The Justice For Women Lecture (JFW) 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.

2018 Justice For Women Lecture

Mariam JalabiMariam Jalabi, the Director of the Syrian National Coalition’s Office at the United Nations in New York, will present the seventh annual Justice For Women Lecture on March 29, 2018 at 7:00 pm. She will discuss The Struggle for Human Rights: From Syria to Maine at the Abromson Community Education Center.

Born in Damascus, Syria and raised in the Golan Heights, Ms. Jalabi ran a fashion company until the Syrian Civil War began in 2011. She has been actively involved in democratic advocacy since the war began and is a passionate advocate for women’s inclusion in the Syrian peace process. Along with directing the Syrian National Coalition’s New York office to the UN since 2013, she is a founding member of the Syrian Non-Violence Movement, a member of the Syrian Opposition High Negotiation Committee’s Women’s Advisory Committee, and works with the Syrian Women’s Network and the Syrian Feminist Lobby. She holds degrees from McGill University and the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Seating is limited! Register online or by calling 207.780.4344.


  • Zainah Anwar, Director of Musawah and Founding Member and former Executive Director of Sisters Islam (Malaysia)
    2017, “What Islam, Whose Islam? The Struggle for Women’s Right to Equality and Justice in Muslim Contexts” [Video]
  • 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]

Courage is Contagious Award

The Courage is Contagious Award is awarded annually at the Justice For Women Lecture to an outstanding woman leader who demonstrates a commitment to the mission of the Justice For Women Lecture Series.