G01
The gendering of public space in the globalized world (IUAES Commission on the Anthropology of Women)

Convenors:
Joan P Mencher (Lehman Col. & CUNY Grad CTR.)
Chair:
Subhadra Mitra Channa
Discussant:
Prof.Joan P Mencher
Track:
General
Location:
University Place Theatre
Start time:
6 August, 2013 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

This will focus on how both public and domestic space has been redefined as women are coming out into the public realm globally.

Long abstract:

In every part of the world there has been an increase in women's movements into spaces that have not been their domain in the past,like in politics, military service,administration, corporate business etc. Thus what had been almost exclusively male spaces are now occupied by large number of women. This panel seeks to explore from ethnographic studies across the world, how such spatial redefinition has altered the gendering of public spaces. For example the need for women to take care of children, to breast feed babies, the aesthetics of a feminine environment, the modification of language , dress and speech caused by the very presence of women. The transformation of etiquette to accomodate feminine presence, like replacing charman with chairperson. Also relevant are the polciies and regulations that have been brought in by state, often at the behest of civil society and women to tackle such issues as were unforeseen in the past. For example the Indian legislation to deal with sexual harrasement at the work place, the issues of sexuality in militray service, to accomodate women's bodily function within the public arena and to transform legal language to include women, to propagate what is understood as gender sensitive language and so on. Women's presence has also led to a critical assessment of male centric rational and ethical premises, the movement away from aggresson towards peace to seek sustainability rather than growth and various such transformations that may redefine humanity for the future.