November 22, 2011 Women's Rights and Opportunities Subject of 2011 Human Rights Day Celebration

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A group of distinguished speakers will discuss women’s rights and opportunities at a panel held in honor of the international Human Rights Day at the Library of Congress at 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9. The event will be held in the Mumford Room, located on the sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Building at 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the Law Library of Congress, the presentation is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.

The speakers include Sharon Hrynkow from the U.S. Department of State, Steven Shapiro from the American Civil Liberties Union and Graciela Rodriguez-Ferrand from the Law Library of the Library of Congress. The panel discussion will be introduced by Law Librarian of Congress Roberta Shaffer.

Hrynkow is senior adviser to the assistant secretary of state of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. She will speak on “Changing Mindsets to Empower Women in Science.” Shapiro, legal director of American Civil Liberties Union, will discuss “Women’s Rights in the U.S.: An Unfinished Agenda.” Rodriguez-Ferrand is a senior foreign law specialist whose focus is Spain and the Spanish-speaking jurisdictions of South America. She will discuss “Human Rights and Gender-Based Violence in Latin America.”

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was drafted between January 1947 and December 1948. It was adopted and proclaimed at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France, on Dec. 10, 1948. The UDHR aimed to provide a global framework for human rights and represented a significant change of direction from the events surrounding World War II and the colonial era. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first global enunciation of human rights, is considered the most translated document in modern history. It is available in more than 360 languages and new translations are still being added. Each year the Law Library celebrates Human Rights Day with a panel discussion focusing on a different aspect of human rights.

The Law Library was established in 1832 with the mission to make its resources available to members of Congress, the Supreme Court, other branches of the U.S. government and the global legal community, and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of law for future generations. With a collection of more than 5 million items in various formats, the Law Library contains the world’s largest collection of law books and other resources from all countries and provides online databases and guides to legal information worldwide through its website at

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at


PR 11-230
ISSN 0731-3527