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UNCTAD Gender Lecture: Gender in the 21st Century: looking backward, moving forward

14 Jul 2010



9 July 2010, UNRISD Research Coordinator Shahra Razavi spoke at the UNCTAD lecture on Gender in the 21st Century: looking backward, moving forward, alongside Elisabeth Prügl, Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. The complementary presentations were followed by a discussion chaired by Sarah Cook, Director of UNRISD.

Both experts provided their insight on how gender issues have evolved in importance over the past 100 years. Elisabeth gave an overview of gender with a critical eye on the main milestones of the feminist movement in Europe and North America within a theoretical context. She also provided her thoughts on where the contemporary gender agenda is heading, focusing in particular on the developing world.

Shahra talked about gender inequalities in terms of access to resources, welfare and opportunity within developing countries. As well, she provided examples of successful initiatives addressing these issues at the national, regional and international levels. Finally, she reflected on how gender inequalities are being reproduced in the arena of economic and social justice in addition to political participation.

The presentations were followed by a lively panel discussion. Shahra and Elisabeth answered complex questions on the role of men in the gender equation, the inequalities existing between women, and whether fundamental, biological differences exist between the sexes.

Owing to the limited timeframe and multifaceted aspect of the topic, the panel concluded the event was just a starting point in the conversation about gender. It agreed to find a way to continue the discussion into the future.