Opportunities & events
Women’s and Human Rights in Times of Global Challenges

Apply by: 25 January

Women’s and Human Rights in Times of Global Challenges

Join us for a series of enlightening seminars conducted by the 4EU+ Alliance Visiting Professorship project. The project is led by Professor Aneta Ostaszewska from the University of Warsaw's Centre for Women’s and Gender Research, in partnership with the scientific committee of the University of Milan, which is represented by Professor Marilisa D'Amico, Vice-Rector for Legality, Transparency, and Equality of Right, and Dr. Costanza Nardocci.

Project's website

Tentative calendar

  • 26 October 2023, 2:30 pm

  • 23 November 2023, 2:30 pm

  • 14 December 2023, 2:30 pm

  • 25 January 2024, 2:30 pm

Seminar No. 3: Women’s rights in the global north and south

Date: Monday, 14 December, 2:30 PM (14:30 CET)

Title of the presentation: A critical perspective on the legal, cultural and social dimensions of violence against women: Is Feminism Old-Fashioned Today?

Presenter: Rita El Khayat, Basavadatta Mitra

Gender Equality, standing as Goal No. 5 among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), highlights the ongoing issue of domestic violence and abuse, which remains prevalent globally, disrupting the pursuit of equality. Despite the emphasis on Diversity, Equality, and Equity in the 21st century, data from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reveals that 35% of women worldwide have experienced violence. This presentation focuses on India's experience of gender-specific violence, embedded within its culture and manifested in both subtle and overtly brutal ways. In India, domestic violence against women, perpetrated by both men and women within the family, is often considered a natural expression of various forms of dissatisfaction.

This paradox is further complicated by the cultural aspect of revering goddesses in Indian society, where the same individuals who worship female deities are also involved in violence and abuse against women in their families. The presentation aims to examine gender-specific violence and abuse in domestic settings, with a special focus on the Indian subcontinent. Utilizing Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions framework, it will explore the correlation between the prevalent beliefs, practices, and traditions around the perpetrators and victims of violence and abuse, offering a critical understanding of this complex and deeply rooted issue.

Seminar No. 2: Gender, social theories and long-term perspectives

Date: Monday, 27 November, 2:30 PM (14:30 CET)

Title of the presentation: We were always there too: rejecting women as static factors in social development

Presenter: Lucy Brown (MA), Charles University

Moderator: Patrycja Sosnowska-Buxton (PhD), postdoctoral fellow in Preventing violence in close relationships at the University of Stavanger, Norway

While feminist theory and perspectives have continued to grow in importance in sociological theory, and feminist critique of mainstream sociological theory has been broadly accepted, theoretical education and debate surrounding core tenets of sociological theory have largely continued as if nothing has happened. The failure to incorporate feminist theory into mainstream theoretical approaches has allowed the subject to be avoided entirely by theorists or relegated to gender ‘specialists,’ with the focus limited to concepts of oppression. At the same time, it is difficult to recentre women in major sociological theories of society because of the subjectivity and assumed ‘objectivity’ of the male perspective. The implications of this problem are present and significant: assumed truths about the long-term ‘decline’ in social violence are false if the violence against (and by) women is incorporated into the data, yet it is still being taught as a basic premise of modernity. A possible solution would be the radical testing and reconfiguration of existing major sociological theories with the female ‘standpoint’ centred. This is an approach I am adopting in my own research, questioning Norbert Elias’ concept of the ‘civilizing process’ on which the basic premise rests: that society has gone from unrestrained, violent interaction to restrained and non-violent. In doing so, oppressive social factors are naturally considered; however, adopting ‘women’ as the default in social relations gives a very different interpretation of social processes: the long-term adoption of female interactional strategies as common behavioural standards.

Presenter's bio: Lucy is in her 4th year of doctoral research at Charles University, studying within the Department of Historical Sociology. Her main research focus has been a re-examining of the theoretical foundations of Norbert Elias through an examination of the long-term social process that was European witchcraft prosecutions. She is also currently working on research surrounding the social significance of the AI revolution, with a focus on impact, accessibility, and the democratization of information. Prior to her PhD, Lucy spent several years working as a professional archaeologist in England, following her master’s degree from the University of Leicester. Her master’s thesis, ‘Power, charity and brotherly love: Parish politics in Early Modern Essex,’ was published in 2018 and comprised a comparative historical analysis of social relations. Her interdisciplinary interests were first developed during her undergraduate MA degree at the University of Edinburgh (2016), which focused on social history, anthropology, and the social sciences.


Seminar No. 1: Citizenship, Migration, and Women’s Rights

Date: 26 October 2023, 2:30 PM (14:30 CEST)

Title of the presentation: Migration from Ukraine as a feminist issue. Why do we need gender mainstreaming in migration policies?

Introductory remarks: Costanza Nardocci

Chair: Aneta Ostaszewska

Presenter: Iuliia Lashchuk (PhD), A Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute (Florence, Italy)

By the end of February 2022, millions of Ukrainians had been forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in the west of the country or abroad, with many experiencing this for the second time. The scale of the migration crisis caused by Russian aggression is unprecedented in Europe, and such levels of migration have not been seen since the Second World War. Wars, conflicts, and various crises are never gender-neutral because they affect the whole of society, which is itself not gender-neutral. However, in some cases, such as the mass influx of people from Ukraine into the EU, the gender issue is crucial, as more than 80% of these people are women with children. Therefore, support measures and strategies to help people fleeing Ukraine, including the law, need to be appropriately tailored to the needs of this specific group, as migrant women, especially women fleeing war are exposed to intersectional discrimination based on their gender, ethnicity and precarious economic situation. I argue the need for gender sensitivity in migration policies by discussing the Ukrainian case and trying to place it in the broader context of migration and feminist research.

Presenter's bio: Iuliia Lashchuk is a researcher, migration activist, and curator. She is a Max Weber Fellow working at the Migration Policy Centre at the European University Institute in Florence. Iuliia received her PhD (Summa Cum Laude) in philosophy from the University of Warsaw in 2021. She is focusing her research on the categories of otherness and strangeness with a specific focus on gender issues and female migration. Iuliia is interested in issues of identity, belonging, and diversity, as well as ethical dimensions of hospitality. She is a member of the Research Network on Ukrainian Migration.

Venue: University of Milan, via Festa del Perdono 7. The seminar will also be available online via MS Teams. Registration for online participation is mandatory.


Seminar invitation in PDF