International Women's Day - Symposium “Women in Culture and Science”

When :

from Thursday 8 March, 2018
to Friday 9 March, 2018

Type of event :

Special Event

Where :

UNESCO Headquarters, 7, place de Fontenoy, 75007, Paris, France

Contact :

A symposium focused on “Women in Culture and Science”, co-organized by UNESCO’s Chair on Cultural Rights at the University of Copenhagen and the Delegation of Denmark at UNESCO
This symposium is held in celebration of the International Women’s Day. The program includes specialists in the fields of the right to culture and the right to science who will speak and gather in two panels to debate with the audience.

Culture has been misused to justify restrictions to the full enjoyment of human rights and freedom of women and girls. Our first panel examines the position of women in scientific freedom and creativity, reflects on the importance of having women involved in scientific endeavours and explores the challenges preventing women and girls to access, participate in, and contribute to cultural life and science.
The second part of our day will focus on the latest developments in authoritative guidance; discuss the new General Comment on the Right to Science, the Status of Scientific Researchers, as well as the potential of blockchain to improve the scientific process and the independence of women.
Music and science are two ways of using a common set of tools for thinking. In true festivity spirit, artist Nukâka Coster-Waldau and four musicians from Greenland and Denmark will present us with live sessions at the beginning and at the end of the program.
“Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits”, article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


Time Event
09.50am Registrations

Welcome address: Ms Helle Posdam, Professor of Law and Humanities and UNESCO Chair in Cultural Rights, University of Copenhagen, Denmark


Opening remarks: Ms Saniye Gülser Corat, Director of the Division for Gender Equality, UNESCO


Music session and readings: Ms Nukâka Coster-Waldau, Greenlandic artist and band


Panel 1: Women, Scientific Freedom, and Creativity

Moderator: Ms Helle Porsdam


  • Ms Farida Shaheed, First UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights, Executive Director of Shirkat Gah-Women’s Resource Centre in Pakistan
  • Ms Karima Bennoune, Current UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights, Professor of International Law at the University of California–Davis School of Law
  • Ms Yvonne Donders, Professor International Human Rights and Cultural Diversity and Head of the Department of International and European Public Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam, member of the National Commission for UNESCO, member of the Human Rights Committee of the Advisory Council on International Affairs
11.10am Break

Panel 2: Where are we heading: significant developments

Moderator: Ms Lyn Boyd-Judson, UNESCO Chair for Global Humanities and Ethics Education, director of the USC Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics and executive director of the Oxford Consortium for Human Rights


  • Mr Mikel Mancisidor, UN Treaty Body Independent Expert, Adjunct Professor at the Washington College of Law, American University, and visiting professor at the University of Deusto and at the Institut International des Droits de l’Homme René Cassin, Strasbourg
  • Mr Sebastian Porsdam Mann, Postdoc, Center for Bioethics, Harvard Medical School

Music session and readings: Ms Nukâka Coster-Waldau, Greenlandic artist and band


Closing remarks: Ms Helle Porsdam and Ms Lyn Boyd Judson

1.00pm End of symposium