At the University of Oxford, Contestations around FGM: Activism and the Academy

Celebrating women’s victories and challenges, a workshop, Contestations around FGM: Activism and the Academy, is taking place on March 7, 2015, from 8:00 a.m. to 8 p.m., as part of the annual Oxford International Women’s Festival, sponsored by International Gender Studies (IGS), Lady Margaret Hall at the University of Oxford.

Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford

Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford

Here’s the PROGRAMME.

Saturday, March 7, 2015, in the Old Library, Talbot Hall

09:00 – 09:15  Opening Remarks. Dr. Maria Jaschok (Director, International Gender Studies, Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford) & Dr. Tobe Levin (Visiting Research Fellow, International Gender Studies, Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford)

09:15 – 10:30  Session 1 ROUND-TABLE on Testimony/Oral History: Addressing the academy, policy-makers, and civil society, what do survivors want us to know?

Chair:   Dr. Maria Jaschok (IGS, LMH, University of Oxford) Participants:   Hoda Ali, activist and nurse (UK/Somalia); Khady Koita, author and founder, EuroNet-FGM and la Palabre (Belgium/Senegal); Lucy Mashua, blogger and relentless ‘Ambassador’ against FGM (USA/Kenya); Hawa D. Sesay, Executive Director Hawa Trust & social worker (UK/Sierra Leone); Hibo Wardere, educator, activist (UK/Somalia) Respondent:  Valentine Nkoyo, education activist (UK/Kenya)

10:30 – 11:45    Session 2 ROUND-TABLE on LAW: Concerning prosecution, what are the benefits, the hurdles and the effects on prevention of committed implementation of the law?

Chair:   Dr. Frankie Hutton, Rose Project and NJ State Commissioner (USA9 Participants: Dexter Dias, QC (UK), Dr. Barbara Harrell-Bond, OBE, Professor Emerita, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, Honorary Fellow, LMH, (UK) Lorraine Koonce Farahmand, Esq Solicitor of England and Wales, NY lawyer and gender advocate (France)  Hilary Burrage, sociologist, journalist (The Guardian/Huffington Post) blogger and book author (UK) Linda Weil-Curiel, attorney, CAMS (France) Jennifer Obaseki, Solicitor (UK) Respondent:             Charlotte Rachel Proudman, attorney (UK)

11:45-12:00                                    Coffee Break

12:00-13:15  Session 3 on Medicine (1): How has the ‘Health Approach’ promoted as well as hindered abolition by encouraging widespread medicalization? (Alternatively: how is the medical profession responding to the FGM crisis?)

Chair:  Dr. Tobe Levin von Gleichen, Visiting Research Fellow, IGS, LMH (Germany) Presenters:  Adebisi Adebayo, Ph.D. Inter-African Committee, Geneva (Switzerland) Owolabi Bjalkander, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden (Sierra Leone) Prof Dr Els Leye, Vrije Universiteit Brussel – RHEA Centre of expertise on Gender, Diversity and Intersectionality/Ghent University-International Centre for Reproductive Health (Belgium) Dr. Gillian Einstein, Professor of Neuroscience, University of Toronto (Canada) Video presentation in absentia. Respondent: Kariyo-Grâce Nyandwi, medical student, Univ. Heidelberg (Germany)

13:15 – 13:45                                 Sandwich Buffet Lunch

13:45 -15:00   Session 4 on Medicine (2): How are survivors’ needs for care/treatment being met, including clitoris reconstruction?

Chair:  Frédérique Martz, executive director, Institut en Santé Génésique (France) Presenters: Dr. Phoebe Abe, physician treating FGM survivors (UK)Dr. Brenda Kelly, physician treating FGM survivors (UK) Dr. Comfort Momoh, MBE, FGM/Public Health Specialist (UK) Dr. Pierre Foldes, pioneer of clitoris restoration surgery (France) Respondent:   Surkhab Peerzada, public health specialist, thesis on FGM (Canada)

15:00-16:15 Session 5 ROUND TABLE on FGM, Media and the Arts: How can the arts best challenge FGM?

Chair:  Godfrey Williams-Okorodus, artist (Belgium/Nigeria) Joy Keshi Walker, MBA and curator (Nigeria/USA) Berhane Ras-Work, Co-founder & past president, Inter-African Committee and author (Geneva/Ethiopia) Chloe White, award-winning documentary filmmaker (UK) Jeanie Kortum, novelist (USA) Susan McLucas, Sini Sanuman (USA/Mali) (Music DVD in absentia). Respondent: Sarah Penny, author, academic and creative writing activist Brunel University (UK)

16:15-16:30                             Coffee Break

16:30 – 17:45  Session 6 ROUND TABLE on Activism and Research: How does research help to prevent FGM?

Chair: Dr. Phyllis Ferguson, Oxford Transitional Justice Research, University of Oxford. Participants: Professor Francisca Omorodion, Sociology/ Anthropology/Criminology, University of Windsor (Canada/Benin) Dr. Hazel Barrett, professor, Coventry University (UK) Dr. Anja Stuckert, Gender Advisor, Plan International (Germany) Ann-Marie Wilson, Executive Director/Founder, 28TooMany, Anti-FGM NGO (UK) Fatoumata Siré Diakité, founder and President, APDF (Mali) and Erica Pomerance, filmmaker (Canada) Bannir le Couteau de l’Excision (film excerpt in absentia) Dr. Adriana Kaplan Marcusan, Fundación Wassu, Universitat Autonóma de Barcelona (Spain/The Gambia) (Statement in absentia) Respondent:  Grace Mbungu, researcher and activist (Germany/Kenya)

17:45 – 18:15   KEYNOTE SPEECH by Maggie O’Kane, The Guardian “FGM and the media generation (video, community radio and the struggle): How a new generation of campaigners and journalists are harnessing the media”

18:15 – 19:15   Leyla Hussein, Psychotherapist/ Lead Campaigner and Consultant; Co-Founder of Daughters Of Eve, Hawa’s Haven and Dahlia’s Project, presents “The Cruel Cut”

19:15-19:45   LIVE PERFORMANCE. A scene from WAAFRIKA. Kenya. 1992. Two Women Fall in Love. By Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko, dramatist and author (USA/Kenya/Tanzania) Actress: Tzena Nicole

19:45-20:00  Conclusion

All day: sale at conference discount, books on FGM from UnCUT/VOICES Press (Frankfurt am Main, Germany) and Ayebia Clark Publishing (Banbury, UK). Giclée reproductions of Nigerian paintings on FGM, exhibition originally curated by Joy Keshi Walker and Godfrey Williams-Okorodus in 1998. Artwork by Diane Walsh, FPA Foreign Correspondent communication-strategy consultant (GAFGM, GWPF) (UK)

Costs: £12 per participant for two coffee breaks and lunch; additional £15 per participant for concluding reception at the Cotswold Lodge.

Gratitude to assistants Dr. Phyllis Ferguson, Roberta Staples, Dr. Selin Akyuz, Dr. Ma Khin Mar Mar Kyi, Kerrie Thornhill, Emily Tifft, Rowel Leung, Karen McCallum and Dr. Angela Raven-Roberts.

4 responses to “At the University of Oxford, Contestations around FGM: Activism and the Academy

  1. Paula Ferrari

    Such an incredible program Tobe! If we could somehow put together for australia! Let’s work towards something for 2017!! Love Paula

  2. Paula, What a wonderful idea. I heard the same from Dr. Adebisi Adebayo envisioning a similar gathering in Geneva.

  3. We are anti-FGM activists based in Brussels from a small Association Respect for Change (R4C).
    The programme of your workshop seemed very interesting. At that dae, we were on R4C mission in Dadaab Kenya (FGM/C focused).
    Would you mind sending us the minutes or other papers available? Also would you mind adding us to your mailing list for next event ? Many thanks.

  4. Very happy to hear from you. In several weeks a Report will appear as an electronic Newsletter published by International Gender Studies at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford. Phyllis Ferguson and I (Tobe levin) are co-editors, and I’ll send you the link. Keep in touch.

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