Cowen, Ruth

Name: Ruth Cowen
Institution: The Ralph Bunch Institute for International Relations
The City University of New York
Address: 320 Central Park West
New York, New York 10025
Phone: 212 787 0181

Current Position

Senior Research Fellow, The Ralph Bunch Institute for International Relations

The Graduate Center, The City University of New York 2009 The focus of my research and writing is the gender transformation of South Africa’s judiciary and the judiciary’s engagement in South Africa’s transition to a human rights-based constitutional democracy.

Related Publications, Programs, Presentations

Creator and Executive Producer, *Courting Justice, *a documentary featuring women judges serving on the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court of Appeal and provincial High Courts of South Africa. 10-min video on

“Women’s Representation on the Courts in the Republic of South Africa,” *University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class*, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2006 based on presentation at University of Maryland School of Law conference “The Global Advancement of Women: Barriers and Best Practices.”

“The Challenges of Public Interest Litigation,” to be published in *Comparative Constitutionalism and Rights: Global Perspectives, *Penelope Andrews and Susan Bazilli, eds. (Cambridge Univ. Press)

based on presentation at University KwaZulu Natal, Durban, South Africa , December 10-13, 2005.

“The women’s legal centre during its first five years,” *Advancing Women’s Rights*, Christina Murray and Michelle O’Sullivan, eds., *Acta Juridica*, Journal of the University of Cape Town Law School, December 2005.

“Equal Rights for Women through Litigation: An Examination of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, 1971-1976,” *Columbia** Human Rights Law Review*, Fall, 1976.

“The Impact of South Africa’s Constitutional Court on Gender Equity,” Congressional Breakfast,* April 13,2005 In commemoration of South Africa’s 10^th anniversary as a constitutional democracy, I initiated and designed the program, managed its implementation through to its successful conclusion , and prepared and distributed a report of the event. U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and South Africa’s Ambassador to the United States, Barbara Masekela, introduced the speakers: South Africa’s Constitutional Court Justices Yvonne Mokgoro and Kate O’Regan.

“South Africa’s Constitutional Mandate for Judicial Transformation by Gender ,” Columbia University, School of International Public Administration, December 6, 2006.

“Women’s Representation on South Africa’s Courts,” New York County Lawyers Association, September 13, 2006.

“South Africa’s Record in Gender Transformation of the Judiciary, Keynote address, 2^nd Annual General Meeting, South Africa Affiliate , International Association of Women Judges, August 5, 2006.

“Transformation of the Judiciary by Gender in South Africa,” American University, Women & Politics Institute Conference, “Women & Political Leadership,” April 8, 2006.

“Women Judges in South Africa,” New York County Lawyers Association and Gender Fairness Committee of the [New York] Supreme Court, March 15, 2006.

“Women and the Law,” American University, Women & Politics Institute, November 1, 2005.

“Public Interest Litigation by the Women’s Legal Centre of South Africa,” American University, Women & Politics Institute, October 31,2005.

“The Case in Support of Women Judges,” University of Saskatchewan College of Law, September 24, 2005.

Current Board Membership

*Pro Mujer, Founding President *President, Board of Directors 1991-2000Member, Executive and Governance Committees 2000-**

Pro Mujer is an award-winning social enterprise integrating micro-lending,, training, health education and health services. It operates in five Latin American countries

Global Partnership for Afghanistan (GPFA) 2002 GPFA, founded in 2002 assists Afghans to revive croplands, orchards and vineyards.

Council of Women World Leaders 2008 Members are women who currently are or who have been heads of state.


Ph.D New York University, Political Science

M.A. University of Illinois, Labor-Management Relations

B.S. Cornell University, Industrial and Labor Relations

Certificate Harvard University, Management Development Program for College and University Administrators