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Women's rights expert to speak at Valpo

March 20, 2008

Women's rights around the world will be the topic of the 25th Annual Edward A. Seegers Lecture, "Women's Status, Men's States," March 28 at Valparaiso University School of Law.

The lecture will feature Catharine A. MacKinnon, Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at University of Michigan Law School. She will address the masculinity of states as an element of international politics, while examining the status of women in the international system. MacKinnon suggests that international approaches to women's rights offer distinctive promise for addressing inequality of the sexes.

With a specialty in sex-equality issues in international and constitutional law, she works with Equality Now, which promotes international sex-equality rights for women. MacKinnon pioneered the legal claim for sexual harassment, and with Andrea Dworkin created ordinances recognizing pornography as a civil rights violation.

Representing Bosnian women survivors of Serbian genocidal sexual atrocities, she won with co-counsel a damage award of $745 million in August 2000 in Kadic v. Karadzic, which first recognized rape as an act of genocide.

MacKinnon holds a B.A. from Smith College, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. in political science from Yale. She has taught at Yale, Chicago, Harvard, Osgoode Hall, Stanford, Basel (Switzerland), and Columbia; spent a year at the Institute for Advanced Study; and practices and consults nationally and internationally.

One of the most widely cited legal scholars in the English language, her scholarly books include "Are Women Human?" (2006); "Women's Lives, Men's Laws" (2005); "Sex Equality" (2001); "Only Words" (1993); and "Toward a Feminist Theory of the State" (1989).

The lecture will be from 4 to 5 p.m. at the law school's Tabor Auditorium in Wesemann Hall, 656 S. Greenwich St., Valparaiso. A reception will follow from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Duesenberg Commons. The lecture is open to the public and free of charge.

The lecture is named in honor of the late Edward A. Seegers, a Chicago attorney who supported the school, including contributions for scholarships and buildings. He also endowed a law school professorship in honor of his parents.

For more information, contact Lisa Todd at (219) 465-7893, (888) 825-7652, or lisa.todd@valpo.edu.

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