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Workshop: Contested Reproductive Rights in Turbulent Times: Interrogating the Politics, Ethics, and Practices of Reproduction from Feminist and Intersectional Perspectives

The international and interdisciplinary workshop aims at analysing the concept of reproductive rights and the politics, ethics, and practices of reproduction from a critical perspective which is informed by feminist and intersectional perspectives. Special attention is paid to comparative aspects, also with regard to different geopolitical, sociocultural, and historical contexts.

Reproductive rights began to develop as a subset of human rights at the United Nation's 1968 International Conference on Human Rights. It took until 1994 as they were first defined at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo and included in the Bejing Platform in 1995. In Western cultures and politics, reproductive rights comprise the physical and mental wellbeing in relation to all areas of human sexuality and reproduction. This includes the freedom of choice with regard to the individual’s family planning, e.g. if, when and with whom a family should be formed, how big this family should become, and how a family should be lived and done.

The concept of reproductive rights is highly contested since its introduction. This is not only the case among feminists with different social, cultural and geopolitical backgrounds. Even more the concept of reproductive rights is used for the neo-liberal transnational marketisation of reproductive technologies and the development of bio-sciences neoconservative political and Christian as well as Islamic forces are organising resistance against it on various local and global levels. This tense situation is framed by a demographic situation that on one hand is shaped by low fertility rates in many parts of the Western world since the 1970’s and on the other hand consists of an ongoing population growth, especially in many parts of Africa and Asia. Political attempts to raise the fertility rates in the Western world and to limit them in those parts of the world where fertility rates are considered as being too high, are restricted by political, legal and ethical boundaries and furthermore do not seem to be very successful.

The international and interdisciplinary workshop aims at analysing the concept of reproductive rights and the politics, ethics, and practices of reproduction from a critical perspective which is informed by feminist and intersectional perspectives. Special attention is paid to comparative aspects, also with regard to different geopolitical, sociocultural, and historical contexts.

Date: 13 May 2020 - 15 May 2020
Location: Ruhr
Type: Conference
Organiser: Ruhr University Bochum, Faculty of Social Science


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