An accomplished, international human rights lawyer delivered a potent call for action at the United Nations on Thursday, urging the organization to back an investigation into crimes committed by the Islamic State in Iraq.
“I am speaking to you, the Iraqi government, and to you, U.N. member states, when I ask: Why? Why has nothing been done?” Amal Clooney, the British-Lebanese barrister who represents victims of Islamic State rapes and kidnappings, said.
She implored Iraq and the world’s nations, using another name for the Islamic State: “Don’t let ISIS get away with genocide.”
It was a day after International Women’s Day, and a renowned female lawyer was giving a powerful speech addressing one of the world’s most pressing humanitarian threats.
But a number of headlines seemed to focus elsewhere: her baby bump. And her daffodil-yellow dress and matching coat. Oh, and in case anyone forgot, she’s married to Hollywood movie star George Clooney.
The tabloid Mirror published the headline, “Amal Clooney is a vision in yellow as she shows off hint of baby bump in chic dress.” Entertainment Tonight went with, “Amal Clooney Stuns in Yellow While Delivering Passionate Speech at the United Nations.”
The day before the speech, Motto, Time Inc.’s website aimed at younger women, displayed the headline “Amal Clooney Shows Off Her Baby Bump at the United Nations,” publishing an article written by People magazine, which began:
Amal Clooney was all business on International Women’s Day. The mom-to-be (who also happens to be married to George Clooney) stepped out outside the United Nations headquarters in New York City on Wednesday, showing off her baby bump in a dark gray pencil skirt and matching cropped blazer.
Then there was E! News: “Amal Clooney Shows Baby Bump in What Could be the Ultimate International Women’s Day Poster.”
And how about “Amal Clooney Puts Her Growing Baby Bump on Display In Chic Yellow Dress for U.N. Speech” in Hollywood Life.
Some of the baby-bump hoopla made it seem as though the lawyer was gallivanting on a beach in a bathing suit, “showing off” her pregnant belly, or posing for a photographer in a Beyoncé-esque, flower-adorned pregnancy announcement, resting her hand on her bare stomach.
Those watching her speech would have hardly noticed her barely visible bump, unless, of course, they were specifically looking for it. Most were more focused on her impassioned address, which she attended with her client, Nadia Murad, a young Yazidi woman who was enslaved and raped by Islamic State militants.