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Consortium Lectures

Consortium Lectures are edited transcripts and video recordings from the Consortium’s International Speaker Series. Our Speaker Series brings an international roster of frontline practitioners, reflective activists and engaged scholars. Their talks address the complex realities of women’s and men’s lives and livelihoods in conflict-affected areas, the challenges of trying to bring feminist commitments into security policy and humanitarian practice, and the ways in which gender analysis can and must transform resolutely “gender-blind” paradigms of conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

  • "Women, Peace and Security" Policy's Skewed Focus on Sexual Violence: The Failure of a "Successful" Feminist Intervention?

    • Sam Cook
      Lawyer and Women's Rights Activist
      Sam Cook is a lawyer from South Africa whose academic and activist work has long focused on policy responses to sexual and gender-based violence. She spent five years working on United Nations policy on women, peace and security as Director of the PeaceWomen Project of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She then worked on LGBT rights research and policy at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. She is now a PhD candidate at the University of California Santa Cruz; her dissertation explores how the practices of Security Council policymaking shape feminist policy interventions.
    April 24, 2014

    In recent years a plethora of UN Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security have been adopted, most of which focus on sexual violence in conflict. A view has emerged that this focus has undermined - and even been antithetical to - the intent of feminists who initially lobbied for Security Council resolution 1325.  Are there ways of thinking about how such "failures" or crises of feminist policy interventions emerge that go beyond claims of cooptation or "lack of political will"?  Is there something that can be learned from looking at the micro-practices of policymaking?

     

  • Why Civil Resistance Works and Women's Catalytic Role: The Case of Syria and Beyond

    • Maria Stephan
      Senior Policy Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace; Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council
    March 12, 2014

    Dr. Maria Stephan will discuss key findings from her co-authored book, Why Civil Resistance Works, while focusing on the unique and often seminal roles women play in nonviolent struggles.  She will share observations from her work with the Syrian opposition and facilitate a conversation about the role women can play in transforming violent conflicts – including the challenges they face, and the tactics and strategies they have used with varying results.

  • Rule of Law and Democracy in Russia

    • Sergey Golubok
      Human Rights Lawyer, Russia
      Sergey Golubok, is an attorney with Semenyako, Grib & Partners in St. Petersburg, Russia. In that capacity he has defended political activists and NGO's in high-profile human rights cases and argued extradition. He also served with the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France from 2008 to 2011. Dr. Golubok received his PhD in International and European Law from the St. Petersburg State University Law School.
    • Anton Burkov
      Human Rights Lawyer, Russia
      Anton Burkov, serves as the chair of the European and Comparative Law Department at the University of Humanities in Yekaterinburg, Russia. He has worked with the Urals Centre of Constitutional and International Human Rights Protection of the NGO Sutyajnik, and is currently serving as a legal representative in a number of cases before the European Court of Human Rights and national courts.  He is currently a Galina Starovoitova fellow at the Wilson Center for International Scholars', Kennan Institute in Washington, DC.
    March 10, 2014

    Two courageous and prominent Russian human rights lawyers, Sergey Golubok and Anton Burkov, will be discussing their complementary strategies for transforming human rights practice and law in Russia. Mr. Golubok and Mr. Burkov will be sharing their experiences as front line human rights advocates in the currently deteriorating situation in Russia.

     

     

  • Paternalism & Women's Political Participation in Sri Lanka

    • Malathi de Alwis
      Consultant Socio-Cultural Anthropologist, Colombo, Sri Lanka
    March 5, 2014

    Feminist activism with regard to women's political participation in Sri Lanka has primarily focused on quotas to increase their numerical strength within political institutions. This emphasis on “bodies” has however precluded a deeper discussion on the lack of “voice.”

  • Women's Economic Activities in Eastern DRC: Livelihoods Under Duress

    • Meredeth Turshen
      Professor in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University
    February 20, 2014

    Protracted conflict over three decades in eastern Congo has profoundly altered livelihoods—-not just the ways in which women and men earn their living, but also the social, community, legal, political, security, and economic environments in which people work. Congolese women cannot avoid putting themselves in dangerous situations if they are to earn money and feed their families, and their work in markets and mining exposes them to violence and sexual exploitation.

  • Women's Economic Empowerment in Conflict and Post-Conflict Societies

    • Joy Ada Onyesoh
      President of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Nigeria
    November 21, 2013

    Women continue to face significant barriers to full participation in peace processes during and after conflict. Although the post-conflict moment creates a window of opportunity for redressing structural economic inequalities, the opportunity is often squandered.  Only a multi-sectoral approach that closely links women's economic empowerment to political and social empowerment can translate national and international policy frameworks into real change for women in conflict and post-conflict societies.

  • In the Town Where Youth Ruled Their Fathers: Experiments in Generational Time in Postwar Sierra Leone

    • Rosalind Shaw
      Associate Professor of Anthropology, Tufts University
    September 24, 2013

    In Magbonkani, a northern Sierra Leonean town under occupation during the civil war, young men were conscripted by troops from the former AFRC junta, stationed there, and placed in positions of authority over their own elders. I examine one such town, in which the generational, gendered spaces of family and community became a terrain in which authority was recast, hierarchies reconfigured, and young people desynchronized from the flow of lineage time and succession. Not only armed conflict but also the reconciliation practices promoted by the international community became vehicles for experimentation in rethinking generational relationships and crafting new life courses.

     

  • Against All Odds: Naga Women’s Work to Transform Conflict and Build Peace through Seven Decades of Naga-India Conflict

    • Singmila Shimrah
      George Mason University
    April 10, 2013

    Singmila Shimrah’s talk is based on her experiences as a Naga woman in military-occupied Nagalim of Northeast India. It focuses on the powerful ways that generations of Naga women have found to engage in peacebuilding, conflict prevention and transformation, despite the challenges of the ongoing, seven decade-long Naga-India conflict.

  • Maternal Protest in Argentina: Transforming the Global Human Rights Landscape

    • Lisa Baldez
      Dartmouth College
    April 17, 2012

    When a handful of women first gathered to protest the disappearance of their children at the hands of the Argentine military government, they could not have predicted that their actions would change the global landscape of human rights. Why did the mobilization of mothers and grandmothers spur the formation of a powerful human rights movement in Argentina? Under what conditions will an appeal to motherhood generate a powerful political response?

  • Gendering the Arab Spring: Egyptian Women & (Counter) Revolutionary Processes

    • Nadje Al-Ali
      University of London
    March 28, 2012

    Women and gender contestations have been central to both revolutionary and counter-revolutionary processes in Egypt since the beginning of the protest movement in January 2011. However, Egyptian women have a long history of political participation in opposition parties, trade unions, social movements and feminist organizations. Nadje Al-Ali explores women's roles and involvement in the protest movements and political transition, and discusses the backlash against women's rights and the various ways gender and sexuality are being used by the old regime to reassert authority and control. She pays particular attention to the practices and policies of both the Egyptian military and Islamist political parties. 

  • Between Gender and Ethnicity: Women’s Rights and Identity Politics in the Andes

    • Jane Jaquette
      Occidental College
    December 1, 2011

    In the Andean region, indigenous groups have become an important political force, even participating in rewriting constitutions. On gender issues, indigenous demands raise important issues for feminists, as women’s rights are understood within a cultural context of gender complementarity rather than gender equality. Jane Jaquette discusses the content of these debates and explores their implications for women’s rights. 

  • Leapfrog Feminism: Learning about Human Rights Institution- Building from Local Actors

    • Julie Mertus
      American University
    November 8, 2011

    Drawing on 25 years of experience working with a host of governmental and nongovernmental human rights organizations, Julie Mertus explores the mistakes and successes in over two decades of human rights advocacy. 

  • Women Essential for Sustainable Peace

    • Anwarul K. Chowdhury
      United Nations
    September 28, 2011

    During his term as United Nations Security Council President, Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury played a critical role in the adoption of the groundbreaking UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. Throughout the years since, he has continued to campaign for the resolution's increased implementation in the United Nations and the global community.  In this talk Ambassador Chowdhury addresses the essential role of women in the international community’s efforts toward building sustainable peace.

     

  • Gentle Invasions: NGO Funding and the Manipulation of Civil Society within Transitional States

    • Denise Horn
      Northeastern University
    February 19, 2008

    Denise Horn discusses the development of a new international regime in which hegemonic states have used funding for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to manipulate the development of civil society in transitional states. Through an examination of US funding strategies for women's NGOs within a sample of transitional states (Estonia, Moldova, and Thailand), Horn assesses the power of such strategies and the long-term effects they have had on the development of democratic norms within these states and regions.

  • One Mandate, Many Policies: Lessons on Gender Mainstreaming in the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Programme, and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations

    • Ramina Johal
      Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children
    March 5, 2007

    The UN is mandated to apply gender mainstreaming in its work. In late 2006, the UN Secretary-General released two reports calling for greater synergy on such efforts. One report, "Delivering as One" places mainstreaming in the context of broader UN reforms; the other "Report on Progress of Implementing Resolution 1325" considers the peace and security agenda. In this talk Ramina Johal compares the ways that gender mainstreaming is operationalised in the UN World Food Programme, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, and explores ways to enhance their synergy from the context of refugee and displaced populations.

  • Gendering the War in Iraq

    • Laura Sjoberg
      Duke University
    February 13, 2007

    How have men and women been represented in Iraqi war discourses?  Laura Sjoberg examines the discourses used by national leaders, the media, and individual soldiers. Identifying the appearance of gendered stereotypes of men and women, she interrogates the role of these stereotypes in public understandings of the war.

  • Working to Promote 1325 in Israel: Opportunities and Challenges Facing Activist Women and Isha L’Isha

    • Paula Mills
      Haifa Feminist Center
    November 29, 2006

    Paula Mills explores the strategies used by activist women from the Isha L'Isha Haifa Feminist Center in Israel to create an environment for the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. UNSCR 1325, which was passed in October 2000, specifically addressed the impact of war on women and women's contributions to conflict resolution and sustainable peace. Activists have faced complex challenges when working to promote changes in the government and its policies. Awareness-raising work on 1325 has also had an impact upon the delicate fabric of cooperation between feminist activists, privileged Jewish women, marginalized Palestinian women, and citizens of Israel.

  • Women and Political Participation in Post-Saddam Iraq: A Test Case for Democratic Transition?

    • Nicola Pratt
      University of East Anglia
    November 20, 2006

    Policymakers and practitioners are often keen to ensure women’s political participation in post-conflict transition processes. In recognition that women are differentially placed within social and political systems, policymakers are more and more adopting specially-designed measures to ensure women’s participation. In the case of Iraq, women’s political participation has been held up as one of the most important symbols of the transition from authoritarianism to democracy. In this talk Nicola Pratt examines and evaluates the different activities and strategies pursued by both internal and external actors to increase women’s political participation in post-Saddam Iraq.

  • ‘We Have to Do All the Pushing’: UN Gender Adviser Strategies for Implementing Gender Mainstreaming Policy in Peacekeeping Missions

    • Colleen Keaney-Mischel
      Northeastern University
    April 24, 2006

    Drawing on in-depth interviews with full-time UN gender advisers responsible for implementing UN gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping missions, Colleen Keaney-Mischel, outlines the various approaches the advisers take to their task and explores how they interpret their role within the missions. The discussion focuses on how advisers negotiate their relative lack of power in this setting and the potential for success that their actions have on the gender mainstreaming mandate.

  • Gender and Accountability: Challenges for Reform in Developing States

    • Anne-Marie Goetz
      UNIFEM
    April 10, 2006

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