Prof. Marilou McPhedran

Marilou McPhedran


Marilou McPhedran is a human rights lawyer who served as the Principal (dean) of Global College in its founding years from 2008-2012 and currently teaches human rights at Global College. In 1997 Marilou founded the International Women's Rights Project (IWRP) when she was at York University, which is now based at the University of Victoria Centre for Global Studies and she currently directs the Institute for International Women’s Rights and teaches human rights courses at Global College.  

As a human rights lawyer she has specialized in developing curriculum and practice "Lived Rights" and "Evidence-based Advocacy" in the application of human rights law and policy in Canada and internationally, emphasizing international, inter-disciplinary, and inter-generational dialogue.  Following her term as Global College principal, she was seconded by UWinnipeg President Lloyd Axworthy as the Human Rights Fellow on staff in the UNFPA-Geneva Office. She was the only Canadian to be invited by the High Commissioner for Human Rights to present in the 23rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council on the panel entitled Setting Priorities for the Future: Strengthening the Work of the Human Rights Council and other Inter-governmental Bodies and Processes in the area of violence against women (June 5, 2013, Geneva).

“My focus is on the urgent need for integration of human security and human rights in active implementation of women’s human rights,” said McPhedran, when interviewed. “Also needed is a much greater appreciative inclusion of civil society actors — such as universities, NGOs and corporate leaders — in UN strategies to counter the global pandemic of violence against women and girls, with Canada as no exception.”

Professor McPhedran has designed and teaches several innovative Global College courses. Every August, she teaches in the intensive pilot course (HR-1600/2600) for the education program of the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights “Adventures in Global Citizenship” - which she designed in collaboration with the Museum and Rotary World Peace Partners.

Professor McPhedran is currently on leave to the Canadian Senate until 2019.