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Back | Programme Area: Research-Related Activities

Reinventing Social Contracts: Feminists, Rights and Power

Date: 20 Feb 2015

  • Time: 13.00 - 14.30
  • Location: UNOG Library, Palais des Nations, 1211 Geneva 10
  • Project Title: UNRISD Seminar Series

The social contracts of the 20th century face myriad challenges today: economic, financial and ecological crises; growing uncertainty; backlash against human rights and social justice. Civil society, grassroots organizations and social movements are calling for new social contracts, challenging the underlying power relationships and the intersections between them.

At this panel discussion, organised in collaboration with UNOG Library, Gita Sen and her co-panelists speak about the role of feminist movements in the remaking of social contracts. They will help untangle some of the complex power relationships that need to be addressed if new social contracts are to fulfil the promise of human rights and gender justice.

Feminists in a Fierce New World

Gita Sen bases her arguments on a new book which she co-edited with Marina Durano for DAWN (Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era) which argues from a feminist perspective in favour of reinventing social contracts to fulfil the promise of human rights. The book intends to provide a holistic and radical understanding of the synergies, tensions and contradictions between social movements and global, regional and local processes on the one hand, and feminist perspectives and goals on the other. The specific issues addressed include:

• A feminist analysis and critique of current approaches to global governance;
• The diversity of issues confronting feminists at the level of the nation state;
• Religious fundamentalism;
• The struggle for livelihoods and for control over women's bodies and lives;
• The practical issues raised by alliances, coalition-building attempts and gender politics within movements for social change.

The main presentation is based on the book: Gita Sen and Marina Durano. 2014. The Remaking of Social Contracts: Feminists in a Fierce New World. ZED Books, London.

Gita Sen, speaker
Executive Committee of the Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)
Roberto Bissio, speaker
Third World Institute, Executive Director
Patricia Schulz, speaker
UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Valeria Esquivel, moderator
UNRISD, Research Coordinator, Gender and Development

Invitees not in possession of a UN badge should register by February 19, 2015 on the UNOG website at www.unog.ch/librarytalks, bring valid ID and a copy of this invitation on the day of the event to the Pregny Gate, located at 8 - 14 Avenue de la Paix, 1211 Geneva 10.

Remote access to the seminar

We will be tweeting key messages live from the seminar and welcome your comments and questions, which, time permitting, we may be able to put directly to the speaker. Follow us on @UNRISD and use the hashtag #UNRISDseminar. 

This event will be video and audio recorded. If you would like to be notified when the video and the podcast are online, please send an email with “Audio/video notification” in the subject line to sandoval@unrisd.org

Original photo: anw CC BY 2.0 via Flickr