Canada: Marieme Hélie-Lucas '2005 Dame Nita Barrow Distinguished Visitor'

Centre for Women's Studies in Education
Feminist activist and political theorist Marieme Hélie-Lucas will give the 9th Annual Dame Nita Barrow public lecture ''Women Living Under Muslim Laws'' on Tuesday, 15 Nov, 19:00 George Ignatieff Theatre, 15 Devonshire Place, Toronto, Canada.
Ms. Hélie-Lucas will speak about the threat of fundamentalisms to the creation of a democratic world and about the response of feminists and activists at the global and local levels who are struggling to control their lives, bodies and sexuality.
Her analysis of the fundamentalist movements that use religion to enhance political ambitions and enforce dominance and submission will be of particular interest at this time in Toronto, in light of the recent provincial debates over sharia law and religious arbitration.

An Algerian sociologist, Marieme Hélie-Lucas was in charge of the policy of education and training for the new industries and for gas (1962-66). Ms. Helie Lucas has also taught epistemology in the social sciences at Algiers University (1967-80). In 1984, she founded Women Living under Muslim Laws (WLUML), an international solidarity network that provides information, support and a collective space for women whose lives are shaped, conditioned or governed by laws and customs said to derive from Islam. She was the International Coordinator of WLUML from 1984 to 2000.

Women Living under Muslim Laws now extends to more than 70 countries ranging from South Africa to Uzbekistan, Senegal to Indonesia and Brazil to France. The network aims to strengthen women’s individual and collective struggles for equality and their rights, especially in Muslim contexts by: breaking the isolation in which women wage their struggles by creating and reinforcing linkages between women within Muslim countries and communities, and with global feminist and progressive groups; and sharing information and analysis that helps demystify the diverse sources of control over women’s lives, and the strategies and experiences of challenging all means of control. WLUML’s current focus is on the three themes of, fundamentalisms, militarization, and their impact on women’s lives, and sexuality. As a theme, violence against women cuts across all of WLUML’s projects and activities.

This lecture is made possible through a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa, Canada. Admission is free and all are welcome.

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