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Category Archives: Migration Blog

Women, Migration, and Conflict: Breaking a Deadly Cycle

A book cover

Susan Forbes Martin (author, editor)
John Tirman (author, editor)
2009, XVIII, 253 p.

An estimated 35 million people worldwide are displaced by conflict, and most of them are women and children. During their time away from their homes and communities, these women and their children are subjected to a horrifying array of misfortune, including privations of every kind, sexual assaults, disease, imprisonment, unwanted pregnancies, severe psychological trauma, and, upon return or resettlement, social disapproval and isolation.

Written by the world’s leading scholars and practitioners, this unique collection brings these problems – and potential solutions – into sharp focus. Based on extensive field research and a broad knowledge of other studies of the challenges facing women who are forced from their homes and homelands by conflict, this book offers in-depth understanding and problem-solving ideas. Derived from a project to advise U.N. agencies, it speaks to a broad array of students, scholars, NGOs, policymakers, government officials, and international organizations.

Susan Forbes Martin, Editor, is Donald G. Herzberg Associate Professor of International Migration and Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration in the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, and longtime consultant to many agencies on migration issues.

John Tirman, Editor, is Executive Director of the Center for International Studies at MIT, where he is also Principal Research Scientist. He is on the steering group of the Inter-University Committee on International Migration.

The Tenement Museum in New York

A photo of 97 Orchand Street in 1930

Photo of Orchard St. tenements by Tenement Museum ca. 1930s

The Tenement Museum in New York tells the stories of 97 Orchard Street. Built on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1863, this tenement apartment building was home to nearly 7000 working class immigrants.
They faced challenges we understand today: making a new life, working for a better future, starting a family with limited means.
In recognizing the importance of this seemingly ordinary building, the Tenement Museum has re-imagined the role that museums can play in our lives.

The Tenement Museum preserves and interprets the history of immigration through the personal experiences of the generations of newcomers who settled in and built lives on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, America’s iconic immigrant neighborhood; forges emotional connections between visitors and immigrants past and present; and enhances appreciation for the profound role immigration has played and continues to play in shaping America’s evolving national identity.

103 Orchard Street
p: 212-982-8420

Located on the corner of Delancey Street, the Visitor Center and Museum Shop is where tours start and end, and where tickets are sold.

The Museum Shop carries an excellent selection of books and gifts about New York, immigration and tenements. It is also home to Tenement Talks, a regular series of free readings, performances and book release parties.

The Tenement Museum virtual tour:

Women Rights versus Cultural Identity?

The author of an article Culture versus Rights Dualism: a myth or a reality? in openDemocracy web, Yakin Ertür, claims that women’s human rights discourse and movements have become entangled within a culture-versus-rights dualism. The author argues that this is a false dualism which serves both private patriarchy and public patriarchy of neo-liberal globalisation.

“Blaming culture for the disadvantages faced by women, minorities, and other vulnerable groups is an appealing ideology for proponents of contemporary neoliberal globalisation. It blames the havoc wreaked by expansive capitalism and global conflicts on the culture of the other”.
Hence, the cultural authenticity discourse provides a perfect alibi for the traditional patriarchs to evade any responsibility to accommodate women’s rights claims; cultural interpretation of women’s subordination relieves rich countries of the responsibility for dispossessions caused by capitalism, neoliberalism, militarism, occupation and armed conflicts.
The good news is, women have not passively submitted to such encroachments. Individually and collectively they have always negotiated hegemonic value. In confronting the culture of domination they have organised and redefined culture and religion to promote women’s rights.
On the other hand, the international human rights framework which women rely on in holding their respective governments accountable to their international commitments, remains abstract, legalistic and distant to women’s lives.
Furthermore, the hierarchical treatment of rights in the human rights system which privileges civil and political rights over economic, social and cultural rights, reinforces neoliberal globalisation.
These will require strategic engagement with the international human rights framework in order to transform the human rights culture, and to ensure that governments comply with their international commitments. With respect to the former, it is important to strategise beyond CEDAW, which women now use effectively. In this regard, the committees monitoring the Twin Covenants are particularly important in challenging the hierarchy and fragmentation of rights. Women’s rights will remain aspirational if women are not empowered through access to housing, land, credit, income and authority.

You will find full article here:

openDemocracy publishes high quality news analysis, debates and blogs about the world and the way we govern ourselves. openDemocracy is committed to human rights and democracy. They aim to ensure that marginalised views and voices are heard.They believe facilitating argument and understanding across geographical boundaries is vital to preventing injustice. openDemocracy encourages special editorial projects which are part of openDemocracy but are run autonomously with their own funding.

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