From: Majlis Campaigns <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 8:45 AM
Subject: NEGOTIATING SPACES: Interrogating Patriarchy with a spotlight on Natal Family Violence - 25th and 26th August 2012 in Mumbai
To: Majlis Law <email@example.com>
Interrogating Patriarchy with a spotlight on Natal Family Violence
A two day conference by Majlis, 25th and 26th August 2012 in Mumbai
Majlis invites you to our third annual academic conference in the series Negotiating Spaces to discuss issues concerning laws, rights and social concerns. In the first year we explored the theme, Legal Constructs, Gender Concerns and Community Constraints and in the second year, we looked at the poignant theme of Women in Conflict Zones.
This year we plan to bring the focus back to families and Interrogate Patriarchy with a spotlight on Natal Family Violence.
The women's movement has constantly engaged with oppression within marriage and violence within marital homes. This has resulted in bringing about laws and legal provisions specifically to address marital violence. In most discourses, marriage remains pivotal and issues of violence revolve around the space within the marital home.
But while dealing with cases of women coping with violence in their marital homes, we notice that the lack of support from her natal family hinders her from seeking viable options. The increasing number of women who commit suicide in their marital home is a clear indication that women prefer to die in their marital home rather than return to their parental home and seek alternatives. Something seems to have missed our attention?
Unless we examine the life of a girl within her natal family we will not be able to find answers to the problems faced by women in their marital homes. For example while the malaise of demanding dowry is grave the giving of dowry by the natal family so as not to take the girl back is even more serious. It is the lack of acceptance by the natal family that is driving young women to suicide when they can't cope with the violence. We feel that the time is now ripe to address this issue squarely in order to understand the oppression of women in a more nuanced manner, in order to seek solutions.
How do we accept our girls at birth and what is the social conditioning that we subject them to during their growing up years? Discrimination at every level, nutrition, education, access to resources and lack of decision making power, subdues young girls. We prepare them for marriage with a clear diktat that there is no turning back and no security to fall back upon. And yet when confronted with marital violence, we are shocked to find that they are unable to cope. How is a girl who has been raised with the notion of subservience and rendered powerless through lack of exposure equipped to resist violence. Sadly and ironically, for some, suicide or self destruction appears to be their only point of retaliation or self assertion. Later we use the term, dowry death, to address these negative acts of assertion when confronted with a situation of no choice.
The issue is also linked to another daunting problem that is facing us today – declining sex ratio. At a superficial level, the blame can be placed upon the medical professionals but we must also accept that scientific innovations are always used to exploit a prevailing social phenomenon – the son preference at one end and the discrimination towards the girl child at the other. Within this prevailing situation, what will the outcome be of forcing families to give birth to girl children whom they hate, and what is the social environment that the girl child is expected to survive in? These are some issues that will be explored during the two day conference, so please block your dates for 25-26 August, 2012.
To participate, please register at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Sindhu 022-26661252 / 26662394. The registration is free, but we need details for technical arrangements. Out of town participants are welcome, but please note that we will not be able to provide travel or accommodation.
Tel: 022 26661252 / 26662394
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