Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
On November 30, 2006, Brandeis’s second day of recognition of 16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women, WSRC Director Shulamit Reinharz and Scholars/GaIDI members Louise Lopman, Maria Carter and Rajashree Ghosh presented INVISIBLE MEXICANAS.
The three-hour and well-attended event at the WSRC included a film, music, poetry reading and discussion about the experiences of thousands of women who work in the assembly-for-export maquiladoras (sweatshops) in the NAFTA-generated industrial free trade zones in Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez, México.
The new documentary film, ”Maquilapolis,” by Vicky Funari and Sergio De La Torre, portrayed, from the women workers’ perspective (the people with the cameras), their daily struggle to survive and how they move beyond that struggle and organize for change in the maquiladora owned by Panasonic.
During the refreshment break the audience listened to music (in Spanish) by Los Tigres Del Norte, inspired by the “women of Juarez.”
Marjorie Agosín, poet, activist and Wellesley College Professor, read excerpts from her recently published book of poetry, Secrets in the Sand: The Young Women of Juárez, which brings attention to the hundreds of women of Ciudad Juárez, most of whom are indigenous and who work in the maquiladoras and have been murdered and disappeared, with impunity, in the past decade.
The discussion which followed included the event organizers, the audience, and special guests from Amnesty International and National Latino Independent Producers.This event exemplified the WSRC motto, “Where Research, Art, and Activism Converge,” and it portrayed Mexican women at the other end of the spectrum compared to the Mexican women in the photography exhibit of Daniela Rossell’s “Ricas y Famosas,” that was in the WSRC gallery at that time.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Inspired by Amnesty International's toolkit, palm impressions were organized at the event, symbolizing solidarity with those working against gender violence
At the Women’s Studies Research Center (WSRC), GaIDI Scholars hosted a synergy event inaugurating the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence at
Shulamit Reinharz, Director, WSRC Director addressed the huge gathering of students, faculty and Scholars and welcomed participants to the Center. Dr. Reinharz expressed serious concern about gender violence that it is all-pervasive and is a violation of basic human rights.
Kelley Ready, Associate Director of Academics Sustainable International Development (SID) Program at the
Members of GWG presented a Poster Session, and Open Discussion event. Roberta Salper, WSRC, Visiting Scholar moderated the session. The presentations offered glimpses of countries around the world and their dealing with violence against women. Presentations were made by the following SID students:
Angélique K. Rwiyereka (MSc International Health and Policy and Management) focused on
Diah Irawaty (MA, SID) spoke on domestic workers and their plight in
Nadia Behboodi (MA, SID) presented her slides on the severe acts of violence against women in Afghanistan;
Muqaddisa Mehreen (MA, SID), presented her slides on women from farms to convention halls with haunting music from Pakistan;
Stephen Lee (MA, SID) presented his slides and film clip on Indonesia and touched on aspects of gender, vulnerability and environment in Indonesia;
Shamila Daluwatte presented her slides on labor rights in Sri Lanka and has been involved with women's rights and activism and spoke about her prior work experience with the International labor Organization
Two local community groups viz., Refuge Education, Advocacy and Change or REACH (http://www.reachma.org) and Kol Isha (http://www.jfcsboston.org) who work in the area of domestic violence participated in the event. Gladys Maida (REACH) and Elana Premack Sandler (Kol Isha) represented their respective organizations. Elana spoke on the “Clothes Line Project.” Gladys introduced to the gathering Detective David Mc Gann from the Waltham Police Department to speak on how law enforcement deals with domestic violence. A subsequent session of discussions and questions ensued.
For pictures taken by Rajashree Ghosh and Sanjeeta Negi, MA/ SID, please visit : http://www.flickr.com/photos/42433998@N00/sets/72157594418824926/
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Last month, Brenda gave a brief description of gender research initiated with colleagues in West Bengal, India, on their programs for self-reliant development. She first became involved in 1998 as the United Nations Development Programme representative providing support to Srihaswani, or “Creative manual skills for self-reliant development,” in West Bengal, India. This is the brainchild of development thinkers and activists Krishno and Chandana Dey and Shantum Seth.
This year the research of Brenda and Chandana with the latter’s Project Team focused on non-formal education. Brenda described some of the changes she had observed since she first visited the area.
A spate of progressive legislation has been enacted in
According to Chandana Dey, one of the most challenging issues that the villagers have been addressing with the Project Team is finding ways of getting children to attend school and other government-run programs such as the “Anganwadi” where mothers and children under six are given nutrition supplements. The women both forfeit work and face the dangers of travel with youngsters during the monsoon season. Hence the Team initiated pre-school activities right in the least advantaged neighborhoods. This approach tallies with UNESCO’s emphasis on the importance of early childhood education in its 2007 report monitoring global progress towards ‘Education for All.’
And once ‘hidden’ women were both visible and vocal, reflected in the snap above in a village outside of Shantiniketan, articulating their views on a range of development issues while attending an interactive gathering. Some of the women grew up in the same village where they later married. In their view, today, many things have improved including more access to education and work opportunities.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Louise Lopman's presentation: "Counted and Discounted: Murdered and Disappeared Women Women in Ciudad Juárez México”
A presentation titled "Counted and Discounted: Murdered and Disappeared Women in Ciudad Juárez México” was made by Louise Levesque Lopman, Sociology and WSRC Resident Scholar on a panel (with Brandeis faculty members Silvia Arrom and Roxanne Davila), Portrayals of Mexican Women through Art, October 24, 2006. The panel was in conjunction with the WSRC Exhibit of Daniella Rossell’s provocative photographs, The Richness of Mexico, whose subjects are Mexican women from the one percent of the political, economic and social elite of Mexico City. The talk, which included a powerpoint presentation of photos, posters and paintings, was a drastic contrast to Rossell’s images.
The focus of the talk was on the hundreds of disappearances and the “feminicide/femicide” (femicidio), the brutal torture, rape, and murder with impunity of over 400 young poor Mexican women in the U.S.-Mexico border city of Juárez, Mexico since the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1993. Described by neo-liberal policy makers and U.S. multi-national investors as a “laboratory of modernization and globalization,” a “city of the future,” women of Juárez live in squalid slums, colonias populares, in “homes” constructed from wooden pallets and cardboard boxes discarded by the maquilas, with roofs of tarpaper and scraps of tin. There is no plumbing, electricity or sanitation and there is no clean drinking water.
One third of the women who were murdered had worked under abominable conditions for below-minimum wages in the maquiladoras - factories, mostly “sweatshops,” in duty-free export-processing zones where 90 percent of the electronic components and auto parts are manufactured and assembled for export to the U.S. An important objective of the talk was to humanize the discourse, to give a human face to the so-called “cheap labour,” and to the cultural, social, economic, and political vioence that maquila workers, and their families experience in their everyday lives. Also, it is a hope that the lives, disappearances and murders of the young women of Juárez will matter, so that they COUNT AND CANNOT BE DISCOUNTED.For pictures used in the presentation, please visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42433998@N00/sets/72157594377528516/