THE DIRECTOR’S SEMINAR SERIES Law And Humanities in a Pandemic: Gendering the Pandemic

THE DIRECTOR’S SEMINAR SERIES  Law And Humanities in a Pandemic: Gendering the Pandemic
21 Apr 2021, 15:00 to 21 Apr 2021, 16:30
Online Seminar (Zoom)

Online Event 

Women, Violence and Protest in Times of COVID-19
Kim Barker, The Open University
Olga Jurasz, The Open University

COVID-19 has highlighted the fragility of women’s rights protection. Whilst the predominant focus has fallen on the reporting of domestic violence, there are ‘untold’ narratives about how laws and regulations are used to further restrict women’s rights in times of pandemic; the role and remit of emergency legislative measures; women’s activism – including online protest - to protect their rights in times of pandemic; and the role of women politicians in raising these issues. This contribution explores the ‘untold story’ of the gendered dimension of COVID-19, with a particular focus on women’s activism online and the backlash suffered as a result.

Bahraini Family Laws During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Questioning the Re-emergence of Gendered and Sectarian Identities
Fatema Hubail, Georgetown University in Qatar

With the emergence of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the questions of gender, sect, and class are re-introduced in Bahraini media. Individuals and groups belonging to a specific gender, sect, or class are transformed in the media as examples, spectacles, and objects of critique. The implications of the family laws already pose risks on women and the family structure, but the COVID-19 pandemic magnifies these implications, further reifying the existing sociopolitical conditions. The pandemic does not only carry a health risk, but it has also become a means of social-conditioning, surveillance, and the reification of difference on the basis of gender, sect, class, and nationality. This research explores: to what extent has the COVID-19 pandemic amplified the inequalities and expectations present within the Bahraini Family Law of 2017? Through rereading and analyzing the family law articles, this research will show the implications of these articles on women in light of the pandemic. The Unified Family Law deviates from the Sunni and Shi’ite juristic traditions, and carefully imbues sociopolitical difference through the way the state legally imagines and codifies the ideal Bahraini family structure. With the pandemic, these differences are central in the representation of communities, as Shi’ite groups have experienced retaliation in Bahrain due to travels to Iran early in 2020. The case of the Unified Family Law in Bahrain complicates the lives of women, where the state imagines unification, but the reality suggests that women are found at the intersection of gender, sect, structures of kin, and lastly, the sociopolitical implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Law’s Invisible Women: The Unintended Gendered Consequences of the COVID-19 Lockdown
Lynsey Mitchell, University of Abertay 
Michelle Weldon-Johns, University of Abertay

This paper examines the unintended gendered consequences of lockdown on women’s rights, particularly those related to women’s health and wellbeing. Situating this assessment within wider feminist legal scholarship, which exposes the gendered nature of law and the tendency to legislate in a way that prioritises a privileged male legal subject, we argue that the legislation and guidance fail to centre women’s lived experiences and so deprioritise women’s needs. We ultimately argue that lessons need to be learned regarding how future emergency responses are implemented to mitigate the impacts on women and ensure gender is mainstreamed within the law-making process. 

THE DIRECTOR’S SEMINAR SERIES Law And Humanities in a Pandemic Full Programme

This Webinar is free but advance booking is required. Details about how to join the virtual event will be circulated via email to registered attendees the day before the event.


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