Reframing Gendered Violence Project aims to open up a critical global conversation among scholars and practitioners in order to reframe the problem of violence against women as it is currently discussed in a wide range of fields, both academic and policy-oriented, including human rights, public health, journalism, law, feminist studies, literature, sociology, religious studies, anthropology, and history.
Under the title “Reframing Gendered Violence,” Center for the Study of Social Difference (CSSD) will engage critically with the terms, the assumptions, and the policies that have underwritten this unprecedented outpouring of attention. What do different parties mean when they talk of violence against women or of gender-based violence? Is the mean form of violence against women sexual in nature? Does it occur primarily in domestic settings? What is left out when the problem is framed in this way, and whose interests are served by such framing? When invoked in the halls of the United Nations and used to shape international policy, the terms violence against women (VAW) and gender-based violence (GBV) are often assumed to have stable meanings, yet they do not.
The goal is to move the conversation on this crucial topic in new directions, pointing to elisions and exclusions in many common-sense understandings of these terms; deepening the ways in which we engage with the manifestations and causes of such violence; unpacking the politics through which accusations of GBV can sometimes be used to pathologize entire communities, societies or religious traditions, or to divert attention from more systemic forms of abuse such as economic, discursive, and political violence.
The Reframing Gendered Violence Project Istanbul Workshop consists of 22 senior undergraduate and graduate students representing fields ranging from history, anthropology, and sociology to literature, as well as political science from Boğaziçi University, City University of New York, İstanbul University, Koç University, Sabancı University, University of Osnabrück, Yıldız Teknik University, Mimar Sinan University, Middle East Technical University, Ankara University, and University of Gaziantep.
The workshop series aims to explore questions of gender-based violence, sexual violence, violence against LGBT people in new directions, deepening the ways in which we engage with the manifestations and causes of such violence in local and global contexts. Participants are expected to watch video recordings of a series of panels, which took place in New York with distinguished scholars from Columbia and other universities in the field; and contribute to the debate by reflecting on their own research and academic interests. The workshops not only aim to bring together academics and students who work on themes related to gender based violence in Turkey and in the MENA region but also create dialogue and facilitate the exchange of knowledge at the global level.
The Istanbul Center hosted the second workshop led by Prof. Fatmagül Berktay (İstanbul University) and Dr. Feyza Akınerdem(Boğaziçi University) on March 24, 2017, on “Framing Religion and Gender Violence: Beyond the Muslim Question.”