This event will identify the ways in which women empower themselves through their resistance to state and secular violence. We will focus our discussion on Indigenous and Muslim perspectives, with an acknowledgment of how secular policies have often infringed on women’s rights to culture. We turn to UDHR Article 18 as a strong defense, as well as numerous references in the UNDRIP. We outline the importance of collective rights to culture and spirituality and seek to establish a more nuanced conversation regarding state policies of secularism. We hold that this topic receives far too little attention and disproportionately affects both Indigenous women and Muslim women. We believe that the only path toward a sustainable future is through collective transnational efforts which affirm cultural rights. We also believe that women, specifically women of color, should be leaders in this critical work. Our panelists, each a leader in her own context, share social and political objectives through their commitment to a more just and sustainable world.This side event is focused on decolonial approaches to education, particularly in regard to the university system. Our critical objective is a collective investigation of the potential to create space for decolonial thinking and practice within and beyond the university. Through a panel presentation and open engagement with those in attendance, we intend to promote a discussion for challenging the constraints of colonial spaces while also fostering new ways of thinking and being.

The 63rd Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

NGO Parallel Event

Thursday, 21 March 2019 — 4:30-6 pm


The Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission 221 E. 52nd Street (at 3rd Ave)


Chun-Feng (Joy) Lin, Ph.D. (National Pingtung University, Taiwan)

Ruth Mas, Ph.D.(Freie Universitat, Berlin)

Iman Hassan(Center on Conscience and War, Washington D.C.)

Khaoula Ben Haj Frej(Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston)uth Caucus


Bettina Escauriza

Keira Anderson