ICRAC’s world leading female experts

Following on from the recent CCW informal meeting of experts at the UN in Geneva there has been considerable outcry about the total absence of women being invited to participate as experts.

Nobel Peace Laureat Jody Williams led the charge at the meeting by pointing out the large number of relevant female experts that she knows. The Norwegian Government also spoke out about gender discrimination in its intervention (but did not provide women experts). Excluding female experts from such events runs counter to the UN security council’s own resolution 1325.

Subsequently there have been excellent blog posts by a number of those who attended the CCW last week. These include blogs from ICRAC member Mathew Bolton, ICRAC independent legal advisor Sarah Knuckey, Charli Carpenter, and the NGO Article 36

The “excuse” given for exclusion of women was that in preparing for the experts’ meeting, CCW states parties forwarded names of proposed experts. The organizers informed campaign members that no suitable women experts were proposed to fill any of the presenter slots.

ICRAC does not agree that there were no suitable women experts. Our female members are among the world’s leading experts on the topic of autonomous weapons systems and cover a range of disciplines.

ICRAC is opposed to discrimination or exclusion in any form and including on the basis of gender. It may or may not be deliberate. It is always possible that those writing invitations have not noticed the number of suitable women there are.

So no further excuses. Here is our list of ICRAC expert women.

Denise Garcia is the Sadeleer Research Faculty and Professor of international relations in the department of Political Science and the International Affairs Program at Northeastern University, Boston MA and has many years of experience in disarmament and security issues dating back to working for the ICRC in 1991. As well as presenting many papers and writing journal articles, she has written two books: Disarmament Diplomacy and Human Security –Regimes, Norms, and Moral Progress in International Relations (2012) and Small Arms and Security – New Emerging International Norms (2009). She is a member of the Academic Council of the United Nations and the Arms Control Association.

Sarah Knuckey LLB, LLM is an independent legal advisor for ICRAC. She is an international lawyer and professor at NYU School of Law, and has worked as an advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions during the mandate’s reporting to the UN on autonomous weapons. She regularly speaks on law and autonomous weapons issues, and writes about the issue for the national security blog Just Security.

Samantha Rennie is an independent consultant with experience of collaborative international civil society campaigns. She has over 20 years’ experience of working with civil society in the UK and West Africa, including field experience of post-conflict reconstruction, and held senior roles with the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, Handicap International and Landmine Action (now Action on Armed Violence). She’s been involved in planning, delivering and/or evaluating strategies to influence policy on landmines, cluster munitions, disability, refugee and migrant rights.

Heather Roff PhD is Visiting Associate Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and her research interests pertain to international ethics and the ethics of the Responsibility emerging to Protect doctrine, as well as issues of lethal autonomous weapons, unmanned vehicles and military technologies. She continues to affiliate as a research fellow at the Eisenhower Center for Space and Defense Studies at the United States Air Force Academy and has published widely on security issues.

Lucy Suchman PhD is Professor of Anthropology of Science and Technology in the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University, and Co-Director of Lancaster’s Centre for Science Studies. She has written for both social and information sciences audiences, and is the author of Human-Machine Reconfigurations (2007) and Plans and Situated Actions: the problem of human-machine communication (1984) and in 2002 she received the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Sciences, and in 2010 the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Research Award.

Jutta Weber PhD is a philosopher of technology, STS scholar and professor for media studies at the University of Paderborn (Germany). Her research focusses on the sociotechnical and cultural dimensions of technosciences – especially of Artificial Intelligence, computer science and robotics. She started to work on drones in 2006 when she initiated and co-authored a case study on military robots and especially drones as part of an EU project on ethics and robotics (for more see www.juttaweber.eu).


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