Gender & Dissent Working Group newly created

The Dissent, Democracy & the Law Research Network announces the creation of a Gender & Dissent Working Group.
January 23, 2014

The Gender and Dissent Working Group aims to undertake and support research activities that examine the implications of the relationship between civil society and the state for women and civil society organizations that work on gender-related issues. Research undertaken to date indicates that individuals and groups working on gender and socio-economic equality issues have been specifically targeted by legal and extralegal measures aimed at undermining their capacity to participate in public debate and dissent on important policy issues. At the same time, the state appears to be selectively supporting organizations that share or are willing to adopt its policy goals. This generates the impression of public "agreement" about government decisions, while also enforcing problematic ideas of gender, nationhood and race.

These observations appear to be part of an overall shift in the relationship between the state and civil society, and should be understood in the historical context of gender-based public advocacy in Canada and Quebec. From this perspective, a detailed examination of the gender-based features of these contemporary trends has the potential to bring specific nuance and insight into the political nature and implications of this broader shift. The Gender and Dissent Working Group will support such research and encourage debate on these issues. This includes critically examining the opportunities and limitations of a gender-focused approach, particularly with respect to the distinction between ‘gender’ issues and other civil society issues.

The Working Group will be launched in May 2014 at the Gendered Dissent, Democracy and the Law Workshop, which aims to document and theorize gendered dissent in Canada. The Workshop will be hosted in partnership with Osgoode Hall Law School, the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies and the Critical Research Laboratory in Law and Society. 

The Working Group invites proposals for papers or other interventions for the Gendered Dissent, Democracy and the Law Workshop, read the call for the proposals by clicking on the link below.