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Gender and Violence in Migration: International Perspectives

  • Saint Mary's University, McNally Main room 227 Halifax, NS (map)

This panel of academic researchers and practitioners highlights sexual and gender-based violence during the migration and settlement journey in Canada and the Eastern Mediterranean. Presenters will draw upon newcomer and refugee women’s lived experiences of SGBV and associated precarity, and/or intervention and prevention services and programs that attempt to address the problem and assist/empower survivors. Acknowledging contextual, empirical and policy differences between the two locations, fruitful comparisons can be drawn for policy recommendations.

The International Development Studies Program at Saint Mary’s University and The Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence at the University of New Brunswick are pleased to sponsor this panel.

A light lunch will be provided. To register for this event, email before October 29.

This free event is part of International Education Week at Saint Mary’s University.

Presenter bios:

Rina Arseneault, C.M., MSW, RSW

Rina has been the Associate Director of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre since November 1993. She is recognized as a social worker, researcher, activist, organizer, author and educator.

She has completed extensive research, organized and delivered numerous regional, national and international training sessions and workshops on the subject of violence.

Rina has received the following recognitions:

  • 2002, the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation Award

  • 2014, appointed to the Order of Canada

  • 2016 the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) Distinguished Service Award

  • 2018, delegate at the 62nd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

  • 2018, Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case.

Dr. Tatjana Takševa

Dr. Takševais Associate Professor at the Department of English Language and Literature and the Women and Gender Studies Program at Saint Mary’s University, Canada. She has conducted extensive research in the area of sexual violence in war, in the context of the rape camps set up during the conflict in the Former Yugoslavia, with a particular focus on the long-term and transgenerational impact of conflict related sexual violence on survivors and their families. She is currently working with survivors of sexual violence in Bosnia on a SSHRC-funded project relating to the transgenerational transmission of trauma. She has been an Amnesty International invited speaker on the topic of literature and human rights, is a member of the Central and Eastern European Studies Research Group at the University of Ottawa, a long-standing member of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement, and is the Communications Coordinator of the Women and Gender Studies Association of Canada. She is an expert on gender and conflict, and in particular on the effects of conflict on mothers and mothering.

Dr. Evangelia (Evie) Tastsoglou

Dr. Tastsoglou is Professor of Sociology, Coordinator of the International Development Studies Program at Saint Mary’s University and President of the Canadian Ethnic Studies Association. She has published extensively on gender and various aspects of international migration; Canadian immigration and integration; violence and migration; citizenship and belonging. She was president of the RC 32 (“Women in Society”) of the International Sociological Association (2010-2014); member of the Research Council and the Executive of the ISA (2014-2018); and chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology (2006-2012). She is currently researching sexual and gender based violence and precarity during forced migration and is the PI of a SSHRC-funded project focusing on the Eastern Mediterranean.

Dr. Shiva Nourpanah

Dr. Nourpanah joined the Transition House Association of Nova Scotia as the Provincial Coordinator in April 2018. Before that, she conducted research and teaching at the local universities since 2008, and she graduated with her PhD in Social Anthropology in 2017. Her areas of research include the experiences of refugees and temporary migrants. Formerly, she worked for eight years in Iran with refugees, as a staff-member of the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees. She has published work on the ethics of refugee aid, women's human rights in refugee aid, and the experiences of settlement and integration of Afghan refugees in Halifax. Currently, she is researching the role of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in refugee claims. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Halifax Refugee Clinic, since 2011.

Alexander Davis, BA, BA (Hons)

Alexander is a 4th year honours student in criminology at Saint Mary’s University in his final semester. Previous to this he graduated from Acadia University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology. In the summer of 2018 he worked on Dr. Tastsoglou’s project relating to sexual and gender based violence and will continue with this research until he graduates in January 2019. Alexander Has always loved researching the issue of Gender based violence as his honours thesis pertained to the complex decisions that Nova Scotia Supreme and Family Court Justices have to make in child custody cases particularly when domestic violence is at play. Alexander hopes to continue his current research on Sexual and Gender based violence in the forced migration journey, by applying to the Masters Program in International and Development studies at Saint Mary’s University for the fall of 2019!

Kathryn Bates Khan, BA (Hons), B.Ed.

Kathryn is an educator and lifelong learner committed to social justice and human rights. Working and volunteering both locally and overseas has encouraged her to appreciate diversity and intercultural communication. During her career at YMCA, Kathryn has led International Development programming – in supporting our partnership with the sister location in Bogotá. She has also led multiple programs over the last 20 years for immigrant children and youth, particularly priority youth. She represents the YMCA on various committees such as service provider round tables, and the Local Immigration Partnership. She is currently leading the YMCA’s Gender-Based Violence Prevention Project.