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CALL FOR PAPERS: September 7- 8, 2007: The 4th FOKO Conference - Female Genital Cutting in the Past (FINLAND)
Call for Papers

The 4th FOKO Conference - Female Genital Cutting in the Past and Today

Time: September 7- 8, 2007
Venue: Hanasaari, The Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre, Espoo, Finland

Female circumcision or female genital cutting (FGC) is an ancient cultural tradition, which is practiced in many African countries, but also in some areas of the Middle-East and Asia. Past twenty years, as a consequence of increased mobility and migration, female genital cutting has become known all over the world, even in the Nordic countries.

By medical experts, human rights activists, feminists, and also many circumcised women themselves, the practice is seen to be harmful for the health of girls and women, and to violate the human rights of a child and a woman. Recent years also some religious authorities have openly opposed the continued practice of female genital cutting, at least the most radical operations. Furthermore, legislation in almost all Europe as well as many counties, where the practice of female genital cutting is widely spread, forbid the act. Moreover, in Europe and Africa several campaigns and projects against FGC, both on national and international levels, have been conducted.
Despite all these efforts FGC continues to be a "problem", both in Western countries and in the countries with long history of FGC. Recently, Sweden has witnessed the first case of FGC in the Nordic countries. Have all preventive actions failed? Is it possible to eradicate a deeply-rooted, culturally significant tradition, and on what conditions? What kind of a challenge is FGC today, and to whom, considering the historical and present circumstances, including easy travel and border-crossings?

In the 4th FOKO Conference we aim to bring together scholars and other experts to discuss the multi-faceted phenomenon of FGC from historical and present-day perspectives. In addition to academic work, we call for projects to present their studies, experiences from community work and good practices. In addition to workshop presentations, we welcome poster presentations. In the second day of the conference, there will be separate workshops for researchers and project based work. The conference is open for scholars and students
of relevant fields, and in addition, to authorities, social and health care staff, project workers, and other involved persons, based either in or outside Nordic countries. The basic knowledge on female genital cutting, however, is required. Conference language will be English.

The key note speaker will be Professor Janice Boddy (Toronto University, Canada), who gives a presentation on "Civilizing Women: Lessons from the Campaign against Female Genital Cutting in Colonial Sudan".

This conference is the fourth gathering of The Nordic Network for Research on Female Circumcision (FOKO). In the Nordic countries, researchers have met every second year since 2001 to share findings and questions related to research projects. The KokoNainen Project at Finnish League for Human Rights will arrange the 4th FOKO conference, together with Hanasaari, the Swedish-Finnish Cultural
Centre, being arranged the first time in Finland.

Guidelines for abstracts and posters

Abstracts based on scientific work should include the main argument, material used and disciplinary discussions the paper involves. Abstracts aimed at presenting project and community work experiences can be formulated more freely. However, abstracts should not exceed 350 words.

After the conference, we aim at publishing scientific articles, based on conference presentations, in a thematic issue of an electronic Finnish Journal of Ethnicity and Migration, published by the Society for the Study of Ethnic Relations and International Migration (www.etmu.fi). The finalized articles should be delivered by the end of 2007.


In addition to workshop presentations, we encourage participants, in particular projects who work against FGC in Nordic countries or elsewhere, to present their activities in a poster.

Individuals and groups considering participation in the conference and wishing to make a presentation are encouraged to submit abstracts of their work electronically to janneke.johansson@ihmisoikeusliitto.fi.

Dead-line for abstract and poster proposal submission is February 28, 2007.

Conference organizers aim to support the accommodation and/or travel costs of those participants, who need support and whose abstracts have been accepted. This opportunity, however, is dependent on the success of our on-going fundraising activities.

Registration, fees and accommodation

The participation fee of the conference is 60 EUR, which includes lunch and afternoon coffee for both conference days. Dead-line for binding registration and payment is June 15, 2007. Please fill the registration form (link to the registration form, see
http://www.ihmisoikeusliitto.fi/projektit/kokonainen/foko)
and send it to janneke.johansson@ihmisoikeusliitto.fi.

Payment should be submitted by one of the following means:

o IBAN bank account FI 5780001301719853, BIC code PSPBFIHH
o SAMPO 800013-1719853 (for Finnish participants only)

Please note that, when paying the fee type in a message field the name of the participant and the word FOKO.

Accommodation and the conference takes place in Hanasaari, which is beautifully located by the sea (http://www.hanaholmen.fi).

The accommodation costs 75 EUR per night (7.-9.9.2007). You can book the hotel room in the registration form and you can pay accommodation costs when you are checking out.

Updated information about the conference www.ihmisoikeusliitto.fi/projektit/kokonainen/foko

Contact

Janneke Johansson, Project Manager
KokoNainen Project / Finnish League for Human Rights
E-mail: janneke.johansson@ihmisoikeusliitto.fi / Tel +358 9 4155 2555
Susan Villa, Press and Information Officer
Finnish League for Human Rights
E-mail: susan.villa@ihmisoikeusliitto.fi / Tel +358 9 4155 2551

Organizers

KokoNainen Project / Finnish League for Human Rights
Hanasaari, The Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre

Scientific board

Dr. Elise Johansen (University of Oslo / WHO)
Dr. Sara Johnsdotter (Malmö högskola)
Professor Aud Talle (University of Oslo)
Dr. Marja Tiilikainen (University of Helsinki)


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