Every field –not only the music industry- has its super stars. Sara Ahmed, Professor in Race and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London has become one of the younger generation of such academic stars with her much acclaimed books such as Strange Encounters (2000), Queer Phenomenology (2006) and The Promise of Happiness (2010). It was certainly a big catch for the Atgender network to have Sara Ahmed as the key note speaker of their recent Spring Conference hosted by the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research, University of Gothenburg.
Thursday night together with the other IVLP participants I went to a Rally. It was organised by Rally Against Rape: a grassroots, community-action project dedicated to combating sexual violence and raising awareness about the prevalence of rape and sexual assault in the community of Northern Virginia. It is called Take Back The Night and Rally Against the Rape. We were curious about this community-organised activity. What will happen? How many people will be there?
The Irish presidency of the EU organized an European Conference on gender equality and the labour market called ‘Women’s Economic Engagement and the Europe 2020 Agenda’ in Dublin on 29 and 30 April. Some 150 Europeans from the 27 member states and several candidate states attended. During two days over 35 speakers from the EU, NGO’s, Irish government and several (large) listed companies took the floor to share their insights and knowledge on the matter. I was one of the two Dutch delegates to participate and I was asked to speak about women on the labour market in the Netherlands.
Isn’t it time for alternative figurations of librarianship in the digital age? In her paper Beyond the Bun Lady, Sanne Koevoets discussed the pervasive stereotype of the librarian, as utterly disempowered and in service of keeping the library’s order in tact. Librarianship as a feminized profession is suffering from a profound image problem.The fact that libraries are changing into or merging with digital, virtual knowledge spaces offers new opportunities to examine, deconstruct and perhaps correct this image, including the new forms of power emerging from those places.
Last week the Dutch coordinating ministry for the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) organized a debriefing for Dutch NGO’s. It was a nice and sunny Spring day in The Hague. Depending on your point of view the debriefing was either a joyous recollection of the achievements or a bitter looking back on the setbacks.
On behalf of Atria I’ve been selected by the American embassy to participate in an International Visitors Leadership Program organised by the U.S. Department of State. Therefore I am currently in the States for three weeks together with a group of seven professionals, who are all in some way connected with the issue of Domestic Violence. Together we will tour around the States to exchange information, and experiences, and discuss the challenges and the opportunities with regard to tackling the problem of domestic violence.
Preserving the cultural heritage of women and women’s movements, has been the focus of Atria, Institute on Women’s History and Equal policy, (formerly The Women’s Archive in Amsterdam) for more than 75 years. When I heard about the Women’s History in the Digital World conference at Bryn Mawr College March 22-23, 2013 I definitely wanted to take the opportunity to meet colleagues in the field.
Here in New York you live in a world of its own during the two weeks of the Commission on the Status of Women. Whatever news is dominating the world, we do not know. All our attention is focused at the outcome document, or so called agreed conclusions. So the final day brings not only excitement but also a lot of tension.
During the second week the number of parallel and side events drop dramatically. Not much is organized after the Tuesday of the second week. So the attention of the NGO’s present is focused on the negotiations. Those who can lobby, either with their own delegations or with delegations of other countries, lobby hard. Their goal is to try to keep the good language in and try to get the bad paragraphs out of the draft text. What good or bad is, depends on the group you belong to.
At Day 8 the negotiations move forward slowly. The expectations are the fourth draft of the Agreed Conclusions will be presented by the facilitator tonight. By then we will know a little bit more where we stand. The negotiations room is closed for NGO’s so all we can see, not hear, is who is speaking when. The discussed subjects remain unclear to us on the outside. From informal talks with members of delegations we know the negotiations will continue until midnight.