Saturday, December 14, 2013

UNITWIN/UNESCO Photo Exhibit at Boston City Hall

The UNESCO/UNITWIN Network at Boston University is excited to announce the launch of an exhibit on women shaping history in Burkina Faso at City Hall in Boston, Massachusetts, as a part of a larger "All Things Change" show hosted by Unbound Visual Arts (UVA) and the Mayor's Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events. UVA is the newest affiliate of the UNESCO/UNITWIN on Gender, Culture & Development. The component of the exhibit titled "All Things Change: Evolving Roles of Burkinabé Women" follows the progression of roles taken on by women in this West African nation, and the impact that they have had on the development of the country. "Equality Burkina" team member Scholastique Kompaoré features prominently among the six Burkinabé women whose work and achievements are highlighted in the exhibit. The "All Things Change" exhibition, curated by UVA Executive Director John Quatrale, was showcased in an article in the Boston Globe, here!

Above, an educational poster describing the Burkina entries

The exhibit will run from late November to December 31, 2013, at City Hall in the Scollay Square Gallery. On December 12, a reception was held for the public and the artists. Brenda Gael McSweeney and Rose O'Connell-Marion represented the Boston University UNITWIN team at the reception, enthusiastically sharing the story of female empowerment in Burkina Faso. 

The All Things Change Exhibit has now been invited to show at the Harvard Educational Portal for the first several months of 2014! 

At left, Unbound Visual Arts Executive Director John Quatrale, with UVA Founding Member and 

Exhibiting Photographer Brenda Gael McSweeney and Founding Member-Artist Anita Helen Cohen.

Boston University Research Assistant Rose O'Connell-Marion (left) with Nicole, 
a member of the Brighton community who has worked in East Africa.

At center, Marion and Stan Freedman-Gurspan who have spent time in Burkina, pictured with John Quatrale at right, 
interacting with the representative of an arts coalition.

See more All Things Change Reception photos!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Report on “Of Pitfalls and Possibilities: The Case of India and Feminist Anti-Rape Organizing Across Difference”

On Friday November 15th Debotri Dhar Ph.D., Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University and Visiting Scholar at Boston University’s Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies (WGS) Program, gave a lecture and book reading at BU. The event, hosted by WGS and co-sponsored by GaIDI (Gender & International Development Initiatives) of the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center (WSRC), showcased Dhar’s research on the relationship between rape, suicide and the postcolonial state.

“South Asia is described in the Status of World’s Women Reports as the world’s ‘most unsafe’ region for women – with Afghanistan, and India in that order – as the two ‘topmost unsafe’ countries – in terms of crimes against women, female foeticide, honor killings and overall discrimination.”  

In introducing Professor Dhar on behalf of WGS, Dr. Brenda Gael McSweeney highlighted events and statistics including the one quoted above that demonstrate the severity of violence against women in India and therefore just how vital it is for academics and researchers like Dhar to be focusing on this issue.

Dr. Smriti Rao, Visiting Research Associate at WSRC, and Associate Professor of Economics and Global Studies at Assumption College, submitted the following report on Dr. Dhar's lecture and the event:

“On December 16, 2012 a 23 year old young woman with a male companion got on what they thought was a bus to her New Delhi neighborhood.  He was there because it would be unthinkable for a woman of any age to get on a Delhi bus alone after dark, which says a great deal about what it means to be a woman in India today.  In this case, as it turned out, that precaution was not enough.  The six men on the bus, including the driver, were on a joyride after an evening of drinking. They beat both the woman and her companion unconscious and brutally gang raped her. Then they left them both for dead on a New Delhi street, where, until the next morning, not a single passerby stopped to help. 

Dr. Debotri Dhar at the podium, and Dr. Diane Balser of WGS along with one of the students

She died a few days later of severe internal injuries – she had lost almost all of her intestines. The police in this case did their job and found the six rapists, a task made easier by the fact that they hadn’t thought to hide or run away.  Two were teenagers.  The two oldest, like the young victim herself, had come to the city as children when their families left villages in northern India to seek a better life in the city. The rest were more recent migrants to Delhi. 

One difference in the backgrounds of the victim and her murderers was that her family had managed some degree of upward mobility. They had, after considerable sacrifice, been able to pay for her to complete a degree in physiotherapy (a degree in medicine would have been too expensive) so that she could aspire to becoming part of India’s urban middle class. And that, as Debotri Dhar argued in her talk, made all the difference when it came to how the media and its urban consumers responded to her rape and death.

Dhar, a Visiting Scholar at Boston University Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program, is a researcher and an activist whose main area of focus is sexual violence against women in South Asia.  Her dissertation work on rape victim suicides in India revealed the importance of class and caste as well as gender in framing acts of violence against women, or, as she put it, “how causes become causes.”  As she told her audience of students, faculty members and researchers from Boston and Brandeis Universities and beyond, rather than being an act of “embodied shame”, the rape victim suicides that are documented as such in India tend to be very public acts committed by less privileged women to protest the failure of the state to prosecute their rapists. These women, Dhar’s research shows, “offer up their bodies as a way to get justice,” in a country where too many acts of violence against women go unreported or, when reported to the police, go unprosecuted if the victim is from a less privileged caste or class than her assailant. The media shares the state’s brutal indifference to the fates of these women, leaving these very public acts of suicide as the victim’s only recourse. 

On the other hand, the case of the “New Delhi gang rape”, as it has come to be known, received tremendous national media attention and resulted in an outpouring of public protest against not just the aggressors but also the Indian state’s failure to ensure (or even show much interest in) women’s safety.  Dhar argued that the stark contrast with the rape suicide victims she had studied was partly explained by the girl’s perceived status as a member of the middle class, and that of her assailants as outsiders to the city. The assailants were portrayed as migrants from a backward and rural patriarchal past that was holding back a modernizing India (never mind the fact that at least a few of them had spent most of their lives in New Delhi).  Class, as Dhar emphasized, was key to the framing of the event. 

Marion Freedman-Gurspan of Brookline listening in on the students' debate

This framing takes on an additional layer of complexity when we move from national to international spaces, as we must in building transnational alliances as feminists.  Gendered acts of violence in the 'third world' have a long history of being interpreted by those in the West as ‘barbaric’, and thus evidence of the need to ‘civilize’ those cultures. Dhar pointed to a recent article on the Delhi gang rape that argued that the international publicity and outrage it generated largely fell within the narrative Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, postcolonial theorist and philosopher, famously termed ‘the white man rescuing the brown man from the brown woman’, and that feminists from the third world needed to push back against that narrative. 

Dhar’s central argument, however, was that while acknowledging the power of that narrative and the fact that this event was surely framed in that way by much of the western media, pushing back against that narrative cannot mean denying the real and horrific acts of violence committed against this particular woman, and against thousands of other lesser known victims in India. She argued that, hard as it is to do so, the alliances we build must avoid the pitfall of the “white man’s burden” while at the same time calling out violence and injustice wherever they may occur. 

Her own conclusion was optimistic – she told the audience she believed that such alliances were possible and most powerful when they link violence against women in other contexts to those against women in western cultures, and when they force us to look “within as well as without”.
In the lively discussion that followed, audience members pointed to further commonalities across cultures, such as the functional role of rape as a means of disciplining all women (not just the rape victim). There was a discussion of the degree to which age shaped narratives about the victim and the assailant, as well as the extent to which the rapists in the Delhi case were themselves victims of the wider economic failures of the Indian nation – adrift and rootless in a large city with little real prospect of a better life. There was also considerable interest in the role of the Indian state and the nature of its response to the public protests that followed the events of Dec. 16th. Dhar argued that while the state had moved slowly, she believed that there had been some real change and called upon her audience to join the struggle to make the world safer for women everywhere.”  
~ Report on Debotri Dhar's Lecture submitted by Smriti Rao, GaIDI/WSRC, Brandeis University

Dr. Barbara Gottfried of WGS/BU and Dr. Smriti Rao of Brandeis after Debotri's lecture

Debotri's lecture was followed by a poignant reading at WGS from her volume of short stories, Postcards from Oxford: Stories of Women and Travel

Monday, October 28, 2013

BU's WGS Sponsoring "Of Pitfalls and Possibilities: The Case of India and Feminist Anti-Rape Organizing Across Difference"

We are pleased to report that Boston University's Women's Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program (WGS) is sponsoring a timely event titled "Of Pitfalls and Possibilities: The Case of India and Feminist Anti-Rape Organizing Across Difference." The event will be co-sponsored by GaIDI (Gender and International Development Initiatives) of the Women's Studies Research Center (WSRC) at Brandeis University.

Boston University's own Professor Deborah Belle will introduce the event speaker, Dr. Debotri Dhar - a 2013-2014 Visiting Scholar at BU's WGS. Dr. Dhar's research examines the relationship between rape, suicide and the postcolonial state, and explores such themes as gender, caste and class; silence and subaltern speech; culture, rights, and the nation; women's agency; transnational feminism and egalitarian justice. Dr. Dhar holds a Masters in Women's Studies from Oxford University and a Ph.D. in Women's and Gender Studies from Rutgers. Please join us for this event on Friday, November 15th, at 3:00pm in SCI Rm 117 (Metcalf Science Building), 590 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston.

After her lecture, Dr. Dhar will give a reading from her recent book: Postcards from Oxford: Stories of Women and Travel. The reception will be held at WGS, 704 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 102, Boston. Books to be signed by the author will be available for purchase!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Patriarchy, Power, and Paradox: Dreaming Gender Equality and Development" now published!

Some news: a book of the Pardee Center's South Asia 2060 Project here at Boston University, in which we participated, is now published! The peer-reviewed volume is South Asia 2060: Envisioning Regional Futures. 

Shahla Haeri and Brenda Gael McSweeney co-authored the chapter entitled "Patriarchy, Power, and Paradox: Dreaming Gender Equality and Development". Details of the anthology, edited by Adil Najam and Moeed Yusuf, are on the Anthem Press website.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Low Mean & High Variance: Quality of Primary Education in Rural West Bengal; A New Report by Jyotsna Jalan and Jharna Panda

We are pleased to announce that Jharna Panda, one of our UNITWIN-affiliated researchers in India, has been working on a project for which Professor Jyotsna Jalan is principal researcher,  calling attention to the state of primary education in rural India. We invite you to read on to explore the abstract of Jyotsna and Jharna's elucidating study and to take a look at the collection of related photographs. 

Low Mean & High Variance: Quality of Primary Education in Rural West Bengal
Jyotsna Jalan with Jharna Panda

This research report studies the "quality and reach of primary education" in rural India. The investigation is based on primary surveys conducted in six districts of West Bengal - Bankura, Birbhum, Coochbehar, Murshidabad, and the North and South 24 Parganas (and a pilot study in Dumka, Jharkhand). On the basis of students performance in achievement tests in numeracy and language (designed by the researchers), the report quantifies the average academic competence of Class IV students. In addition, student attendance rates are estimated by the head count of the students present on the day that achievement tests were administered in each of 240 schools in West Bengal (and 40 schools in Jharkhand). 
On the day of the release of "Low Mean and High Variance: Quality of Primary Education in Rural West Bengal". From left to right: Jharna Panda, Professor Jyotsna Jalan, and Professor Abhirup Sarkar
Student achievement test scores and student attendance rates and dropout rates are correlated to: students' household characteristics (social group, wealth, education, and parental interest), school features (infrastructure, teacher-student ratio, pedagogy, teacher training), community engagement and parental awareness, school administration, and policy interventions like midday meals and teacher training programs.
Distributing the midday meal.
Eating the midday meal; the report cites the link
between low school budgets and poor nutrition.
Learning levels and attendance rates in primary schools are quite low in the rural areas. In rural Bengal. however, there is considerable variation in academic outcomes at various levels - across districts, within districts across blocks, within blocks across schools, and within schools across students from different socioeconomic and religious backgrounds. Such variations allow researchers to draw policy conclusions regarding ways to improve the quality and reach of primary education. The data indicates that no single intervention will be adequate to ensure the delivery of high quality primary education in rural India. A comprehensive policy that engages all stakeholders in the primary education system needs to be formulated. There is need to encourage parents to actively participate in their children's learning process, there is need to provide incentives to teachers to improve pedagogy and classroom management skills, and there is need to ensure that local communities and administrators provide better monitoring and logistical support to the primary school system. 

Jharna Panda and colleague interviewing a parent. 
Professor Sugata Marjit, Jharna Panda, and Professor Jyotsna Jalan
discuss the report during the Q&A session.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

President of our affiliate – The Brighton Allston Historical Society – named 2013 Unsung Heroine

We are pleased to announce that Peg Collins, President of the Brighton Allston Historical Society (BAHS)  an affiliate of our UNESCO/UNITWIN Network  has been named a 2013 Unsung Heroine by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women! The Unsung Heroine awards pay tribute to extraordinary women from across the Commonwealth and thank them for their public leadership and volunteerism. The recipients of these awards are commended by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for making our communities ever better places to live. Senator Will Brownsberger nominated Peg as a woman making a meaningful impact in her district. Peg is also an active contributor to BAHS's Women's History Initiatives.

Congratulations Peg from the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network!
Peg Collins is standing in the 2nd row, straight back from the podium.
                                 (She is wearing a black jacket, next to a woman in red.)                                                                                       
The award ceremony was held at the majestic Massachusetts State House in Boston, MA

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

E-book of Gender Case Studies Launched!

The Global Network of UNESCO Chairs on Gender celebrates the release of their first e-book of gender case studies: Gender Perspectives in Case Studies Across Continents, co-edited by Gloria Bonder, Coordinator of the Global Network, and Brenda Gael McSweeney, Initiator of the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Gender, Culture, & Development.
This volume also features a Foreword authored by Saniye Gülser Corat, Director of the UNESCO Division for Gender Equality.  She is “convinced that the case studies included in this E-Book will help us understand different realities and challenges better and provide us with the possibility to formulate reality based policies and initiatives.” Promoting Gender Equality is an overarching priority of the Organization through 2021.
The full text of this publication can be found at:

The volume's eight essays illustrate the breadth and diversity of the issues that affect the lives and status of women in communities across the world. These chapters are:
1.     Decentralization and women’s rights in Latin America, Gloria Bonder
Analyzes the local impact of public policy decentralization processes in Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador/Honduras,
Rights & Gender in Bolivia
and Paraguay, on women’s participation and health. Examines the political, institutional, and cultural factors that influenced the contrasts in effects between these different areas, and emphasizes the importance of gathering women’s testimonies in the context of their own voices and perspectives. (also available in Spanish)
2.     Discourses emerging from the experiences of the women-mothers victims of violence, Mary  Koutselini and Floria Valanidou
Explores the prevailing and often coexistent discourses of denial, self-blame, powerlessness, tolerance, compassion, and dependency, and the influence of these narratives on female victims of violence. Illustrated through seventeen in-depth interviews with mothers in Cyprus who were or had been victims.
3.     Women’s organizations in Madrid: Socialization for empowerment in the Spanish democratic post-transition, Virginia  Maquieira D'Angelo
Follows the rise of women workers and housewives’ organizations in the 1980s and their emergent feminist awareness. Explores the context of these organizations, the meanings assigned to them by their participants, the obstacles they faced, and the evolution of the organizations into a larger women’s movement in Spain. (also available in Spanish)
4.     The violation of family spaces in some Moroccan women writers’ fiction, Fouzia Rhissassi
Analyzes Moroccan women’s literature as an outlet through which female authors reappraise traditional spaces, rejection of silence and exclusion, and break taboos to give visibility to women’s experiences. Illuminates the themes of tackling persistent gender inequalities worldwide in education, livelihoods, and political voice, plus gender-based violence.
Photo: Brenda McSweeney  
5.     Another View of Africa: A photo essay on female education and empowerment in Burkina Faso, Scholastique Kompaoré and Brenda Gael McSweeney with Cassandra Fox
Demonstrates the positive, time-saving effects of technology on women’s domestic workloads, thus thus freeing up time for women and girls to pursue educational and lucrative activities. Presents a hopeful contrast to the typical global media depiction of life in Africa. (also available in French)
6.     God First, Second the Market: A Case Study, Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund of Liberia
Explores the organization’s ongoing efforts to aid Liberian women through the revitalization of markets, boosting literacy, and providing access to credit. Highlights the candid profiles of market women and depicts their courageous struggle to overcome adversity and their role in the reconstruction of Liberia, its communities, and its economy.
7.     Srihaswani or Creative Manual Skills for Self Reliant Development: A gender case study, 1996-2012, Krishno Dey, Chandana Dey, and Brenda Gael McSweeney
 Photo: Brenda McSweeney
Examines the evolution of a grassroots development initiative in West Bengal, India, into an opportunity through which village women claimed greater participation and voice in community leadership and development. Provides a first-hand glimpse spanning fifteen years of the economic, societal, and individual benefits of local female leadership in bolstering the subsistence economy and solidarity in Indian villages.
8.     Strengthening Networks for Women in Science and Engineering, Deborah Belle and Sheryl Grace
Illustrates systematic approaches implemented at Boston University to increasing representation and advancement of women faculty in science and engineering careers, namely through strengthening professional networks. Identifies the enduring barriers women face in professional arenas traditionally dominated by men.
The eight essays in this volume reflect the commitment of the Global Network to understanding and contributing to overcome obstacles that prevent the achievement of women’s well being, their active participation in the development of their communities and their struggles for greater equality, empowerment, citizenship and gender justice.  ~by Lucia Hsiao, Student-Scholar Partner to Resident Scholar Brenda Gael McSweeney, Women's Studies Research Center/Brandeis University

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Breaking News: Savyasaachi now Professor & Head of the Department of Sociology, JMI!

Jamia Millia Islamia recently announced that Savyasaachi, a founding member of our UNESCO/UNITWIN Network, is now Professor and Head of the Department of Sociology at JMI  (a Central University in New Delhi). Savyasaachi teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses. He started his explorations of different ways of life with long years of fieldwork with the Koitor forest dwellers in Chattisgarh in Central India and with forest people (Hill Kharias and Kutia Khonds) in Orissa in eastern India. He has worked with conservation architects as well, notably with the Delhi-based Cultural Resource Conservation Initiative, a founding partner organization of the UNESCO/UNITWIN (University Twinning) Network on Gender, Culture and People-Centered Development. Experience in these fields prompted him to engage with issues of social life and culture, community-oriented cultural heritage preservation, decolonization, and method. In the course of teaching at Jamia Millia Islamia he has worked on issues related to learning as distinct from teaching. He has been traveling faculty for the Re-thinking Globalization program coordinated by the International Honors Program at Boston University. He has several publications; the most recent one, the Penguin book of forest writings, is titled 'Between the Earth and the Sky'.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Snapshot of Success in Cuba

We recently received news of an exciting success story that we'd like to share with you! Margaret (Peg) Snyder, the Founding Director of UNIFEM, and Vice President of The Sirleaf Market Women's Fund International - our newest UNESCO/UNITWIN affiliate - has submitted an illuminating piece on a UNIFEM-assisted project in Cuba. Co-authored by Aase Smedler, Former UN Resident Coordinator, this feature tells the story of Quitrin, a shop that was established 28 years ago as a way for Cuban women to earn income through making and selling clothing. To learn more about this successful "multidimensional development activity", please continue reading!

Quitrin: A Cuban Success Story, 1985-2013

In charming Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage site, modern shop windows at the corner of Calle Obispo and Calle San Ignacio attract passers-by with women's dresses, children's clothing, and shirts for all the family. The shop is Quitrin, established 28 years ago by the Federation of Cuban Women to give their members a chance to earn income by making and selling clothing. When serving as a delegate to the UN General Assembly Vilma Espin, then President of the Federation, had met with staff of UNIFEM (then known as the Voluntary Fund for the UN Decade for Women) and their discussions led to a Cuban proposal to enhance women's incomes. Back then, not much of the renovation work one admires in Old Havana today had started. That the UNIFEM-assisted project began with remodeling the building it occupies contributed to Cuba's nascent urban renewal program and made Quitrin a truly multidimensional development activity. UNIFEM's board approved a grant of USS 59, 000 in 1983 and the activity was launched in 1985. 
Aase Smedler (Former UN Resident Coordinator), Margaret (Peg) Snyder (Founding Director, UNIFEM), and Nadia Gonzales Alvarez (GM of Quitrin) at the original shop in Old Havana

Quitrin - named for the ubiquitous two-wheeled carriage with a collapsible top - didn't just survive. No longer just the one original outlet for women's handwork, today it has production plants in Havana and Santiago de Cuba, and a total of 5 shops selling its products in Old Havana, Santiago de Cuba, and the tourist resort of Varadero where hotels sell Quitrin's clothing.                                                                  

Quitrin strives to maintain Cuban traditions in style and cut of the tailored, traditional guayabera shirts with their intricate embroidery and crochet details. The guayabera is a man's shirt with short or long sleeves, four pockets and decorations on the front. Quitrin also produces dresses, shirts, and pants in light cotton and linen for women. Though colors are mainly white or off-white, pastel colors are also used. 

The recently appointed general manager of Quitrin, Nadia Gonzales Alvarez, previously worked many years in the organization as seamstress and as designer. She told us that the cotton and linen they use is produced in Cuba, but that crochet thread must be imported. She explained that Havana alone employs 60 to 80 seamstresses who work either in the production plants or from home and are paid for the item produced. Shop attendants such as Kerenia Valdares and Marta Gonzales whom we met at the Old Havana shop earn some CUC 300 a month which corresponds to USD 300, a relatively good salary in Cuba. Pressed for time during our visit, we did not learn how much foreign exchange is allocated by the government to Quitrin for its imports or whether scarcity of material ever impacts the output and the possibility of renewing designs. 

Thelma Awori, President of Sirleaf Market Women's Fund International, at the shop window in Old Havana
Established in 1988, Quitrin in Varadero has occupied a whole house since 1995, with the shop on the ground floor while language and other courses are offered by the Federation of Cuban Women on the upper floors. Local manager Tony Fontado, himself a designer who teaches crochet, employs 12 workers and organizes weekly fashion shows at the many tourist hotels on the northern coast; he introduced us to Dayana and Rosio, two of the shops 10 attractive models he trained a few years back. He told us that the shop and hotels in Varadero sell goods valued at about CUC 3,500 a month.
Quitrin in Varadero

Tony has a certificate in management from the Cuban Association of Artists and Artisans. He hopes to produce a special Varadero line of women's clothing in a local workshop, and to travel internationally to learn more about contemporary styles while preserving the Cuban roots in the design as it is rendered more creative and modern. His personal designs, which he proudly showed in photo-books, are quite extravagant, and very creative. Tony expressed his hope and expectation that Nadia would be able to modernize the enterprise. 

Manager Tony Fontado at Quitrin with two of his models 
We also believe that the traditional design could be updated, especially for a more elegant fit and trims. The knowledge and vision of people like Tony on renewing the production line could make Tony Cuba's fashion icon, with Nadia at the helm of Quitrin
The Federation of Cuban Women continues today, and every Cuban woman becomes a member at age 14. It assists women and families in need, and works to stem violence against women. And it takes pride in its three decades of Quitrin

-Margaret (Peg) Snyder, Founding Director - UNIFEM, and Vice President of The Sirleaf Market Women's Fund International - the newest affiliate of our UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Gender, Culture, & People-Centered Development

-Aase Smedler, Former UN Resident Coordinator

Friday, January 18, 2013

BU's WGS Cosponsoring an Upcoming Speaker Event: Women Peacemakers on the Ethnic Borders of Bosnia Herzegovina

We are pleased to inform you of an upcoming visit by Zilka Spahic Siljak (University of Sarajevo) to the Women's Studies Research Center (WSRC) at Brandeis University, hosted by the Gender & International Development Initiatives (GaIDI). Zilka has agreed to give a talk on the lives of women peace activists in her home country, Bosnia Herzegovina. She will be speaking about specific local Bosnian concepts of compassion (merhamet) and neighborliness (komsiluk) employed for peace-building on the borders between Muslim, Catholic and orthodox Christian villages.
Please save the date: Tuesday, March 12th at 4pm in the WSRC Lecture Hall, 515 South Street, Waltham. WSRC Director Shulamit Reinharz will be welcoming Zilka and participants!                    
Zilka Spahic Siljak

Zilka's bio from the Harvard Divinity School website (where she's a 'Visiting Lecturer on Women's Studies and Islamic Studies, and Women's Studies in Religion Program Research Associate') can be found at:

This event is sponsored by the Gender & International Development Initiatives (GaIDI) of the Women's Studies Research Center at Brandeis, and cosponsored by Boston University's Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program (WGS), and by other Brandeis University entities including the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, the Gender Working Group (GWG) at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, and the Coexistence and Conflict Program.