17.11.2011 - Social and Human Sciences Sector

Gender Perspective of Bioethics debated in Russian Federation

© UN Photo / E. Debebe

The gender perspective of bioethics is essential to address and understand all sensitive bioethical issues from a different angle as it enables a new and contrasted analysis of power relationships and social organization. It is against this background that UNESCO, together with the Kazan State Medical University and the government of Kazan, decided to organize an International Conference on Gender and Bioethics on 21 and 22 November in Kazan (Russian Federation).

This high profile event will gather leading feminist bioethicists from a wide range of disciplines, local and regional experts, and UNESCO bioethics representatives. Pilar Álvarez-Laso, UNESCO Assistant Director General for Social and Human Sciences, along with local authorities, will open the debate.

The Conference aims to raise awareness in the region on bioethical issues as they relate to gender; to raise the issue of social responsibility of scientists and citizens; and to explore further collaboration between UNESCO and the University of Kazan, the Kazan government, local and regional institutions.

This will be a first opportunity to initiate a real and honest debate on the intrinsic link between gender and bioethics at an international level. The promotion of bioethical principles for achieving gender equality will be spotlighted, and the interest of reconsidering all sensitive bioethical issues as well as scientific and social development from the gender perspective will be explicitly highlighted.

Topics to be discussed will be:

  • UNESCO activities on gender and bioethics;
  • New trends in feminist bioethics;
  • Main ethical issues and challenges in education, public health (violence and gender, reproductive health); in research (new technologies, benefit sharing, women in research); and in migration, climate change and poverty; and
  • Gender issues in the region.

Gender perspective is a lens that enables us to better understand social structure based on the differences in access to basic needs, and human development based on the social value being associated with being a man or a woman. Power relationships and social organization are placed in a different light when analyzed from the angle of gender. It opens a renewed debate on various issues which are generally rejected because not mainstreamed by more “male” oriented thinking. Violence is such an issue, be it domestic, economical, psychological or particular to conflict and post conflict situations. Other issues are access to health care, education and employment, migration and climate change, or public policies regarding reproductive health and research, which all impact on women in a way that is too often overlooked.

The Conference is open to the general public.

The working languages of the conference will be English and Russian. Interpretation will be provided in both languages.

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