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.

2024 Justice For Women Lecture
Moves to the Fall

The thirteenth annual Justice For Women Lecture, Empowering Woman and Girls with Disabilities: Fighting Discrimination, and Promoting Inclusion will be presented by Juliet Mwongeli Muema and Maria Omare on Thursday, September 26, 2024 at the Abromson Community Education Center, Portland, Maine. The Justice for Women Week of Events will be September 23 – 27.

Empowering Women and Girls with Disabilities:
Fighting Discrimination, and Promoting Inclusion

  • Patrícia Campos Mello, reporter at large and columnist at Folha de São Paulo newspaper, 2023, “Sexism, Lies and the Fight for Truth: a Reporter’s Story” [Video]
  • Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS and an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, 2022, “The Struggle for a More Equal World – Why It’s Essential and How We Can Win” [Video]
  • Galina Angarova, Executive Director at Cultural Survival; Quannah ChasingHorse, Land Protector and Climate Activist; Sherri Mitchell,  Lawyer, Author, and Indigenous Rights Activist; Sara Olsvig, Ph.D. Fellow and Former MP of Greenland, 2021, “The Impact of Climate Change on Indigenous Women” [Video]
  • Maria Luisa Aguilar Rodriguez (Mexico), International Advocacy Officer at the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center (Centro Prodh) 2019, “The Human Rights Crisis in Mexico: Origins, Impacts, Opportunities” [Video]
  • Mariam Jalabi (Syria), Representative of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces’ Office at the United Nations in New York 2018, “The Struggle for Human Rights: From Syria” [Video]
  • Zainah Anwar (Malaysia), Director of Musawah and Founding Member and former Executive Director of Sisters Islam 2017, “What Islam, Whose Islam? The Struggle for Women’s Right to Equality and Justice in Muslim Contexts” [Video]
  • Dr. Lindiwe Sibanda (Zimbabwe), CEO of FANRPAN 2016, “Overcoming Food Insecurity – Ideas & Inspirations from Zimbabwe to Maine” [Video]
  • Ruchira Gupta (India), Founder & President of Apne Aap Women Worldwide 2015, “Ending Sex Trafficking by Putting the Last Girl First” [Video]
  • Dr. Sima Samar (Afghanistan), Chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission 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 (Liberia), 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate, Author, and Liberian Peace Activist 2013, “The Rule of Law and Justice for Victims of Sexual Violence” [Video]
  • Hon. Unity Dow (Botswana), International Human Rights Advocate, Novelist, and Former Judge, Botswana High Court
    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.

Learn More

Want to learn more about the Justice For Women Lecture? Check out this short video: