In the academic year 2020/21, the convenors PD Dr. Alexandra Scheele, Prof. Dr. Julia Roth and Prof. Dr. Heidemarie Winkel (all from Bielefeld University) together with more than 20 fellows from different disciplinary backgrounds analyzed the specific mechanisms and patterns of contestations over women’s and gender rights in diverse contexts across the globe. This included a theoretical reconsideration of the causes and structures of gender inequality, such as global capitalism, neoliberalism, nationalisms, authoritarian states or fundamentalist religions, and the reconceptualization of notions of equality in selected contexts and empirically-based reconfiguration of struggles for women’s and gender rights. That way, the inherent contentious nature of equality rights and the development of equality principles as a globally contested terrain came into view – taking the division of labor, citizenship and religion as empirical arenas.
In the closing conference, the group wants to take a closer look at the central patterns and common – unifying – elements in the conflicts over gender rights, in order to better understand the mechanisms of contestation. Most notably, to address the ambivalences, contradictions and tensions between what has been achieved in the struggles for equality on the one hand and the current backlashes and attacks on the other hand. We start from the assumption that women’s and gender rights are claimed globally – despite or even because of women*’s vulnerability. Afghan women’s rights activists, for example, have demonstrated this in an impressive way in recent days. We presume that the articulation of the right to equality is a central prerequisite of the present contestations in the various local conflicts and contexts.
The event will host as key speakers:
Prof. Shirin Rai (University of Warwick). She is an interdisciplinary scholar who has written extensively on issues of gender, governance and development and politics and performance.
Prof. Nadje Al-Ali (Brown University). She studies feminist activism and gendered mobilization, with a focus on Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and the Kurdish political movement.
The event will be held in English, in a hybrid format. Please register at email@example.com and indicate whether you would like to attend in person (spaces are limited and only available under the 2G plus rules – vaccinated or recovered and with a negative test/booster -) or online via Zoom. For more details about the event, please visit: https://www.uni-bielefeld.de/(en)/ZiF/FG/2020Gender/Events/03-10-ClosingConference.html