American Vogue‘s May cover star is none other than Amal Clooney, international human rights lawyer, incoming Met Gala co-chair, and longtime defender of women. Sitting down with Vogue in Aberlash House, the Oxfordshire home she shares with her two children and her husband, George, she discussed topics from her family to her high-profile legal case defending Yazidis who have been targeted by ISIS. At one point, the conversation turned to the #MeToo movement. Clooney commended survivors of sexual harassment and assault for bettering the future for her baby daughter, Ella, who turns one in June.
“I think because of the brave women who have come forward to tell their stories, the future workplace will be safer for my daughter than it was for people of my generation,” Clooney told Vogue. “We’re in a situation where a predator feels less safe and a professional woman feels more safe, and that’s where we need to be.”
Clooney’s own work most recently includes defending Yazidi refugee women who have been sexually assaulted and abused by ISIS. During her conversation with Vogue, she introduced the interviewer to her client Nadia Murad, the 25-year-old Yazidi refugee and Nobel Peace Prize nominee who recently published her memoir.
“Not many people stepped up to help as she did,” Murad says of Clooney in the Vogue piece, through a translator. “I was surprised that someone like her — a successful lawyer with a strong record — would help us. We’re a very small community.”
Given Clooney’s professional track record, her decision to take on the Yazidi refugees’ cause may not be so surprising after all. As Vogue reported, in 2015, Clooney represented Khadija Ismayilova, an Azerbaijani investigative journalist. Ismayilova had been imprisoned on what Clooney argued were fabricated charges after Ismayilova published a story reporting corruption on the part of Azerbaijan’s president. And one of Clooney’s earliest assignments was petitioning the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of Yulia Tymoshenko, the Orange Revolution leader and former Ukrainian prime minister, who, according to Vogue, “alleged a politically motivated legal case against her by the Ukrainian government.” “As women we may not be a minority, but there is a bond that we all share,” Clooney said in a speech from a year and a half ago, according to Vogue. “It is not a bond of geography. Or religion. Or culture. It is a bond of shared experience — experiences that only women go through, and struggles that only women face.”
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