The Conable Conference in International Studies and Forced Marriage Symposium

Co-Sponsored by the Harriet Tubman Institute, the Rochester Institute of Technology hosts the Conable Conference in International Studies and Forced Marriage Symposium

April 4-6, 2013
Rochester, New York

Over the past several decades, tremendous strides have been made toward ending gender-based violence and advancing a spectrum of goals broadly envisioned as promoting gender equality throughout the globe and particularly in developing countries as communities have harnessed aspects of globalization to enhance communications, technology, collaboration, travel, and capacity-building. Gender-based violence (GBV) has been contested locally, regionally, and globally. Grassroots activists have transformed local and national attitudes by provoking rigorous dialogue. International conventions and treaties provide the promise of increased protections for women, children, sexual and gender identity minorities, and individuals with disabilities. And as international protocols infiltrate domestic law, global protections are providing new opportunities for women, men, and children seeking to safeguard their bodies and seek justice for crimes perpetrated.

At the same time, however, significant obstacles impede accountability and attitudinal change. In many nations, impunity from prosecution emboldens government agents, quasi-government militias, and private individuals. Ignorance of the laws or a cultural reluctance to seek redress via the law impedes progress in many nations. Some states stridently resist globalized pressures to domesticate international treaties and conventions, citing cultural, religious, and social arguments against global gender-based ideologies. And grassroots gender violence campaigners are increasingly wary of the cultural imperialism accompanying many ideological orientations, ranging from Marxist feminism and sexual liberation to neo-liberal dogma and academic chauvinism.

This conference will examine the critical crossroads at which local and global gender-based violence campaigners and justice advocates find themselves today. It will explore the conflicts, commonalities, and resolutions in approaches to GBV among feminists and other philosophical and ideological frameworks in the global south and global north. Of key note is issues surrounding how increasing transnational and global activities, such as trade liberalization and other economic developments are creating new kinds of violence, and/or encouraging and remedying violence.

From York University, Annie Bunting will present on “Enslavement for the purposes of Forced Marriage in War – Strategies for Reparations”, and, Emily Rosser will discuss “Gender violence, subjectivity and uneasy privilege: writing human rights workers back into Guatemala’s CEH and REMHI truth and memory processes.”

For additional information, please visit the Conable Conference/Forced Marriage Symposium site here.

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