Wednesday, March 29, 2017

HHH course in Israel/Palestine--Register now, limited space

Update that there are only 9 spaces left in this course: New human rights course will take students to Palestine & Israel

Study Human Rights in Palestine & Israel

Field Visit: Late Dec 2017 – Early Jan 2018

Open to all University of Minnesota graduate students
Instructor: James Ron, Stassen Chair of International Affairs, Humphrey School & Political Science

Spring 2018-PA 5890 Human Rights in Israel & Palestine II
Field Visit: Late Dec 2017 – Early Jan 2018

Prerequisite: Fall 2017-PA 5890 Human Rights in Israel & Palestine I
Mondays 6:00-8:20 pm, 10/24-12/13, 2017

Israel: Tel Aviv, Haifa, Nazareth, West Jerusalem, Beersheba.

Palestine: Ramallah, Nablus, Bethlehem, East Jerusalem, Hebron.

~$3,000, including accommodations & local travel (International airfare not included)

An unique offering of the University of Minnesota Master of Human Rights program

For more information: jamesr(at)

Former HHH Fellow Ben Said: "Women’s Bodies the new battlefield of Tunisian Lawmakers"

Women’s Bodies the new battlefield of Tunisian Lawmakers

The Tunisian parliament will soon start debating a new set of laws regarding violence against women, proposed by the Ministry of women’s affairs. Honestly, I am neither excited nor delighted. Not only because it is shameful that in 2017, we still don’t have a solid legal framework to protect women and girls from violence, but also because this is the minimum I expect from our lawmakers and from a self-proclaimed “progressive government” that won the elections on the backs of the women’s vote.

As an unapologetically feminist, I consider that my role is not to praise but to highlight the gaps instead. And the new law falls short of criminalizing clearly, precisely and undoubtedly the marital rape.

If you Google marital rape, you will probably find this definition: “sexual intercourse forced by a spouse on the other spouse, against that person’s will”. If you check you find “rape committed by the person to whom the victim is married”.

By ignoring the reality of marital rape, the Tunisian government is sending a clear message: Women, you don’t own your bodies and we won’t protect you.

I was introduced to the phenomenon of marital rape trough women’s stories, anecdotes and a movie. When I was 17, I went to watch “Bent Familia” (“A good girl”). There is a scene of marital rape with the husband mad at his wife when she told him to not touch her again. He said: “Don’t touch me! Did you forget that you are my wife?”. He then raped her, she cried. I was choked. I still remember the scene and how my stomach hurt me that day. It was an eye-opener.

I remember when I was a teen, I attended a wedding, and the day after the bride was hospitalized as she couldn’t stand the intercourse forced by her husband to prove to the world that his wife is “a virgin”. It was a marital rape.

Marital rape could happen in the first nights of the brides, when husbands are supposed to break the wife’s hymen as a proof of women’s virginity. What a humiliation to women’s bodies and dignity and what an outdated belief that put women’s psychological and emotional capabilities at risk. Dr. Katz and Dr. Tabisel, two diplomats in the American board of sexology founder and co-director of a New York-based women’s Therapy Center, state that “although there remains a stubborn misconception that a virgin will always have an intact hymen, the truth is that most women age 20 and older do not have a hymen, or only have a partial hymen, even if they have never had any vaginal penetration. Because unlike the prepubescent and adolescent vagina, the adult vaginal tissue has been under the influence of estrogen for several years, which causes it to elasticize and expand”.

When I read their book “Parting and Curtains, A women’s handbook of Sex and Sexuality”, I can’t help but think that if our patriarchal society knew about this, that bride would not have been hospitalized and ashamed.

I know a lot of anecdotes of women hating sex because they are obliged to have intercourse against their will just to please the husband and they never have an orgasm. They hate sex but they don’t call it rape, they deeply believe that it their duties to please the partners.

By signing the marriage contract, some men think that women’s bodies are their properties. By accepting the social norms and interiorizing the patriarchy, most women don’t challenge these assumptions. Look how our culture is obsessed by our vaginas. Everybody has a say. Some take it even further, to directly connect it with the family’s honor. Look how the hymen’s construction industry is flourishing in Tunisia. I even once read an article describing how some married women reconstruct their hymens “to offer” it again to their husband as a gift in the wedding anniversary.

All these examples show how the societal, political and cultural forces shape women’s experiences and beliefs about their own bodies.

In the face of ignorance, government has the responsibility to protect. Anne-Marie Slaughter explains that the three responsibilities every government has towards its citizens:” The oldest and simplest justification for government is as protector: protecting citizens from violence”. Women are not the sister of, the daughter of, and the wife of. Women are first of all individuals, citizens and taxpayers and they deserve to be protected sometimes even from the brother, the father and the husband.

By falling short of criminalizing marital rape, the Tunisian government thinks that it is protecting the social fabric of the society through protecting the family. This kind of law could destroy the institution of marriage would argue others. We always protect the family, the marriage institution, the society and the whole world on the backs of women. Why women have always to pay the price of this “protection”? Let’s put it simple: by undermining women’s rights, we are only protecting the patriarchal social structure. Our first right ever as women is to own the space that we spend our lives in: Our bodies.

I own my body. My body doesn’t belong to my father, or to my husband. Neither is my family’s honor and the government should protect me from the violence and not structural the violence on the name of culture or religion.

The impact of partner violence against women is well known and extensively studied. UN Women argues that “women who have been physically or sexually abused by their partners are more than twice as likely to have an abortion, almost twice as likely to experience depression, and in some regions, 1.5 times more likely to acquire HIV, as compared to women who have not experienced partner violence.” Violence is expensive and presents a high cost for our society. According to UN Women, these include “costs of services to treat and support abused women and their children and to bring perpetrators to justice, costs in lost employment and productivity and the costs in human pain and suffering. The cost of intimate partner violence in the United States alone exceeds US$5.8 billion per year: US$4.1 billion is for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly US$1.8 billion”. These costs must also be prevented.

I trust that through this debate, Members of Parliament will focus on the issues of marital rape and will not consider it as a “private issue” and therefore fail to examine the political nature of the private space.

We often measure women’s empowerment by the number of women who made it to the top: CEOs, MPs, ministries, directors. But how about measuring women’s emancipation by the number of women who really own their bodies? And how women are performing gender in the private space? My conviction is that the real battle for gender equality lies firstly in the private space. We will achieve gender equality the day women will have an absolute power and control over their bodies. Meanwhile, to all the misogynistic out there, and to paraphrase the Egyptian-American feminist Mona Eltahawy: “stay out of my vagina unless I want you in there”.

By Ikram Ben Said – Feminist and Founder of Aswat Nisaa, (Voices of Women) A non-governmental Tunisian organization working on advancing women’s political participation and advocating for gender sensitive public policies.

Crossposted from:

Apr 14 for HHH students: Living & Working in DC

Friday, April 14: 9:00 - 10:30 am, HHH 205

Join us for coffee, donuts and conversation about what it's like to intern or work in Washington, D.C. Students who've previously interned or lived in the D.C. area will be on hand to discuss their experience and discuss whatever topics are you on your mind including finding opportunities, housing, navigating the professional and personal landscapes, etc.

Contact Chris Buckley with questions. Register here.

Program Assoc Inclusive Security Swanee Hunt Alternatives (Wash, DC)

Program Associate. Inclusive Security Swanee Hunt Alternatives – Washington, DC
Closes: Apr 7, 2017

WebsiteSwanee Hunt Alternatives
This is a featured job post on PCDNetwork

As the right-hand of Inclusive Security’s leadership team, the Program Associate has a big picture view of the organization’s work by supporting its many cross-cutting initiatives and projects. The Program Associate ensures that the President and Vice Chair are best equipped to advance the organization’s mission by providing high quality, core administrative support and coordinating competing priorities. While seamlessly managing cross-cutting logistics of scheduling, domestic and international travel, expense reconciliation, communications, data reporting, and program coordination, the Program Associate gains incredible insight into the ins-and-outs of nonprofit management. Working with the senior leadership and staff, the Program Associate supports planning and execution of programming related to inclusive policymaking and peacebuilding in a myriad of ways. Coordinating with international partners to create impactful events for government and civil society representatives provides unique exposure to the field of “women, peace, and security,” policy advocacy, and work with women peacebuilders around the world. Successful candidates maintain a “can do” attitude under pressure, build strong relationships, understand how to keep all the balls in the air, value attention to even the most minor details, and can self-manage as necessary.

Administrative Support
Manage team calendars by coordinating meeting logistics with all involved participants and prioritizing internal and external engagements and travel
Coordinate domestic and international travel logistics, event follow-up, and complex expense reconciliations for the President and Vice Chair
Oversee internal and external communication including weekly updates, board correspondence, talking points, presentations, agenda creation, and cross-team information sharing for the President and Vice Chair
Maintain electronic and paper files, update Raisers Edge database with key contacts and correspondence histories, and perform other clerical duties as needed or requested
Support monitoring, evaluation, and documentation through data entry and analysis
Collaborate with Swanee Hunt Alternatives DC office operations to ensure Inclusive Security team members are best poised and supported to advance programmatic work

Program/Grant Coordination
Assist team members in creating and executing program planning structures and activities
Work with team members to ensure its meeting key benchmarks
Coordinate directly with funding institutions (e.g. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, national government entities) and local implementing partners to ensure project funds are received and processed appropriately
Work with program leads to ensure grant progress reports are submitted and reviewed in a timely manner
Oversee internal grant management processes with Hunt Alternatives Partnerships team and financial departments

Event and Project Management and Execution
Liaise with partners to organize event logistics in host cities – most often international – including participant selection, venue, lodging, and travel needs
Compile and track project results and budget in variety of formats to satisfy funder needs and feed into progress reports
Manage travel logistics for program staff in lead-up, during, and follow-up for in-country travel programmatic activities

Demonstrated success in staffing senior level managers (two plus years’ work experience providing direct assistance to executive managers preferred)
Bachelor’s degree preferred
Experience organizing meetings and events
Excellent time management skills, ability to prioritize and attend to multiple assignments for self and senior managers
Capacity to take initiative and creatively solve problems
Proven ability for thriving in a fast-paced environment and maintaining flexibility in the face of shifting priorities
Positive attitude, excellent judgment, and pleasant email and telephone manner
Exceptional organizational, interpersonal, and written and oral communication skills
Interest in public affairs, foreign policy, philanthropy, and social change preferred
Fluency in Microsoft Office applications: Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel required; experience with Raisers Edge preferred

About Inclusive Security

Inclusive Security is transforming decision making about war and peace. We’re convinced that a more secure world is possible if policymakers, security sectors, and conflict-affected populations work together. Women’s meaningful participation, in particular, can make the difference between failure and success. Since 1999, Inclusive Security has equipped decision makers with knowledge and tools that strengthen their ability to develop inclusive policies and approaches. We have also bolstered the skills and influence of women leaders around the world. Together with these allies, we’re making inclusion the rule, not the exception.

About Swanee Hunt Alternatives

Swanee Hunt Alternatives ( is a two-generation family operating foundation based in Cambridge, MA with a multi-million dollar annual budget. Ambassador Swanee Hunt and the programs she founded bring daring goals, innovative practices, and extraordinary talent to some of the world’s most complex and injurious challenges.

The foundation’s three major programs advance global security and social justice in the United States:
Advocating for full inclusion of all stakeholders (particularly women) in peace and security processes (Inclusive Security)
Combatting the purchase of prostituted adults and children in the United States (Demand Abolition)
Supporting entrepreneurial leaders of diverse American social movements (Prime Movers)

Since its founding in 1981, the foundation has driven and incubated a range of programs and organizations, including Political Parity, ARTWorks for Kids, Women Moving Millions, and the Free for All Concert Fund.

The foundation’s programs convene allies, build partnerships, and engage in high-level advocacy, training, research, and program-related grantmaking. The programs are assisted by teams providing communications, development, finance, human resources, operations, and information technology services.

Read Ambassador Hunt’s biography.
Learn about the organization’s board and leadership.

Compensation and Benefits
Compensation will be commensurate with experience. Employee benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance, life, ADD, and short- and long-term disability plans. The organization provides a 401(k) plan and matches 100% of the first six percent of an employee’s annual salary that she/he contributes to her/his plan. Additional discretionary matching may be available to eligible employees. Hunt Alternatives offers 28 days of paid time off per year. This includes all holidays, vacation days, and personal days. Hunt Alternatives also offers 5 paid sick days per calendar year. Other benefits include parental leave, flexible healthcare and dependent care spending accounts,

This material is cross-posted from the Peace and Collaborative Development Network, and appears to be an interesting opportunity for the Humphrey community.   This is meant for information sharing purposes only. 

March 31/Apr 1 Spanish & Portuguese Studies 4th Annual Graduate Student Conference

Join the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies for the 4th Annual Graduate Student Conference Shifting Landscapes on March 31st and April 1st.

Keynote Speakers
Professor Ricardo Otheguy, City University of New York
Shifting again out of the deficit landscape: Challenges for scholars of the language of Latinos en los tiempos del cólera.
3:30 p.m., Friday, March 31st
20 Nolte Center

Professor Jorge Duany, Florida International Institute
Los paisajes transnacionales de la diáspora cubana en Miami
4:00 p.m., Saturday, April 1st
12 Folwell hall

4th Annual Graduate Conference website

Spec Asst to Dep for Policy & Strategy National Endowment for Democracy, DC

Special Assistant to the Deputy for Policy and Strategy – (Job #1725), National Endowment for Democracy, DC

WebsiteNational Endowment for Democracy (NED)

Special Assistant to the Deputy for Policy and Strategy – (Job #1725)
National Endowment for Democracy (NED)
Washington, D.C.

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a congressionally funded, private, nonprofit grant making organization that works to support freedom around the world, seeks a Special Assistant to the Deputy for Policy and Strategy in the Office of the President. This position is based in Washington, D.C.

Position Summary:
The Special Assistant to the Deputy for Policy and Strategy provides administrative, research, and operational support to the Deputy to the President for Policy and Strategy, with drafting responsibilities as assigned.


Policy and Strategy:
Assist Deputy with the preparation of evaluative and analytical content for policy and strategy development.
Conduct research to obtain background information on various projects as requested by supervisor.
Format, edit, proofread, reproduce and distribute materials for internal and external audiences.
Occasionally lead or moderate discussions and working groups, especially among peers in the organization.
Facilitate and provide day-to-day supervision of section intern(s).
Draft notes and follow up tracking from meetings, as assigned.

Administrative Support
Manage, track, and facilitate supervisor’s schedule and coordinate with Program teams and strategic coordinators as assigned.
Provide administrative support to the Deputy including scheduling regular and ad-hoc meetings, responding to phone and email correspondence, making travel arrangements, and providing follow-up on any action items or assignments.
Coordinate correspondence, file reports, and preserve vital records as needed.
Help plan and coordinate the logistics of meetings and events, internally at headquarters as well as for visitors and Core Institute staff.

Master’s degree, or equivalent work experience, in International Affairs, Political Science, Human Rights or related discipline is preferred;
Minimum two years of experience in democracy or human rights-related work;
Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint; familiarity with SharePoint a plus.

Other Qualifications:
Enthusiastic with a capacity and willingness to learn; anticipate needs by being proactive;
Ability to handle multiple demands, prioritize and produce high-quality work under pressure;
Authorized to work in the United States.

Ability to work and collaborate in a team environment;
High degree of organization and initiative;
Excellent interpersonal relations, oral and written communication skills;
Commitment to accuracy in all tasks, attention to details is extremely important.

To Apply:
Candidates must include a cover letter, resume, completed NED employment application, salary history with requirements, and contact information for three professional references. Please send to, with Job #1725 – Special Assistant to the Deputy for Policy and Strategy – YOUR NAME in the subject line. Please cite PCDNetwork as the source of your job posting in the application. The NED is an Equal Opportunity Employer. For more information, please visit our website at Please, no phone call inquiries.

This material is cross-posted from the Peace and Collaborative Development Network, and appears to be an interesting opportunity for the Humphrey community.   This is meant for information sharing purposes only. 

OSF Program Officer Arab Regional Office (Amman)

Program Officer – Equality and Anti-Discrimination, Open Society Foundations, Arab Regional Office, Amman   Closes: Apr 15, 2017

WebsiteOpen Society Foundations
This is a featured job post. Please cite PCDNetwork as the source of the posting in your application.

The Open Society Foundations’ Arab Regional Office (ARO) was established in 2006 to support local civil society in its efforts to protect human rights and build vibrant and tolerant societies. Based in Amman with a satellite office in Tunis, the office supports a diverse group of civil society organizations, research centers, universities, and media organizations across the Arab world in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and Tunisia.
Job profile

The Arab Regional Office is recruiting a Program Officer to join their Rights and Governance Program based in the Amman office. The Rights & Governance Program focuses on human rights institutions and movements, equality, anti-discrimination, and justice and the rule of law.

Reporting to the Rights & Governance Team Manager, the Program Officer will be responsible for developing and managing the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Portfolio under the Rights & Governance Program. The portfolio currently includes a primary focus on grant making at both the country and the regional levels; particularly in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Egypt, with expanding to Morocco and Tunisia. This is in addition to supporting regional initiatives and activities. The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Portfolio’s work focuses on challenging patterns of discrimination and marginalization across the region through litigation, community empowerment and advocacy, with a specific focus on women and marginalized groups. The role also includes being the gender mainstreaming focal point within the ARO to support the office in moving towards a more gender-sensitive on both the programmatic and organizational levels.

Essential duties and responsibilities include:
overall responsibility for the development of knowledge, networks and analysis relating to priority countries and issues within the thematic scope of the position.
designing a strategic portfolio that deploys diverse tools, including grant making towards meeting the goals of the portfolio.
primary responsibility for implementation of the strategy and work plans through grant-making and other tools; with responsibilities for identifying actors, reviewing and assessing grant applications.
monitoring and evaluating grantees work through maintaining close contact with grantees and civil society actors in the field and conducting site visits as needed.
working within the broader program strategy and budget design, making and assessing grants, and advancing the portfolio’s goals.
leading gender mainstreaming work and developing plans and processes to support the office’s overall efforts
participating in and contributing to the development of the overall Rights & Governance, and ARO strategies.
supervising consultants for research, evaluation, and capacity building purposes.
representing the Arab Regional Office in public meetings and conferences.

Candidate Profile
7-10 years of relevant field experience.
Master degree in law, women’s rights or relevant field of study is preferred; other combination of education and work experience will be strongly considered.
fluency in written and spoken communication in both English and Arabic is essential; fluency in French is desirable.
demonstrable success in development of diverse and complex strategies in relevant contexts, including planning and implementing modifications in response to an evolving situation.
experience working in a large organization; preferably in civil society.
experience in working on issues related to promoting equality and anti-discrimination against women, migrants and other marginalized groups in the Arab region is an advantage.

Work Environment and Physical Demands: Essential functions are typically performed in an office setting with a low level of noise. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. ​

We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations, and we welcome and actively seek applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.

 Program Officer – Equality and Anti-Discrimination
Posted on March 24, 2017

Department Middle East North Africa and Southwest Asia
Location Amman
Application Deadline April 18, 2017

This material is cross-posted from the Peace and Collaborative Development Network, and appears to be an interesting opportunity for the Humphrey community.   This is meant for information sharing purposes only. 
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