The Law and Violence Seminar: Perspective on Gender and Legal Practice was carried out with great summons. This event, organized by FUNDEPS in collaboration with the University Siglo 21, indicated a space for discussion on this issue and for highlighting the need to address it from a human rights’ perspective.
From the practice of the law, it is essential to think and rethink our practices, attempting to achieve a critical position in order to construct and, on the other hand, deconstruct from a human rights’ perspective. The issue of gender violence is one of the most serious violations of human rights of our time, and our legal practitioners receive very little formation and training in relation with this. The panorama is obscured even further if we talk about sensitivity from a gender perspective and the reality of women and of lesbian, gay, trans-, bi- and intersexual communities (LGTBI).
For this reason, FUNDEPS, along with the Business University Siglo 21, have organized the “Law and Violence: Perspective on Gender and Legal Practice” Training and Sensitivity Seminar, aimed at future and young legal practitioners, not only within the legal profession, but also attempting to contemplate a necessary interdisciplinary nature, which the issue requires. The event formed part of the agreement between our organization and the UN Secretary’s UNiTE campaign, which promotes the fight against violence towards women, joining forces with the Area of University Social Responsibility and the Career in Law at the Business University Siglo 21.
Action for Women, Member of the Latin American Committee for the Defense of Women’s Rights, amongst other achievements in her career in feminist activism. She gave a run through of the main concepts of gender perspective, emphasizing the importance of the application of human rights treaties, particularly those which specifically relate to women’s rights, and directing specific remarks, such as the need to incorporate gender perspective in the education and formation of professionals and members of the Judiciary, the indispensable application of norms from this perspective, and the treatment and discussion of normative figures, which protect major rights.
Next, a presentation was given by Dr Natalia Milisenda, Doctorate in Law and Social Sciences, who forms part of the NUC’s Sexual and Reproductive Rights Program and the NUC’s Ethics and Political Philosophy Program, Investigator at the NUC’s Center for Legal and Social Research, lawyer for the Catholics for a Free Choice organization, and member of the Argentine Alliance of Lawyers for Human Rights of Women. Her presentation invited us to reflect on the concepts of heteronormativity and its direct relation to gender perspective. From her legal experience in the case of the murder of Natalia “Pepa” Gaitán, she was able to show us how violence towards women and LGTBI people is related to the complex socio-cultural constructions, which generate relations of hierarchical power, establishing a norm of behavior, allowing exclusion and subjugation, thus legitimizing the practice of violence.
Lastly, Dr Gabriel Alejandro Martín, Secretary of National Office for Children, Youth and Family, of the Ministry of Social Development of the Government of the Province of Cordoba, Ex-Manager of the Verification Unit of the Office of Family Violence, and Ex-Manager of Free Legal Aid (Office of the Directorate of Judicial Policy and the Reform, from the Department of Justice of the Province of Cordoba), also enriched us with his daily experience in the legal practice in relation with this issue. Speaking on a personal basis, Dr Martín emphasized the urgency of the treatment of domestic violence, particularly gender violence, and the need to use all the tools for recognizing and accessing the rights, which all legal practitioners have within reach. He put us in direct contact with the practice and invited us to follow with a constant formation, emphasizing the need for interdisciplinary work, for sensitivity and commitment.
The experience of the debate and remarks made between the public and the experts was extremely rewarding, and demonstrated the commitment and interest on behalf of the audience. The panel of speakers and the debate was moderated by Gabriela Socias, Certified Master in Gender, Society and Public Politics from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, Co-founder of the Remanyao Civil Association, Member of the National Network on Youth and Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health, Member of the Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Youth Sailing to Cairo +20, and Member of Youth Voice.org.
We express our gratitude for the presence of those who supported and accompanied the realization process of this event, in particular the Provincial Council of Women, and for the partner organizations Right Between the Lines and Global Shapers Hub Cordoba. It is important to also thank the friends of the White Ribbon Campaign Argentina-Uruguay, who have accompanied FUNDEPS from the beginning with the building of our agenda on gender and women’s rights. Finally, the Conference was made special thanks to the audience of more than 250 people, who attended, interested themselves, asked questions and generated a debate environment, essential in order to continue building our rights as a society.
Translated by: Alexandra Botti