Women, Peace and Security Conference
April 23-25, 2020
Binghamton University, Binghamton, N.Y.
We take this as an opportunity for feminist learning and reflections, which enables us to create other platforms for engagement, knowledge transfer and exchange. As we look forward to convening virtually, we are guided by the following questions: How to make this unexpected turn into a space for feminist reflection, learning, action. What does this virus/response system teach us about connectedness and division in this both under- and over-globalized world? How does it challenge and stretch our theories and methods of "doing" global feminism? How does not meeting enable/require us to re-think local and global activism? We look forward to seeing you in April!
2019–2020 marks a series of significant anniversaries for international women’s human rights advocacy. From their earliest work after the forming of the Commission on the Status of Women in 1946 to the breakthrough Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1980, the Beijing Platform for Action (1995) and the adoption by the Security Council of Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (2000), feminists have used the United Nations to affirm the central role and right of women to participate in peace and post-conflict rebuilding, broadly conceived, and to address the particular forms of physical and legal vulnerabilities faced by women and girls worldwide. In recognition of the 40th anniversary of CEDAW, the 25th anniversary of Beijing, and the 20th anniversary of Resolution 1325, this international conference of scholars and activists will evaluate the ways in which we understand and can respond to gendered forms of vulnerability and precarity today.
More specifically, this conference will address the unequal distribution of the rights of citizenship (women’s differential rights to civil, political, social, economic and cultural citizenship), gendered vulnerability and cultural belonging, and particular ways state legal systems make women as a category of persons vulnerable to harm (whether in the context of international or intranational conflict, gun violence, forced economic migration and displacement or environmental catastrophe).
UN Resolution 1325 focused on the vulnerabilities of women in peace-building and post-conflict settings; however, its broader mandate was to integrate gendered perspectives (with a focus on women and girls) into United Nations’ human rights and development initiatives. Designed as a dialogue and working group among participants from a wide range of fields and experiences, our conference takes up this broader topic by examining:
- the unequal and gendered distribution of the rights of citizenship (women’s rights as civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights) (e.g., Bunch, Grewal);
- particular ways international and domestic law make women as a category of persons vulnerable to harm (whether in the context of international or intranational conflict, gun violence, forced economic migration and displacement, national securitization initiatives, ecological degradation, etc.) (e.g., Fineman, Grear, Butler);
- how legal and policy failures to deliver security to women in the Global North (i.e., donor countries) impact on Rule of Law discussions/funding/delivery to women in countries without governments or with failing governments that receive a lot of donor funding;
- approaches to women, peace and security that not only understand the category of women as an inherently dynamic and intersectional one, and that also take as a starting point the need to combine both scholarly and activist methodologies (e.g., Otto, Peroni, Chinkin);
- how feminist anti-racist approaches to gendered violence interface with legal institutions;
- revisiting the colonial histories of international law and their impact on contemporary legal frameworks; decolonizing international law from feminist perspectives;
- narratives from grassroot activists and organisations working in the area of women, peace and security (including creative engagement with communities);
- the role of cultural narratives in reimagining the intersection of women, peace and security; and
- women’s participation in political/public life on issues concerning peace and security at the community, local, national, regional and international levels (as a way to invite discussion on women not only as victims but also as actors in the settings we list above).
- Laila Alodaat, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
- Noel Altaha, White Mountain Apache Tribe (Ził Łigai Sian N'dee), Center for Court Innovation
- Daphne Frias, UN Major Group for Youth and Children
- Shireen Hassim, Carleton University
- Gina Heathcote, School of Oriental and African Studies
- Ellyn Kaschak, Emerita, San Jose State University and the University of Peace, Costa Rica
- Lisa Levenstein, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
- Laura Murphy, Sheffield Hallam University
- Madeleine Rees, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
- Rhoda Reddock, University of the West Indies and Committee on the Elmination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
The conference will also feature the premier of the film ACTIVIZED (36 min., USA).
One session of the conference will also be devoted to writing for the broader public by engaging news media, writing op-ed pieces, etc.
Feminist Legal Judgments Writing Project
Led Dr. Lourdes Peroni, Sheffield Hallam University, and Dr. Sara De Vido, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
Inspired by feminist and other rewriting projects, the workshop encourages participants to go beyond critique and to engage in the hands-on exercise of (re)writing selected human rights rulings, general recommendations and resolutions on women, peace and security. As in similar rewriting projects, the idea is that authors first present a critique of the selected judgment, and then redraft it partly or wholly based on feminist analysis and other interdisciplinary insights. We would like to cultivate a creative writing space to discuss and share redrafts by authors from different fields, including law, literature, peace studies, history, and philosophy. We encourage scholarly, activist, and creative writing. An optional pre-conference reading group will meet virtually in the weeks leading up to the conference to read and discuss other feminist rewritings of legal judgments for examples and inspiration.
- Theatre-Based Research Design for Vulnerable Contexts and Marginalised Communities
– POSTPONED until spring 2021
Led by Dr. Nena Mocnik, Université de Cergy-Pontoise
Participants will be introduced to the philosophy and practice of theatre-based methodological approach, applied to social science research in vulnerable contexts (post-war, natural disasters, etc.) and marginalized communities (survivors of political violence, refugees, victims of on-going political oppressions etc.). We will first examine the ethical concerns of work in such context and question the (unbalanced) role of the researcher and research participants. In the second part of the workshop, students will learn hands-on some of the techniques and approaches from applied drama and community theatre. At the end we will draw some directions into how to collect, analyze and disseminate data, gathered through primarily non-verbal research principles.
This conference is organized by the Human Rights Institute (Binghamton University), Ellyn Uram Kaschak Institute for Social Justice for Women and Girls (Binghamton University), Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice (Sheffield Hallam University), and Vanessa Farr, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Academic Network.
Co-sponsors include: Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI); Kim Evanoski; Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (Binghamton University); the Harpur Dean's Office; the Citizenship, Rights, and Cultural Belonging Transdisciplinary Area of Excellence; Department of History (Binghamton University); Department of Theatre (Binghamton University); Convocation Committee (BU); Middle East and North Africa Program (Binghamton University).