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Date and Location

November 20, 2023
3:00 PM - 4:15 PM ET
Rubenstein 414ab (ellwood Democracy Lab) + Virtual Via Zoom


Women's Rights After War on Paper: Legal Discourse and Limitations with Sinduja Raja, University of Denver Doctoral Student Photo

​A number of countries of focus in our Women’s Rights After War project, like Rwanda, are lauded (to different degrees) as international examples for their gender-progressive legislation instituted as an antidote to future conflict. However, are these laws as progressive as they claim to be? Instead of just looking at the substantive issues around the implementation of women’s rights reforms in war affected counties, through this talk, I question the reforms themselves. I question the framing of the laws and consider whether they are as progressive as claimed. I argue that through their very wording, they package a specific version of rights and the language used in the laws entrench existing inequalities, codify, and structure harm in a way that then becomes reinforced through their implementation.​

Sinduja Raja is a Doctoral Student in International Studies, with a focus on gender and security, from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She is also one of ten awardees of the Sie Fellowship and scholarship from the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy. Prior to this, she obtained a Master of Arts in Development Studies from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras where her Master’s thesis focused on the indeterminate status of the Indian Peacekeeping Forces deployed in the Sri Lankan Civil War. Her current research interests are in understanding the gendered relationship between state, society, and violence, particularly in South Asia.

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This event is co-sponsored by the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School and the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School.

Persons with disabilities who would like to request accommodations or have questions about physical access may contact Laura Botero at or 617-384-7575 in advance of the program or visit.​

Speakers and Presenters

​Sinduja Raja, doctoral student in International Studies, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver



Additional Organizers

​The Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School