NEW PALTZ — Inspired by the fourth United Nations conference on women held recently in Beijing, China, the Women’s Studies Program at the State University of New York at New Paltz has chosen as its fall conference theme, Feminism: Linking Global and Local Perspectives. The conference, on Saturday, October 21, will bring together women from around the world, as well as those from local communities, to examine the various forms feminist activism has taken.
Amrita Basu, professor of political science and women’s studies at Amherst College, will deliver the keynote address, “Sisterhood is Local: Feminism in Global Perspective,” at the 9 a.m. opening session. Basu has researched women’s grassroots movements and is the editor of the recently published book, “The Challenge of Local Feminisms: Women’s Movements in Global Perspective,” (Westview Press, 1995).
Following the morning plenary session, workshops will be held which are devoted to a broad examination of efforts to improve women’s lives in many countries, in the workplace, the community and the university. Two workshops on perspectives from Beijing will feature women who attended the Beijing Conference and Forum of Non-Governmental Organizations. Other workshop topics will include: “Responding to Women’s Health Needs in Haiti”; “What’s a Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?–Teaching and
Studying Women Across Nation, Class, Race, and Age”; and “Women and Economic Development.”
Additional workshops will be held on “Strategies for the Advancement of Women in Africa”; “Putting Yourself in the Picture – Women’s Vision of Our World at Peace”; and “Two Forms of Feminism: Israel and India.”
Also covered will be sessions on “Reproductive Health Policies: India, China and Quebec”; “Issues Facing Latina Immigrants”; “Lesbian Rights”; “Sex Work/Sex Trade”; and “Girls’ Education–An African Perspective.”
The closing plenary session will feature three speakers, Ellen Brennan, director of the population unit of the United Nations; Gloria Emeagwali, chair of the African American studies program and a member of the history department at Central Connecticut State University; and Natalie Nenadic, of Yale University, who works with the Rape/Genocide Law Project. Brennan will be discussing “New Dimensions of Reproductive Health and Rights”; Emeagwali will discuss “Women Pay the Price: Gender and Economic Transformation in Africa”; and Nenadic’s topic will be “Letting the World Know about Rape and Genocide in Bosnia: an Account of Women’s Survival and Activism.”
Saturday evening at 8 p.m. there will be a concert by The Mob of Angels with Layne Redmond. This unique group of musicians is reviving the ancient Mediterranean tradition of women’s ceremonial drumming and ritual celebrations.
In addition, “Global Sisters in Peace,” photographs by Shash Broxson, will be exhibited in the Purple Lounge of the Student Union Building from October 17-22.
The conference registration fee is $15. Individuals who are able to pay more are requested to do so; those who cannot afford the $15 are invited to pay whatever they are able. The combination conference and concert fee is $20. Concert tickets may be purchased separately at $10 each or $7 for seniors and students. Child care will available to those who register on or before October 10 and indicate this need.
Individuals who require the use of a wheelchair, have other special needs or have questions about the conference should contact Pat Clarke, Women’s Studies (845) 257-2975. For a registration form and brochure, call the Conference Center (845) 257-3033.