The Justice For Women Lecture Series brings a distinguished speaker to Maine annually to present a public lecture and to contribute to a global conversation about justice for women and girls in the developing world.

The Lecture Series was established in 2011 with the generous support and leadership of Catherine Lee of Lee International.

2017 Justice For Women Lecture

Zainah AnwarThe 2017 Justice For Women Lecture was delivered by Zainah Anwar, who is the founding member of Sisters in Islam and Director of Musawah. Ms. Anwar discussed What Islam, Whose Islam? The Struggle for Women’s Right to Equality and Justice in Muslim Contexts on March 23, 2017 in the Abromson Community Education Center.

Ms. Anwar of Malaysia is at the forefront of the women’s movement working towards an end of the use of Islam to justify discrimination against women. Sisters in Islam has successfully created a public voice through which women can demand equality and justice. Musawah has brought together scholars and activists from over 50 countries to produce new feminist scholarship in Islam, to train activists on women’s rights in Islam, and to challenge the evasion of human rights standards.

A video recording of the 2017 Lecture is available on Maine Law’s YouTube channel.


  • Dr. Lindiwe Sibanda, CEO of FANRPAN (Zimbabwe)
    2016, “Overcoming Food Insecurity – Ideas & Inspirations from Zimbabwe to Maine” [Video]
  • Ruchira Gupta, Founder & President of Apne Aap Women Worldwide (India)
    2015, “Ending Sex Trafficking by Putting the Last Girl First” [Video]
  • Dr. Sima Samar, Chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (Afghanistan)
    2014, “Women’s Rights in Afghanistan” [Video]
  • Hon. Albie Sachs, former activist and lawyer (South Africa)
    2013, “50 Years with Nelson Mandela: From Law Breaking to Law Making” (special lecturer)
  • Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate, Author, and Liberian Peace Activist (Liberia)
    2013, “The Rule of Law and Justice for Victims of Sexual Violence” [Video]
  • Hon. Unity Dow, International Human Rights Advocate, Novelist, and Former Judge, Botswana High Court (Botswana)
    2012, “Juggling Truths: When Justice is a Moving Target” [Video]

Advisory Council

The Justice For Women Lecture Series Advisory Council, which includes leaders from the U.S. and abroad, assists in identifying and welcoming distinguished lecturers annually.