Tag Archives: gender

March 10th Seminar with Prof. Diamond Ashiagbor

Feminist Friday Seminar March 10th, 2017
Gender, political economy and the construction of the labour market with Professor Diamond Ashiagbor, Institute for Advanced Legal Studies London, UK & Genest Global Faculty Visitor to Osgoode Hall Law School

Date: 10-Mar-2017
Time: 12:30 PM – 02:30 PM
Location: 2027 Osgoode Hall Law School

“Scholarship in the political economy tradition explores how unequal social relations are constructed in specific labour markets. The aim of this seminar is to bring this approach into conversation with the intersectionality literature, to examine the gendered and racialised ways in which inequalities in economic life and in the labour market are structured and experienced. This seminar will examine how women’s social location, for instance in terms of their migration status, race and ethnicity, family status and role in social reproduction, shapes their encounter with the labour market and impacts on the experience of equality law and other legislation as an agent for social change. This requires not only an investigation into intersections between identity categories such as gender and race, and the implications of intersectionality for equality and work. It also necessitates an exploration of other types of ‘intersection’, namely the interaction of employment and equality law with competing normative orders (trade law, human rights law, criminal law, and immigration law) which structure the vulnerability of those who enter a state and operate to deny women’s ability to realise the potentially transformative power of law.

 

Professor Ashiagbor’s research interests have focused on labour/employment law, particularly in the context of regional integration (the European Union and the African Union); trade and development; economic sociology of law; human rights, equality and multiculturalism. Her book The European Employment Strategy: Labour Market Regulation and New Governance (OUP, 2005) won the 2006 Society of Legal Scholars/Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship. She is currently working on ‘Social rights and the market: embedding trade liberalisation in regional labour law’, a research project that is interrogating the social dimension of regional economic integration with sub-Saharan Africa as its focus. 

A full bio is available here: http://ials.sas.ac.uk/about/about-us/people/diamond-ashiagbor
Please RVSP  lunch will be served and materials may be circulated.
www.osgoode.yorku.ca/research/rsvp Feminist Friday Seminar Gender, political economy and the construction of the labour market with Dr. Diamond Ashiagbor, Institute for Advanced Legal Studies London, UK & Genest Global Faculty Visitor to Osgoode Hall Law School Date: 10-Mar-2017 Time: 12:30 PM - 02:30 PM Location: 2027 Osgoode Hall Law School Dr. Ashiagbor's research interests have focused on labour/employment law, particularly in the context of regional integration (the European Union and the African Union); trade and development; economic sociology of law; human rights, equality and multiculturalism. Her book The European Employment Strategy: Labour Market Regulation and New Governance (OUP, 2005) won the 2006 Society of Legal Scholars/Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship. She is currently working on ‘Social rights and the market: embedding trade liberalisation in regional labour law’, a research project that is interrogating the social dimension of regional economic integration with sub-Saharan Africa as its focus. A full bio is available here: http://ials.sas.ac.uk/about/about-us/people/diamond-ashiagbor (See attached file: DAshiagbor.jpg) Please RVSP lunch will be served and materials may be circulated. www.osgoode.yorku.ca/research/rsvp

February 3 1230-2, Jula Hughes: Politics is Women’s Work: A gender lens on the duty to consult

IFLS talk "Politics is Women’s Work - A Gender Lens on the Duty to Consult" Dr. Jula Hughes  Date: 3-Feb-2017 Time: 12:30 PM - 02:00 PM Location: 2027 Osgoode Hall Law School  Dr. Jula Hughes researches in the areas of criminal law, Indigenous governance & Aboriginal law, and judicial ethics. She was the lead researcher on a multidisciplinary, community-driven research project on the duty to consult with urban Aboriginal organizations in Atlantic Canada conducted by the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network.  Her current work considers the duty to consult through a gender lens.  The research explores Indigenous women's governance and living experiences in Eastern Canadian urban settings.  Kindly RSVP www.osgoode.yorku.ca/research/rsvp
IFLS talk “Politics is Women’s Work – A Gender Lens on the Duty to Consult” Dr. Jula Hughes (UNB Law)

3-Feb-2017     12:30 PM – 02:00 PM
2027 Osgoode Hall Law School
Ignat Kaneff Building (IKB Bldg #32 here)

Public transit directions to York University)

Kindly RSVP, as lunch will be served:  www.osgoode.yorku.ca/research/rsvp

Abstract:  In Atlantic Canada, Indigenous women participate in the political and organizational leadership of off-reserve and non-Status organizations like Native Councils and Friendship Centres to a much higher degree than Canadian women participate in political leadership at any level. In a series of interviews and through research projects in collaboration with Indigenous women leaders, I have asked how these women leaders came to their political work and explored their political practice. In this presentation I report on findings from this research. What emerges is an understanding of the role of women in Wabanaki society that is anchored in a traditional division of labour that emphasized community leadership as women’s work. Indigenous women leaders also understand their work as an important response to the historical experience of gender discrimination under the Indian Act. They note that governments perpetuate its gender discriminatory effects by failing to engage with and consult off-reserve and non-Status populations and advocate for a development of the constitutional duty to consult that promotes gender equality.

Dr. Jula Hughes researches in the areas of criminal law, Indigenous governance & Aboriginal law, and judicial ethics. Find some of her work here, on SSRN. She was the lead researcher on a multidisciplinary, community-driven research project on the duty to consult with urban Aboriginal organizations in Atlantic Canada conducted by the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network. Her current work considers the duty to consult through a gender lens. The research explores Indigenous women’s governance and living experiences in Eastern Canadian urban settings.

 

 

 

un-sexing birth certificates: Robson recommends Wipfler

Ruthann Robson, if you do not already know her, is a wonderful feminist legal scholar, writer (in many genres), and teacher.   You can find out more about her here, at her website, and here, in past IFLS posts about her (there’s video of a talk she gave at Osgoode, here).

She sent over the following recommendation for a paper written by one of her former students, AJ Wipfler (CUNY Law 16).  Whether for the substantive subject matter or for the joy of thinking about the student/prof relationship and how it can be used to build scholarship and advocacy, or just to see an example of writing enthusiastically about someone else’s work, have a read:

un-sexing birth certificates 

Ruthann Robson

 

The controversial “bathroom statute” in North Carolina, HB2, regulates the proper use of sex-segregated facilities as consistent with one’s “biological sex,” defined as the “physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person’s birth certificate.”  That the legal grounding of sex-determination should be one’s birth certificate is both predictable and shockingly naïve.  It also begs the questions of why birth certificates and other government documents designate M(ale) or F(emale).  Haven’t we moved beyond that?  Shouldn’t we?

In Identity Crisis: The Limitations of Expanding Government Recognition of Gender Identity and the Possibility of Genderless Identity Documents, a forthcoming article in Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, author Anna James (AJ) Neuman Wipfler explores the many issues surrounding sex designations on identity documents, in global and local contexts, highlighting the particularities of birth certificates.  It’s such a sophisticated, nuanced, and informative article that I have difficulty believing its own birth was as a student paper for a Sexuality and Law course  – – – full disclosure! – – – that I regularly teach at City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law.

Wipfler ultimately argues that the elimination of sex designations should be the goal, but recognizes that several types of “identity crises” merit attention before wholesale abandonment of sex designations.

The most vital “identity crisis” is that amongst the people most affected.  Wipfler writes that there is a  “tension within the trans rights movement between retaining sex identifiers for use in securing rights on the basis of gender identity and dismantling sex/gender as a legal identifier.”  In part, this tension arises from strategic considerations: as long as law promulgates and enforces a binary sex designation regime, having “access to a government-issued identity document that correctly reflects one’s gender identity cannot be overstated.”  But the tension also inheres in disagreements over whether abolition of sex/gender categories should be a goal of trans liberation, even as there is widespread agreement that the standards for determining sex designations, legal or otherwise, are incoherent and conflicting.

One solution might be what Wipfler terms “Definitional Expansionism,” which has as its primary grounding self-attestation and is reflected in one of the foundational documents of LGBT international human rights law, the Yogyakarta Principles (2007).  Yet, as Wipfler argues, this may essentially re-entrench binary sex classifications even as it de-essentializes sex.  Another solution is what Wipfler labels “Categorical Expansionism” and would recognize sex designations other than M(ale) and F(emale) on at least some identity documents.  This approach is becoming increasingly popular amongst some (progressive?) governments – – – including Australia, Bangladesh, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Malta, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Thailand — – all of which Wipfler’s articles discusses. The drawback of this solution, Wipfler contends, is that shifting from a binary to a tripartite is not necessarily an improvement, especially when the third – – -“other” – – – category might further entrench the normalcy of the binary.  The best solution for Wipfler is gender abolition and Wipler discusses how “Categorical Expansionism” attempts can segue into abolition models on identity documents, detailing experiences in New York City and Canada.

The centerpiece of Wipfler’s article, however, is the birth certificate as the “starting place” for sex designation abolition, even as it comports with definitional and categorical expansion.  Importantly, Wipfler maintains that “legal sex” determinations are “unnecessary for children.”  Wipfler recognizes that in some instances, including those affecting the most vulnerable trans populations, gender-affirming documents will be necessary, but nevertheless contends that the at-birth sex designation will likely be more harmful than helpful.  And even more importantly, Wipfler uncovers the reality of birth certificate documents as not only changeable, but “ever-changing.”  Indeed, “the fields on the U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth,” which most states adopt, “have changed no fewer than twelve times since their inception in 1900.”  Wipfler vividly illustrates these changes in the Appendices to the article reproducing various versions including the most recent 2003 revision.  True, the changes have tended toward the inclusion of more information rather than less, but perhaps the most crucial addition was the 1949 line of demarcation, dividing document.   Above the line is the portion that most of us think of as “the birth certificate.”  The below-the-line portion is medical and statistical information that does not appear on the legal identification portion of the certificate.  Migrating to this below- the-line position has been the mother’s marital status as well as the race of the parents.  Wipfler suggests that sex information – – – or more accurately, “apparent genital status” – – – of the baby should similarly reside below-the-line.  The government’s interest in “sex” thus becomes not an imposed personal identification marker, but a matter of government statistics.   What would remain above the line would be child’s name, place and date of birth, as well as  information about “mother” and “father,” which I must add, also requires a de-gendering to dismantle presumptions of heterosexual parenting pairs.

Wipfler ultimately contends that “as long as the state records gender identity, it will also police its boundaries,” even as there are “still too many dangers to remove gender markers from all identity documents in the United States all at once.”  Birth certificates are not only a strategic starting point, but their legal importance is demonstrated by laws such as the North Carolina one which would have many of us, especially those who appear gender-non-conforming, carry our official birth certificate whenever we might have to use the toilet.

 

 

Navi Pillay at Osgoode – April 7

Drawing of Navi Pillay by Kagan McLeod for The National (Arab Emirates) July 2014

 

Excited to hear Navi Pillay on April 7th at Osgoode.  She is delivering the 2016 N. Sivalingam Memorial Lecture in Tamil Studies at York University  (proudly co-sponsored by, inter alia, the IFLS).  More of her work?

Renu Mandhane, the Ontario Human Rights Commissioner, will be doing the introduction to the lecture – please join us!

Poster for Navi Pillay talk April 7 at Yorku CLICK FOR ACCESSIBLE PDF FILE
click for printable/shareable/accessible pdf poster

Accountability and Justice for International Crimes: Challenges and Achievements, with Navi Pillay

April 7, 2016 – 5pm-8pm Osgoode Hall Law School, York University.

Navi Pillay, a South African of Tamil origin, is a world renowned international jurist. She defended anti-Apartheid activists and helped expose the use of torture and poor conditions of political detainees. In 1973, she won the right for political prisoners on Robben Island, including Nelson Mandela, to have access to lawyers. Navi Pillay was the first non-white female judge of the High Court of South Africa, after being appointed to the bench by President Nelson Mandela in 1995. She has also served as a judge of the International Criminal Court and President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Navi Pillay served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2008 to 2014. She is currently serving as the Chief Commissioner of the International Commission Against the Death Penalty.

A reception beginning at 5pm will be followed by the Lecture at 6pm. All are welcome.

Please RSVP to ycar@yorku.ca by 1 April 2016.

This event is generously co-sponsored by the Nathanson Center, Osgoode Hall Law School, the York Centre for Asian Research and Amnesty International with support from the Graduate program in Socio-Legal Studies, and the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies at Osgoode Hall School.

 

A storify re: Reclaiming our Narratives: Racial and Gender Profiling in Toronto

Storify just collects tweets, so you can use it to tell a story about an event or issue.  Here’s one I put together after attending this event, (you can see the event announcement here).
It was great. Congratulations to the organizers on a really well put together public event.  I met some really great women, learned a lot, had feelings and thoughts at the same time (!), wallowed in being one of the oldest people in the room.  Sometimes folks ask me, what’s up with the younger feminists, what are they reading, what are they doing, what are they thinking?  Here’s one piece of the answer.  Been to any really great events related to feminism and law lately? Want to post about them, even after the fact? About the experience of being there? Let me know.

-sonia