“‘Culture’, Women, Violence: rejecting ‘cultural’ justifications for violence against women

The International Forum on “‘Culture’, Women, Violence: rejecting ‘cultural’ justifications for violence against women” took place on 26 November 2007 (Monday) at santralistanbul. The event commemorated the International Day for the Elimination of All Forms of Violence Against Women (designated as 25 November by the United Nations).

Under the banner title of ‘No Excuses for Violence Against Women’, the Forum was co-organised by The Research Programme Consortium on Women’s Empowerment in Muslim Contexts (WEMC), Southeast Asia Research Centre, City University of Hong Kong, The European Institute, Centre for Migration Research, and the NGO Training and Research Unit, Istanbul Bilgi University. This forum was being supported by the Department for International Development (DFID), the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), and Mama Cash Foundation.
Speakers include: Dr. Yakın Ertürk, (UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women), Farida Shaheed and Vivienne Wee (WEMC), Shareen Gokal (AWID), Carol Hagemann-White (University of Osnabrück, Germany), Frances Kissling (USA), and Fatmagül Berktay (University of Istanbul).

Date: 26 November 2007 Place: santralistanbul İstanbul Bilgi University, Room
For further information: Grup 7: Çiğdem Güngör: 0212 292 13 13

rejecting ‘cultural’ justifications for violence against women
An International Forum

Panel 1

14.00 – 14.05 Welcome address
Ayhan Kaya, Director, The European Institute, İstanbul Bilgi University

14.05 – 14.15 Introductory remarks by Co-Chairs
Vivienne Wee, Director, WEMC and Associate Director of Southeastasia Reseach Centre, City University, Hong Kong;

Nurhan Yentürk, Director, NGO Training and Research Center, İstanbul Bilgi University

14.15 –14.30 Farida Shaheed, Deputy Director, WEMC and Director, Shirkat Gah Pakistan
Violence against women legitimized by arguments of ‘culture’

14.30 – 14.45 Fatmagül Berktay, University of Istanbul
Why do secular states condone ‘cultural’ justifications of violence?

14.45– 15.00 Frances Kissling, Founding member, “Catholics for Free Choice”
The American Bible Belt: Not just a geographical location

15.00 – 15.50 Questions and Discussion

15.50 – 16.20 Tea break

Panel 2 (with live video conference to UNIFEM, New York)

16.20 –16.30 Introductory remarks by Co-Chairs
Farida Shaheed (WEMC) and
Pınar Uyan Semerci (İstanbul Bilgi University)

16.30 –16.45 Sanishka Maduliar, Young Feminist Activism program Coordinator
Views and voices of women's rights advocates on religious
fundamentalisms: presentation of preliminary research findings
16.45 –17.00 Carol Hagemann-White , Professor on Gender Studies, University of Osnabrück, Germany
European strategies on gender violence: Are they adequate to address honour-based crimes and cultural justifications for violence against women?

17.00–17.15 Vivienne Wee, (WEMC)
Strategies for mobilising state, society and the international community to reject ‘cultural’ justifications for violence against women

17.15–18.15 Questions and Discussion

18.15 – 18.30 Concluding Remarks
Yakın Ertürk, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women Intersections between culture and violence against women: recommendations for policies and actions

18:30- Closing of the Day