

Director, Griffith University Policy Innovation Hub

Susan Harris Rimmer is an Associate Professor at Griffith University Law School, and is a former Australian Research Council Future Fellow. She is co-editor of the Research Handbook on Feminist Engagement with International Law, author of Gender and Transitional Justice and over 40 refereed works on women's rights and international law.

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Fleur Te Aho

Senior Lecturer, University of Auckland, Faculty of Law

Dr Fleur Te Aho (Ngāti Mutunga) is Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Law. Fleur researches and teaches on Indigenous peoples and the law and criminal law. Fleur has a special interest in understanding how international law norms regarding Indigenous peoples influence domestic law and policy and Māori criminal justice.

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Kim Rubenstein

Co-Director, 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, University of Canberra

Kim Rubenstein is a Professor in the Faculty of Business, Government & Law and Co-Director of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation at the University of Canberra. She is Australia’s leading expert on citizenship, both around its formal legal status and in law’s intersection with broader normative notions of citizenship. This has led to her scholarship in gender and public law, which includes legal and oral history work around women lawyers’ contributions in the public sphere.

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Julie Ann Guivarra - DFAT HOM. 24 May 2018. File Number 20180159. Photograph By Penny Bradfield Auspic/Dps profile portrait

Julie-Ann Guivarra

Australian Ambassador for Gender Equality, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Ms Guivarra is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade where she served most recently as Australia’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain, Andorra and Equatorial Guinea. In this role Ms Guivarra became Australia’s first female indigenous Ambassador.

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Professor Megan Davis outside the UN Building in NYC

Megan Davis

Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous and Professor of Law, UNSW

Professor Megan Davis is Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous and Professor of Law at UNSW. She is Acting Commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court and was recently appointed the Balnaves Chair in Constitutional Law. She was a member of the Referendum Council and the Experts Panel on the Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Peoples in the Constitution; was an expert member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2011-2016); and is currently a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous peoples.

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Registration is now open. 

Register here


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Professor Hilary Charlesworth

Professor, Melbourne Law School

Hilary Charlesworth AM is a Melbourne Laureate Professor at Melbourne Law School and a Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University.She is a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and an Associate Member of the Institut de Droit International. She served as Judge ad hoc of the International Court of Justice in the Whaling in the Antarctic case.

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Scientia Professor Louise Chappell

Director, Australian Human Rights Institute, UNSW Sydney

Scientia Professor Louise Chappell is Director of the Australian Human Rights Institute at UNSW Sydney. A Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2010-14), Louise’s research interests are in the areas of women’s rights; gender, politics and institutions and comparative federalism and public policy.


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