Who’s afraid of gender and why? Gender studies – the path for prospect.

There are at least 3 ways „the gender” is described.

(1)  It is the field part of academic studies, programs and faculties studying: Gender : understood as socially-constructed roles and responsibilities that societies consider appropriate for men and women; Gender-based violence : understood as violence against women based on their perceived subordinate status (e.g., physical abuse, sexual assault, psychological abuse, economical abuse, trafficking); Gender equality : understood as equal power and opportunities for men and women, but not equality in the sense  of the belief that women should be treated the same as men, and should be like men; Gender gap : understood as discrepancy between men and women in the areas of health, education, political empowerment, and economic empowerment; Gender parity : understood as relative access to resources for men and women, often used for education, social policy etc; Maternal health : understood as the health and social situation of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and during the postpartum period; Parental rights; understood as policy oriented on actual needs of parents and children detached from parents biological sex; Gender mainstreaming: understood as a globally accepted strategy for promoting gender equality. Mainstreaming is not an end in itself but a strategy, an approach, a means to achieve the goal of gender equality. It takes an effort  to integrate women into the economic, political, and social development of their countries. And last but not least Women’s empowerment : understood as the fostering of a woman’s sense of self-worth, her decision-making power, her access to opportunities and resources, her power and control over her own life inside and outside the home, and her ability to affect change.

(2)  It is also political religious upheaval that started around 2013 as a political action “Against Gender” that fades out around 2016.

(3)  It is also part of the political movement so called “war on gender”. It’s antifeminist roots are in fact oriented on up keeping the patriarchal and sexist model of the world that study on gender effectively shatter

I will provide in my speech the arguments for importance of being aware of the meaning and practice of gender studies and gender sensitivity for they do create an actual chance for prospect not only in academia but also in the society.

Prof. Dr. hab. Monika Płatek

Lawyer, academic, and feminist, Professor of Law and Criminology.

Head of the Criminology Department at the Law Faculty, Warsaw University. Fulbright Fellow. Her research and socio-political activities focus on areas  of comparative criminal law and correction, human rights, criminology  and gender studies. She research and write on theory and practice of comparative criminal and penitentiary policy, sexual crimes, women’s rights,  restorative justice, and the sociology of law. She is the co-founder (in 1994) and long-time president of the Polish Association for Legal Education. She also sat on the program board of the Panoptykon Foundation. Prof. Płatek was a representative of the Polish Ombudsman for victims’ rights (2002-2006), as well serving as a legal expert for parliamentary committees, the Open Society Institute and the Council of Europe.

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