Law School to Award Fellowship for Women’s Land and Property Rights


Public Affairs, 212-854-2650
New York, February 22, 2010—The Global Center for Women’s Land Rights, part of the Rural Development Institute, will award a postgraduate fellowship to a Columbia Law School graduate to work on issues surrounding women’s land and property rights in developing countries.
The two-year fellowship, based at RDI’s office in Seattle, will enable a recent Law School graduate to gain the expertise needed to work with policymakers and non-governmental organizations to advocate for and secure land rights for women and their families.
“Recent Law School graduates will be pioneers in a vitally important new field of women’s land and property rights,” said Ellen Chapnick, Dean for Social Justice Initiatives, whose office will administer the fellowship selection process.
The Global Center is a new initiative for RDI, which has partnered with governments in more than 45 countries to secure land rights for the world’s poorest people. In many of those countries, women are responsible for most agricultural production, but are often unable to own land.
With secure land rights, women are better able to feed and educate their children, are less likely to spread HIV/AIDS, gain more access to credit, and experience less domestic violence, according to a statement from RDI.
“Columbia has long been a leader in scholarship about international economic justice and substantive institutional reform,” Chapnick said. “I’m excited that the fellows will be able to use what they learned here.”
Students who will receive a Columbia Law School LL. M or J.D. degree this year or in 2008 or 2009 are eligible to apply. Click here to download an application. The deadline to apply is March 12.
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins its traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, criminal, national security, and environmental law.