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International Women's Day

The interfaculty network Radboud Gender & Diversity Studies and the Radboud Network Women Professors invite you to the celebration of International Women’s Day at Radboud University.

The morning program consists of a keynote and a panel discussion on the theme of academic freedom. The keynote speaker is dr. Susanne Täuber, an expert in the field of social safety and gender equality in higher education.

In the afternoon, we shine a spotlight on three women researchers and how their work contributes to solutions for current social and political challenges.

Programme International Women’s Day 2024

09:30-10:00 – Doors open

10:00-12:30 - Keynote by dr. Susanne Täuber and panel discussion with dr. Zakia Essanhaji and dr. Nahed Samour

12:30-14:00 - Lunch

14:00-17.00 – Three presentations by prof. dr. Irene van der Horst-Bruinsma, prof. dr. Birka Wicke and dr. Iris Sportèl (in Dutch)

17:00-19.00 – Closure, drinks and network opportunity

The celebration takes place in the Kapel in the Berchmanianum.

The morning program is partly in Dutch, partly in English. We will be experimenting with real-life translation on screen so everyone can understand the keynote and the panellists. The afternoon programme is in Dutch.

The interfaculty network Radboud Gender & Diversity Studies organises on March 8th, the annual lecture for International Women’s Day. This year, the keynote speaker is dr. Susanne Täuber, expert in the field of social safety and gender equality in higher education. After the keynote there will be a panel discussion with dr. Nahed Samour and dr. Zakia Essanhaji.

Susanne Täuber

Dr. Susanne Täuber is an expert on social safety and gender equality in higher education. She was fired from the University of Groningen for publishing an article in a prestigious academic journal in which she criticized that policies intended to advance women in academia are undermined by inequality practices. Her firing led to protests and a petition signed by 4,000 scientists worldwide. In this keynote, Dr. Täuber builds on her own case to illustrate broader global developments that are concerning.

She argues that academia is an important arena of the worldwide surge in autocracy and patriarchy. This is evident in the backlash against minoritized groups’ language and ideas: Over the past years, members of underrepresented groups have found language to describe the violence they experience on a daily basis in higher education. Yet, this has been met with a flurry of measures to silence their voices and dismiss their ideas.

Universities that engage in or condone tactics aimed at silencing produce scholars who self-censor and who will have learned that looking the other way is being rewarded with positions of power and privilege. If this remains unchallenged, academia becomes a space devoid of critical thinking, a 'kingdom of mediocrity', and society will be deprived of innovative thought and solutions to the major challenges facing humanity.

Panel discussion with dr. Nahed Samour and dr. Zakia Essanhaji

Dr. Nahed Samour and dr. Zakia Essanhaji respond to the keynote of Susanne Täuber and bring their own perspectives to the table.

The audience is cordially invited to participate in the conversation on how to counter the backlash against academic achievements of historically marginalized groups in academia

Nahed Samour

Dr. Nahed Samour is affiliated with the research group Race-Religion-Constellation at the RU (FTR). has studied law and Islamic studies at the universities of Bonn, Birzeit/Ramallah, London (SOAS), Berlin (HU), Harvard and Damascus. She was a doctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt/Main. She held a Post Doc position at the Eric Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights at Helsinki University and was Early Career Fellow at the Lichtenberg-Kolleg, Göttingen Institute for Advance Study. She is Junior Faculty at the Harvard Law School, Institute of Global Law and Policy.

In her presentation she focusses on the concept of "academic authoritarianism" as entailed in the open letter of international scholars (11/ 2020) regarding the situation of scholars in France working on religion and race. It analyses academic freedom with respect to attacks on critical race and decolonial scholarship, and its effects on the disciplines on law, history, religious studies, in particular Islamic studies. Crucially, it tackles the question of the effects of "sanitized accounts of national histories" for and beyond academic teaching and researching.

Zakia Essanhaji

Dr. Zakia Essanhajiis a postdoc at the Department of Sociology at VU Amsterdam. Her research focuses on institutional racism in academia. Currently, she studies how whiteness continues to be the academy’s orientation that produces, disorientates, and excludes ‘defective’ racialized Others in Dutch academia. In her dissertation, she studied how whiteness is recomposed rather than decomposed in and through the production of specific compositions of ‘the’ diversity problem. She has published on racial and gender inequality in diversity research, diversity policies, and complaint procedures in academia.

Solid ground underfoot. The role of land use in climate change and climate mitigation

Prof. dr. Birka Wickeis professor of Land, Climate and Sustainability at Radboud University's Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science.

Land is the fundamental support system that sustains humanity. It does so, for example, through food production and the provision of natural resources for other essential needs such as clothing and shelter. Land is also essential in and for our economy and society in many other ways, such as filtering chemical pollutants, regulating surface and groundwater or providing habitat for plants and animals. Land use also plays an important role in climate change and its mitigation.

In her presentation - Solid ground underfoot. The role of land use in climate change and climate mitigation - Birka Wicke will discuss the role of land in both causing and also mitigating climate change.

Adam is not Eve: Differences between men and women in the treatment of rheumatic diseases

Prof. dr. Irene van der Horst-Bruinsma is professor in Rheumatology and Head of the department of Rheumatology at the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen.

In her presentation – Adam is not Eve: Differences between men and women in the treatment of rheumatic diseases - Irene van der Horst-Bruinsma discusses various aspects of rheumatic diseases and how they differ between men and women, as well as how men and women respond differently to treatment.

Religion, culture and Ethnicity in Children's Court Cases

Dr. Iris Sportel is associate professor of sociology of law at the Faculty of Law.

In recent decades, families have become increasingly diverse. The religious, cultural or ethnic identity of children can play a role in a variety of different legal cases, such as parenthood after divorce, juvenile justice cases, youth protection, education or asylum and migration cases. This involves both the claims of parents and assumptions of judges and other professional stakeholders.

In her presentation - Religion, culture and Ethnicity in Children's Court Cases – Iris Sportèl discusses how courts handle cases in which children's and parents' identities matter and how these proceedings are perceived by parents.

This event is organized by the Radboud Women Professors Network. The network brings together women professors from both Radboud University and Radboudumc to promote the position of women in academia.