The Women’s Human Rights Summit

Liliana A. Fernandes, BAS’s intern lawyer, talks about her participation as a speaker at a meeting that analyzed and discussed Women’s Human Rights from a feminist perspective.

The invitation to participate in the Women’s Human Rights Summit, an initiative that took place within the XXIII Congress of the Fédération Internationale des Femmes des Carrières Juridiques (FIFCJ), was launched in June by the Portuguese Association of Women Lawyers.

The presentation should focus on gender violence, in its various forms. I suggested that the theme “Discrimination based on age, with special focus on women” alluded to the social pressure that a woman feels to have an idyllic physical figure, in addition to her other roles, which was accepted by the organization.

The Summit was held from November 20 to 22 at the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon and had more than 80 communications from lawyers from around the world, from Haiti to Senegal, from Argentina to Turkey, and from the Czech Republic to India, and a vast audience.

The diversity of cultures participating in the event proved to be very interesting, since on the same subject the view differed according to whether the intervention was from Brazil, Argentina or Portugal. On the same subject, opinions were as diverse as the participants; the concerns expressed reflected the reality of each country.

There were no right answers or solutions. The Summit was the stage where concerns were addressed, solutions were discussed, always reflecting the opinion of each speaker.

In terms of personal experience, it was very enriching. Realizing how women are viewed and what issues they hold depending on their particular cultural context.

On the other hand, by discussing these and other issues with peers from other countries, some far away; being able to change opinions and views allowed me to realize that what is a priority for some, is of little importance to others. Above all, it was concluded that there is still a long way to go, but that the goals depend very much on the cultural changes in each country; which is an arduous task.

Liliana de Almeida Fernandes, intern lawyer at BAS

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