Justice for Women Lecture

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 University of Maine School of Law established the Lecture Series in 2011 with the generous support and leadership of Catherine Lee of Lee International.

Maine Law serves as a catalyst for justice and learning well beyond the walls of the academy, and the Justice for Women Lecture Series is notable in combining an outstanding public lecture with deep community involvement.

 Past Lecturers

ruchira-gupta-web Ruchira Gupta delivered the 2015 Justice for Women Lecture entitled “Ending Sex Trafficking by Putting the Last Girl First.”  Ms. Gupta is Founder and President of Apne Aap Women Worldwide – a grassroots organization in India working to end sex trafficking by increasing choices for at-risk girls and women. She has striven over her 25 year career to highlight the link between trafficking and prostitution laws, and to lobby policy makers to shift blame from victims to perpetrators. The 2015 lecture was delivered on March 19th at 7:00 pm.

2014_jfw_postDr. Sima Samar, a renowned human rights and women’s rights advocate from Afghanistan, delivered the University of Maine School of Law’s third annual Justice for Women Lecture on March 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm at the Abromson Community Education Center.

leymah-gboweeLeymah Gbowee delivered the 2013 Justice for Women Lecture on March 20 at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center. Recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist, trained social worker and women’s rights advocate. She is Founder and President of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa and Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Women Peace and Security Network Africa. She is the author of Mighty Be Our Powers.

unity-dowThe Honorable Unity Dow of Botswana delivered the 2012 Lecture entitled “Juggling Truths: When Justice is a Moving Target.” Judge Dow is an international human rights advocate and novelist. She served for over a decade as the first woman high court judge in Botswana. Her visit to Portland included visits with Law School faculty and students, community leaders, high school students and other groups, including the Mitchell Institute and the global educational exchange organization CIEE. While in Maine, she received a key to the City of Portland from Mayor Michael Brennan.

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.


The Justice for Women Endowment Fund was established to sustain the lecture series for years to come. To support the Justice for Women Lecture Series with a donation, please contact the University of Maine School of Law Foundation at 207.780.4342 or use the online donation form.

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