Category Archives: Women’s Issues

zp dala, Thursday October 20, 2016

picture1“Sister Wives: Female Comrades in South Africa’s Anti-Apartheid Struggles”

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South Africa’s long struggle to transcend Apartheid has been widely documented, both pre- and post-democracy (1994), with an enduring focus on figures such as the late Dr. Nelson Mandela and the late Dr. Walter Sisulu. Less well-known are the stories of the women comrades of the African National Congress, activists or loyal wives, or both, whose lives and losses have drawn too little notice. Such is the case with the personal story of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, “Mother of the Nation,” whose multiple arrests, extended time in solitary confinement, and torture at the hands of the governing National Party took an enormous toll. And there are many Winnies who built the history of modern South Africa. Author zp dala will explore their stories.

zp dala is a physical therapist, a psychologist, and a writer. Her first nove, What About Meera, won the 2015 South African Minara Debut Prize, was shortlisted for the Etisalat Literary Prize, and made the top 15 African Novels of 2015 list. A second novel, The Architecture of Love, is forthcoming in 2017. Her op-ed pieces have appeared in The Guardian and The New York Times.

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Filed under Africa, Arts & Culture, Fall 2016, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Women's Issues

Katherine Ryken, Tuesday March 22, 2016

Ryken Headshot“The Role of Physicians in Combating the Aftermath of Mass Rapes in Bosnia-Herzegovina”

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Katherine Ryken is a third year medical student in the Carver College of Medicine with plans to pursue a residency in obstetrics and gynecology, with a focus on global health and human rights. Katie was the Fulbright Scholar to Bosnia-Herzegovina for the 2014-2015 academic year, pursuing research in post-traumatic injury and working at primary care clinics serving survivors of sexual violence during the war. She is also a certified member of Physician for Human Rights’ Asylum Network, and completed training in forensic medical services for asylum seekers.

Between 1992 and 1995, an estimated 20,000-50,000 women were raped during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Twenty years later, victims of war rape continue to experience severe mental health disorders.  A recent comprehensive study of rape survivors who have utilized non-governmental organization (NGO) services demonstrate alarming reports of chronic gynecologic problems. This lecture will discuss the role of war-related sexual violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina and examine the role of medical professionals in post-conflict societies, through documenting human rights abuses and providing clinical care for victims.

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Filed under Europe, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Spring 2016, Women's Issues

Elizabeth Heineman, Thursday, November 13, 2014

Elizabeth D Heineman (online picture)“Gendering International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law”

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According to international humanitarian law, sexual violence is a grave crime in times of war.  Yet many states have inadequate laws to protect women from intimate partner violence.  Other domestic issues covered under the human rights framework, ranging from girls’ right to an education to marriage by consent, suffer similarly.  Professor Heineman will argue that citizenship is embedded in war and discuss how international feminists have gotten further when women’s equal citizenship is linked to war – and less far on issues that seem distant from war.

Elizabeth Heineman is a Professor in the Department of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies and in the Department of History, where she also serves as Chair.  Her specialties include modern German and European History, gender and sexuality, and the history of human rights.  Her most recent books include Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones: From the Ancient World to the Era of Human Rights (2011), Before Porn was Legal: The Erotica Empire of Beate Uhse (2011), and the memoir Ghostbelly (2014).

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Filed under Fall 2014, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, War & Conflict, Women's Issues