Zainab Salbi to Deliver the 2013 Gruber Distinguished Lecture in Women’s Rights

The founder of Women for Women International, Zainab Salbi, will deliver the 2013 Gruber Distinguished Lecture in Women’s Rights at Yale Law School on Monday, October 21, 2013.

The lecture, titled “Empowering Voice, Engendering Change,” will feature a conversation between Salbi and Robin Wright, Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace and Distinguished Scholar at the Wilson Center.

The lecture will take place at 4:30 pm in Room 127 and is free and open to the public.



A humanitarian and activist. Salbi started Women for Women International as a grass roots development organization to help women survivors of war rebuild their lives. Since 1993, Women for Women International has helped over 315,000 women access social and economic opportunities in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Sudan. Salbi served as the organization’s CEO from 1993 to 2011.

She is also the author of two books, the national bestseller Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam (with Laurie Becklund), which documents her life growing up in Iraq under Saddam Hussein’s rule and The Other Side of War: Women’s Stories of Survival and Hope.

Salbi is currently working with documentary filmmakers Abigail (Abby) Disney and Gini Reticker on a project called “Awakening” – a multimedia initiative featuring women in the Arab spring.  She has previously collaborated with Disney and Reticker on the acclaimed PBS series Women, War and Peace

The lecture is presented by the Gruber Program for Global Justice and Women’s Rights at Yale Law School. The event features speakers whose exceptional achievements have served the causes of global justice and women’s rights. Last year’s inaugural lecture featured U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Two panel discussions will also accompany the Gruber lecture. The first discussion is titled “Voice and Revolution: Gender, Rights, and the Roles of Women in the Middle East.” The discussion will be held on Monday, October 21 from 10 to 11 am in the faculty lounge. Ellen Lust, Associate Professor of Political Science at Yale University, will moderate the discussion. Panelists will include Ambassador Sallama Shaker, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Americas and Visiting Professor at Yale Divinity School, Hafsa Halawa, Consultant at the UNDP Regional Center, and Nancy Messieh, Associate Director, Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center and editor, EgyptSource.

The second panel, titled “Reconsidering Voice: Agency, Gender, and the Role of Law in Development,” will take place on Tuesday, October 22 from 10 to 11:30 am in the faculty lounge. The moderator will be Muneer Ahmad, Clinical Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Panelists will include Martha Chen, Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, and Naila Kabeer, Professor at the London School of Economics Gender Institute. These panel discussions are open to the Yale community and their guests.

The Gruber Program for Global Justice and Women's Rights is a Yale University Program administered by Yale Law School. It was established in 2011 by philanthropists Peter and Patricia Gruber as part of the Gruber Foundation.

[Photo Credit: Rennio Maifredi]