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How do you imagine a local sovereign, a ruler of a kingdom or a president/ prime minister to look like? Chances are they are distinctly on the male-leaning end of the gender spectrum. During this lunch conversation Harum Mukhayer points out the inherently sexist nature of territorial sovereignty and notions of statehood under international law. She raises the question: Did the colonial treaty making process set in motion the gradual isolation of women in political participation? In answering this question she is joined by Carmen Alanis who shares some of the legal mechanisms that help or hinder the reentry of women into public positions which they previously occupied. The talk engages with international law, municipal law and customary law to highlight the tensions that arise from the formalisation in law or treaties of fundamentally flawed conceptions of the gender binary.
Carmen Alanis is a Mexican woman and Juris Doctor (J.D.). Until November 2016 she was a Magistrate of the Superior Chamber of the Federal Electoral Court. For 30 years she dedicated her life to the public service of Mexico. Today she is Consultant for Latin America at the Kofi Annan Foundation, and Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School (2017-2018). Her specialization focuses on the rule of law, access to justice, gender, democracy and elections.
Harum Mukhayer is a Doctoral Student on exchange from University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law. Her work centres on questions of territorial sovereignty in international law. She specialises in international law and has worked with the UN for 8 years in Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia.