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Migration and Women’s Rights


The Institute for Women and Girls presented the 14th annual symposium on Saturday March 18.  The focus of the conference was on Migration and Women’s Rights: Employment Challenges, Empowerment and Best Practices.

Dr. Kathryn Libal, an Associate Professor and Director of the Human Rights Institute at the University of Connecticut, talked about human rights norms and practices and transnational humanitarian and human rights responses to forced migration.  She recently returned from Jordan where she documented the living conditions in the refugee camps and how people are coping with the lack of basic rights such as food and water.  (View Dr. Libal’s talk below.)

Angela Luna is a fashion designed who originally thought she would work for Vogue but when she became aware of the crisis of refugees around the world she switched to designing sustainable  jackets than can convert to tents for use in refugee camps.  For each jacket that is bought another one is donated.  She is a solution-based designer who is committed to creating products and services to better the world.

Kathryn Hodges is the head of the Social Care Department at Anglia Ruskin University in the UK.  Her work focuses on women who have been trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation as well support women at risk of involvement in prostitution.  She is working to change the promise that women can be bought and sold.

Dianne Mack is the Executive Senior Consultant for Creative Social Solutions,  training and advocacy organization specializing in personal/professional development.  She is committed to training women to find jobs above the poverty level.

Dr. Marciana Popescu recently returned from Austria where she was a Fulbright scholar conducting research on forced migration and the impact on women refugees and asylum seekers in the EU.  Her current research build on her previous work on post-disaster displacement in Haiti, focusing on empowerment strategies for women.  Throughout her career, her work has focused on women’s rights, socio-economic empowerment tools, and the use of research for advocacy and policy change.

Manal Kahi is the Founder and head of EAT OFFBEAT a catering business that employs women refugees as chefs, and empowers them to reshape their stories and identities.  A delicious lunch was provided to the conference attendees made by the EAT OFFBEAT chefs.

Sandra Turner, PhD
Associate Professor
Fordham University
Graduate School of Social Service
113 West 60th Street
New York, NY 10023


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