The seminar Gendering the Nation: Resilience, Trauma, Memory and Silence discusses women not as victims, but as agents of change in their various roles from refugees, missionaries to women’s rights activists. Women act for change and show remarkable survival skills, even under harsh conditions like political oppression and displacement. On October 28th, this seminar  explores a variety of arenas and spaces in which women seek empowerment in Egypt, Armenia, Afghanistan, and Iran. While women’s agency is not necessarily linked to feminist struggles, this seminar critically discusses a range of resilience strategies both historically and presently.

The seminar is part of the joint Gender Based Violence seminar series and is hosted by Chr. Michelsen Institute and the Democracy and Rule of Law Programme at the University of Bergen. Professor Beth Baron, editor of International Journal of Middle East Studies and co-director of Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center, is the key note speaker.

Seminar programme

10.15-10.45: “The Orphan Scandal: Missionaries and the Emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt”

Presentation by Beth Baron, Professor of History, Editor of International Journal of Middle East Studies, Co-Director of Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center.

10.45-11.30: “The Restoration of a Nation: Orphans, Refugees and Relief in the Armenian Republic, 1922-1925”

Presentation by Inger-Marie Okkenhaug, Associate professor at Volda University College.

Chair: Nefissa Naguib, senior researcher at Chr. Michelsen Institute

11.30-12.30: Lunch

12.30-13.15: “Violence against Women as Analytical Entrypoints: Gendered Violations and Contending Sovereign Practices in Afghanistan”

Presentation by Torunn Wimpelmann Chaudary, Researcher at Chr. Michelsen Institute and Ph. D. Candidate at SOAS, University of London.

13.15-14.00: “Towards the Protection of Family and Women’s Rights? The Contemporary Family Law Debate in Iran”

Presentation by Marianne Bøe. Ph. D. Candidate at the Centre for Women’s and Gender Research (SKOK) at the University of Bergen.

Chair: Karin Ask, researcher at Chr. Michelsen Institute.

14.00-15.00: Questions and discussion


Venue: Bergen Resource Centre for International Development, Jekteviksbakken 31

Please confirm your participation to by October 25th