Public Lecture to Launch Global Women's Studies Programme at NUI Galway

Thursday, 23 October 2008

A public lecture by Muslim women's rights scholar and activist, Dr Norani Othman, will mark the formal launch of the Global Women's Studies Programme at NUI Galway on Wednesday, 29 October. Guided by the ethics of international human rights, the Global Women's Studies Programme undertakes teaching and research to deepen understanding of the gender dimensions of global issues such as conflict and peace, global economic crisis, religious fundamentalism, human trafficking and disease pandemics. Dr Othman is Associate Professor and Senior Fellow at the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies, and her lecture will be entitled 'Muslim women's human rights: national and international dimensions'. A founding member of a highly regarded Muslim women's non-governmental organisation Sisters in Islam Forum Malaysia, Dr Othman is no stranger to controversy. Her book Muslim Women and the Challenge of Islamic Extremism was recently banned by the Malaysian authorities. According to Dr Nata Duvvury, who co-ordinates the Global Women's Studies Programme with Dr Niamh Reilly at NUI Galway: "We look forward to having such an internationally respected and renowned expert as Dr Othman officially launch the Global Women's Studies Programme at NUI Galway. The Programme is unique in Ireland because it focuses on exploring women's experiences of globalisation from a human rights perspective". Dr Niamh Reilly added: "For example, when states cut social spending women often bear the brunt by increasing their unpaid caring work; the vast majority of trafficked people are women and girls; worldwide, women are becoming HIV positive at a faster rate than men; in situations where fundamentalist politics take hold, the behaviour of women and girls is the first target of repressive action; women rarely initiate conflicts but bear the greatest cost of its catastrophic disruption to daily life, and are generally excluded from post-conflict decision making". Part of the School of Political Science and Sociology, The Global Women s Studies Programme builds on a long-established tradition of Women's Studies at NUI Galway. It currently has over 40 students, which include the first intake of new B.A. Connect with Women's Studies and the M.A. in Gender, Globalisation and Rights. There are also more than ten Ph.D. students researchers in its Gender Research Group. Dr Othman's visit is co-sponsored by the Development Education and Research Network at NUI Galway. For further information about the Launch of the Global Women's Studies Programme and the Public Lecture which takes place at 6pm on Wednesday, 29 October, in Áras Moyola at NUI Galway, contact Gillian Browne on 091 493450 or email gillian.browne@nuigalway.ie
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