Near East University Law and Society Conferences – I
Date Added: 08 May 2018, 09:05
Last Updated Date:20 November 2020, 11:08

The faculty members of Near East University-Faculty of Law have inaugurated Law and Society Conferences. "Fight for Women's Rights to Stop the Gender-based Violence and Legal Activism: Turkey and the USA" was the topic of the first conference.

According to the press statement released by the Directorate of Press and Public Relations Office of Near East University, Professor Elizabeth L. MacDowell from the USA Nevada University School of Law participated in the conference that organized by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eylem Ümit Atılgan and Asst. Prof. Dr. Aydın Atılgan. Professor MacDowell's research interests focus on intersectional issues of race, class, gender, domestic violence, access to justice, and the impact of criminalization on low-income families. Professor MacDowell, who has been in Turkey since September as a Fulbright Scholar and Senior Researcher interviewing lawyers and activists who are working on gender violence issues, shared the preliminary findings of her research on "Fight for Women's Rights to Stop the Gender-based Violence and Legal Activism".

The Conference Aims to Ensure the Understanding of Legal Issues through Various Social Dimensions
In her opening remarks, Assoc. Prof. Dr Eylem Ümit Atılgan stated that they had organized the conference series to ensure the understanding of the legal issues not only by legislation and case law but also through various social aspects. She also underlined that they would continue the conferences with the participation of various local and foreign academicians working in the field of "Law and Society" within the body of the Faculty of Law.

Professor MacDowell addressed the Social Gender-based Discrimination in Turkey and the USA
Professor MacDowell began her speech by extending her appreciations to the conference organizers, who invited her to Near East University, and Assoc. Prof. Dr. İrfan S. Günsel, the Dean of Faculty of Law. In her remarks, Professor MacDowell explained why she chose Turkey and the USA as sample countries for her research study and pointed to the common points regarding the gender-based discrimination in both countries. She indicated that it was politically a volatile time in both countries and gender was on the front lines causing common problems.

Touching upon the process of the fight for women's rights ongoing from the beginning to the present day, Professor MacDowell described this process as the formation of three consecutive waves. She underlined that more structural resolution proposals had been taken as basis for today's feminist movements instead of criminal law-based resolutions. Underlining the significant function of the women's movement particularly in Turkey in raising public awareness for no to violence and discrimination against women, Professor MacDowell stated that the feminist movement in Turkey should be taken into consideration in the international area.

Role of Lawyers in Gender Discrimination and Common Causes of Violence against Women were questioned
Following her speech, Professor MacDowell answered the questions directed to her by participants. The participants tried to find answers to the following issues: What lawyers can do against gender discrimination, the role of the international feminist movement in the ongoing violence environment in the Middle East, how different feminist traditions can work together, whether some methods such as chemical castration are disincentive against sexual crimes, and the common causes of violence against women in different countries. After the conference, Professor MacDowell said that she was very satisfied with the interest of Near East University students in the event adding that the conference was an important step for her research process in Turkey.