May 21, 2010
Webster University Announces Third "Year of International Human Rights"
2010-2011 Year of International Human Rights: Women's Rights
Webster University continues to spotlight human rights issues and awareness through its annual series of films, exhibits, academic lectures and conferences and other events and activities. The 2010-2011 theme of the "Year of International Human Rights" (YIHR) will focus on women's rights and marks the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, March 8, 2011, and the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave U.S. women the right to vote on August 18, 1920.
Highlighting the year is a lecture by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Sheryl WuDunn, who co-wrote "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide" (Knopf, 2009) with her husband Nicholas Kristof. WuDunn will speak at Webster, Monday, Sept. 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the Loretto-Hilton Center. The YIHR is always marked with a book selected to accompany the theme and is provided to all freshmen students. Faculty across the system are encouraged to find ways of introducing "Half the Sky" into their curricula and are provided a study guide.
According to David Carl Wilson, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, this year's theme was recommended by a comprehensive committee of faculty from various disciplines, students, student affairs officials and international campus academic leaders. The College of Arts & Sciences, Student Affairs, the Webster University Student Government Association and other University entities will sponsor various co-curricular activities around the broader theme throughout the academic year. Last year's theme focused on the human right to food and water.
"Although this is an Arts & Sciences initiative," says Dean Wilson, "we welcome participation by all of Webster’s schools and colleges, as we have in past years."
"This is an important and timely topic," adds Wilson. "One in three women has experienced sexual violence. Three million women and children are trapped against their will in the sex industry. At the height of the African slave trade, about 80,000 Africans were transported across the Atlantic per year. Now, over two centuries later, over half a million women and children are trafficked every year. The year will focus on understanding, but it will also focus on action."
The YIHR began three years ago as a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Webster University is uniquely positioned to celebrate international human rights because it was the first university to establish an undergraduate degree in human rights and is also the only university with a 100-plus international extended campus network. Webster also has strong undergraduate and graduate programs in international relations and international business.
With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University is a worldwide institution committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence. Founded in 1915, Webster offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs through five schools and colleges, and a global network of more than 100 campuses. Its 20,000-plus-student population represents almost 150 nationalities. The University’s core values include excellence in teaching, joining theory and practice, small class sizes, and educating students to be lifelong independent learners, fully prepared to participate in an increasingly international society.
Since opening its first campus overseas in Geneva in 1978, Webster has become a recognized leader and innovator in global education, with an international presence that now includes campuses in London; Vienna; Amsterdam and Leiden, the Netherlands; Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu, China; and Bangkok and Cha-am, Thailand. Webster also has educational partnerships with universities in Mexico and Japan.