As promised, we have prepared a special program for this coming Thursday, March 26th, at 7pm, commemorating International Women's Month. For this evening, we will be joined by a team of presenters from Central European University -- Maria Lis Baiocchi (Argentina), Robin Chaurasiya (USA), and Rachel Horst (USA) -- to give us a multi-faceted international perspective on some pressing problems affecting women around the world.
Women's Rights Are Human Rights:
International Perspectives on Domestic Violence, Criminalization of Abortion, and Human Trafficking
March has come to be recognized globally as International Women's Month — in acknowledgment of women's worldwide struggles for political and economic rights. It is a month to bring about awareness in societies around the world of the gender-based disparities that are still present and to reflect on the struggles women must still fight in order for the promise that "women's rights are human rights" to be fulfilled. This Ráday Salon will invite participants to learn about and reflect on some of the major types of discrimination women still face, including domestic violence, criminalization of abortion, and human trafficking — using the cases of the USA, Argentina, and India as specific examples.
Rachel Horst will focus on domestic violence as a problem in the United States (as it is globally), with a special focus on the state of Pennsylvania. The presentation will describe the institutions in place and the legal options for women who are victims of domestic violence as well as the community efforts to combat it and the public/private sphere implications of the problem. She will also address how this problem cuts across societal lines — which include but are not limited to the divisions present between urban and rural areas, low income and high income regions, as well as immigrant populations, white communities, and communities of color.
María Lis Baiocchi will address the criminalization of abortion in Argentina and its impact on the lives of women. The presentation will give a brief overview of the legislation in place as far as abortion is concerned and provide a background of the devastating consequences of it. It will provide a historical overview of how, over the course of the past two decades, the issue of abortion went from being completely absent from public debate to being located at the very center of it as primarily an issue of public health. The presentation will consider sociological explanations for the impossibility of pro-choice social actors to frame the issue as a matter of women's human rights and full citizenship rather than of public health, and the detriments and benefits of such framing as far as the advancement of the right to legal, safe, and free abortion is concerned.
Robin Chaurasiya will provide an introduction to the global scale of human trafficking, with an emphasis on sexual trafficking of women. The presentation will then focus on trafficking in India and cover Hindu practices that enable trafficking within the country when girls are designated as Devadasis, Joginis, and Mathammas. The presentation will include a short audio slideshow covering the Devadasi system, as well as several examples from Robin's work in Mumbai at an NGO. She will conclude with a discussion and critique of anti-trafficking NGOs in India, her current research topic at CEU.
The presentations will be followed by an open discussion in which we especially encourage our guests to provide perspectives on womens' issues in their own countries and regions. We are sure it will be a thought-provoking and enlightening evening, and we look forward to seeing you there.