Global Women's Rights Forum

logo for Global Women's Rights Forum a female Venus symbol with a raised fist in the circle with green backgroundThe Global Women’s Rights Forum joins the celebrations and legacies of resistance centered on March 8th, International Women’s Day. The focus is global women’s rights, privileging and devoting special attention to the contexts and perspectives of women from marginalized cultures and displaced communities, outside and inside the United States.

2021 Workshops and Panels

Monday, March 8

Building an Integrated Support System for Survivors of Sexual Violence in Tanzania

9:15 a.m. - 10:20 a.m. - Register Now

Speakers: Araika Zawadhafsa Mkulo, Emilia Siwingwa, Junayna Al Sheibani, Victoria Leonard, Lilian Mnabwiru
This panel will showcase a budding multisectoral partnership to support survivors of sexual violence in Tanzania. In light of the prevalence of sexual violence and the lack of widespread or publicized support, Tanzanian activists, lawyers, psychologists, and healthcare professionals have joined forces to create a consortium where survivors can access legal counsel, psychological therapy, medical care, and funding support in one centralized hub.

Frida Kahlo: The Bold Mexican Painter Who Found Her Artistic Voice in ‘Gringolandia’ 

10:30 a.m. - 11:35 a.m. - Register Now

: Celia Stahr
Frida Kahlo is known for her emotionally raw self-portraits. She’s the bold artist who doesn’t spare viewers any niceties. She gets right to the point. But, how did this Mexican artist, who was married to Diego Rivera, one of the most powerful artists of the early 20 th century, possess the confidence in her early-mid twenties to translate into art such daring images like My Birth, which depicts a woman’s legs splayed open giving birth, and Henry Ford Hospital, which depicts a woman in a hospital bed bleeding due to a miscarriage? Frida’s first major breakthroughs came when she left her beloved homeland and moved to the United States from 1930 to 1933. This extended stay turned into a profound journey of self-discovery, giving birth to the mature Frida, known today as a badass feminist.

Violence against Black Women and Resistance in Brazil

11:45 a.m. - 12:50 p.m. - Register Now

Speakers: Bruna Cristina Jaquetto Pereira, Aline Maia Nascimento, Cecília Santos
This panel will bring together three Brazilian feminist activist-scholars who will discuss, from an intersectional and decolonial perspective, historical and contemporary forms of violence facing Black and indigenous women in Brazil. The panel will be divided into two parts. In this (first) part, participants will focus on police violence against Black women in marginalized communities in Rio de Janeiro.

Gendered Ecologies

1:00 p.m. - 2:05 p.m. - Register Now

Speakers: Reanne Lacosta, Adrienne Johnson, students from BIPOC Students for the Environment
This online event and gallery is motivated by feminist understandings of, and perspectives on, human-nature relations to explore how gender mediates experiences of the environment. It aims to create a public platform where students can present and discuss artistic pieces which grapple with issues associated with gendered interactions with nature. This proposal has two parts: an online gallery and a Zoom event. First, prior to the Zoom event, attendees will be encouraged to visit Gleeson Library’s Gender and Environment online art gallery. The gallery features various art pieces by students the Spring 2020’s class, Gender and Environment (taught by Adrienne Johnson). These pieces will act as fodder for a public discussion. Second, during the GWRF, we plan to host an hour-long Zoom discussion event where 5-6 student panelists will briefly talk about their artistic piece and what inspired them. This will then lead to a larger facilitated discussion about how forms of oppression (racism, sexism, heterosexism, colonialism, etc.) have shaped and continue to shape our varied xperiences with the environment.

Violence against Indigenous Women and Resistance in Brazil

2:15 p.m. - 3:20 p.m. - Register Now

Speakers: Rosani Fernandes, Cecília Santos
This panel will bring together three Brazilian feminist activist-scholars who will discuss, from an intersectional and decolonial perspective, historical and contemporary forms of violence facing Black and indigenous women in Brazil. This(second) part of the panel will focus on educational colonial policies and practices that reproduce the coloniality of gender and the denial of rights of indigenous women and their communities in the North of Brazil. Strategies of resistance developed by Black and indigenous women will also be addressed.

Memories, Migrations, and Movements: Situating Womxn of Color Voices in the Diaspora 

3:30 p.m. - 4:35 p.m. - Register Now

Host: Leah Kabigting Sicat
As a feminist intervention, this workshop will grapple with how we, as womxn of Color and mental health practitioners, can engage in writing - as an individual exercise and as a collective activity - that is not only healing but also regenerative. We will explore how we perpetuate different layers of silencing, invisibility, and denial on ourselves and each other; and brainstorm how to dismantle systemic and internalized oppressions like patriarchy, racism, and classism. This workshop aims to generate tools for empathy and curiosity necessary for our collective and individual growth.

Art + Feminism

4:45 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Register Now

Hosts: Colette Hayes, Paula Birnbaum
According to Art+Feminism (, “[i]n a 2011 survey, the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10% of its contributors identify as female; more recent research puts that number at 16% globally and 23% in the United States...When cis and trans women, non-binary people, people of color, and Indigenous communities are not represented in the writing and editing on the tenth-most-visited site in the world [...] We lose out on real history.” We can help change this. This virtual session will begin with a 15-20 minute discussion about the impetus for Wikipedia edit-a-thons. The remainder of the session will be a hands-on communal editing of Wikipedia articles related to feminism and art. Session organizers will provide training on the basics of editing, suggestions for articles to edit, and library resources and information with a focus on intersectional feminism that session participants can consult to make their Wikipedia edits. Participants are encouraged to join our event synchronously for the entire session, or drop-in as they can. Participants are also invited to participate asynchronously if they wish, and can edit as they have time by consulting our online resources and guides. Through critical engagement with Wikipedia, participants will become equipped with knowledge and tools to break down barriers to information, identify systemic biases in information systems, and improve representation on Wikipedia, and beyond.

The Women of USF Timeline Project, presented by PACSW

6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. - Register Now

Hosts: Annie Reid, Tanya Zilinskas, Michelle Cerami, Desiree Shaw, Nicole Cuadro, Susan Steinberg
The President's Advisory Committee on the Status of Women (PACSW) has been working since its founding nearly 30 years ago to document the history of women at USF. For this year's GWRF, we would like to showcase what we have been able to compile thus far. Women of USF (students, faculty, and staff) will narrate a visual timeline over Zoom with time for discussion and questions from community members. The timeline will provide a general overview of the history of women at USF, including those that attended Lone Mountain College before it was acquired by USF. The visual presentation will highlight women students, faculty, staff, and leadership whose stories were gathered from historical documents of the university, and interviews with faculty and staff who have been involved with PACSW. The purpose of the presentation is to demonstrate this important history as a work in progress, and invite community members to join this critical conversation with the awareness that this history of women at the institution has been under-documented, undervalued, underresearched.

Tuesday, March 9

Reclaiming Media, Making Systemic Change

9:55 a.m. - 11:40 a.m. - Register Now

Speakers: Madeleine Lim, Luz Aida Ruiz, Eryn Wise, Dorothy Kidd
This panel features a trio of women who have all built new systems of communications media to critique dominant representations, train communicators from marginalized groups, produce counter-representations and assemble communities of resistance. Presenters will talk about their work and show media examples that provide students with knowledge about the ways that Indigenous women, women of colour and LGBTQ people have seized the means of communications to foster social, cultural and political change.

Critical Feminist Perspectives on Leadership

12:45 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Register Now

Speakers: Jane E. Bleasdale, Star Plaxton Moore, Margaret Peterson, Fraylanie Aglipay, Kate Hermosura
This panel proposes a new paradigm of critical feminist leadership The research has been ongoing for the past three years at USF. The initial research project was the catalyst for a much larger and ongoing Participatory Action Research project at the primary investigators home institution. Based on the results of the initial period of data gathering we designed a new framework for leadership in education. This framework is rooted in critical feminist theories. It prioritizes the following key principles: (1) Authentic relationships, bringing our whole person to work every day; (2) Inclusion: Awareness of, and seeking opportunities for, inclusion—going beyond advocacy for underrepresented and marginalized communities to actively engaging them; (3) Removing barriers to build consensus – creating community in every moment and in every possible way. Building communities in partnership with others, not in isolation where students, teachers, administrators have equal voice in the process of education; and (4) Disrupting oppressive systems of education that give preferential treatment to the wealthy, white middle to upper class members of our society. This includes actively devaluing and contesting hegemonic leadership rooted in white supremacy.

A Critical Feminist Teach-In

2:40 p.m. - 4:25 p.m. - Register Now

Hosts: Ingrid McVanner, Kate Hermosura, Michele Darchuck, Georgia Broaster, Alison Nishiyama, Fraylanie Aglipay, Star Plaxton-Moore, Mary Ann Datoc, Genevieve Charbonneau, Lara deGuzman
The session will begin with an overview/description of Crtitical Feminist Theory that is rooted in intersectional feminism including intersectionalities of race, gender, sexual-orientation, status, and religiosity. After the description of Critiical Feminist Theory has been introduced, the session will then break off into groups (i.e. Zoom breakout rooms) based on research topics of USF Department of Leadership Studies Doctoral students. Participants will then choose which group they would like to learn more about based upon their interests/affinities.

"Chopping it Up": Class, gender and power in the Bay Area Food Industry

4:35 p.m. - 6:20 p.m. - Register Now

Speakers: Mayo Buenafe-Ze, Lucia Cantero, Reem Assil, Crystal Sanders-Alvarado, Jocelyn Jackson, and Malina Syvoravong
The food industry of the Bay Area may be considered a leader in innovation and diversity, but rarely do we consider how gender and class specifically affects the power dynamics that create this food community. This panel will address these topics in our conversations with Reem Assil (chef and owner of Reems California, community and labor organizer, consultant), Crystal Sanders-Alvarado (Founder and Captain of Seaworthy, SEADAWN, and Fish Revolution), Jocelyn Jackson (JustUs Kitchen and People's Kitchen Collective), and Malina Syvoravong (multidisciplinary artist and food/prop stylist). These Womxn of Color use their various platforms to inspire us to re-examine our relationship with food, and challenge the status quo of dining in the Bay Area which has been largely White, upper class, and cis-male centric. The discussion will be facilitated by Lucia Cantero and Mayo Buenafe-Ze who are Anthropologists examining food and culture. This panel will highlight three major themes in the storyshare discussions :

  • Power and identity politics: Interpellating food within systems of gender and class in the Bay
  • Cook versus Chef: culinary labor regimes amplified through gender and class
  • Food justice during a pandemic: food ecosystems, informal versus formal markets, and womxn in community “care” work 

Join the panel and navigate the intersections of class, gender and power in the Bay Area food industry!

May the Feminine Rule

6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. - Register Now

Performer: Natacha Ruck
France, 1981: The first socialist president is about to be elected and young Natacha is ready to implement her own political platform. But first, she and her mother have to take down the schoolyard bully, emasculate the rules of French grammar, and make off with grandmother’s chocolate. “May the Feminine Rule” is an autobiographical one woman show, directed by Kenny Yun, developed with David Ford and written and performed by Natacha Ruck. It tells the story of three generations of women defining what it means to be a woman in the face of misogyny, expatriation, three world wars... and a crippling addiction to chocolate. The 50-minute Zoom performance will be followed by a 15 minutes Q&A with author and performer.

WEdnESday, March 10

Indigenous Knowledges for a Post-Western World

11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
The GWRF is proud to co-sponsor this event presented by the Davies Forum.

With her groundbreaking book, Decolonizing Methodologies, Dr. Linda Tuhiwai Smith launched a movement of Indigenous-led critiques on academic thought and pursuits of knowledge while inspiring efforts that promote Indigenous autonomy and power in research interventions. Her work draws attention to the colonial ideologies of the scientific process and the enterprise of research, not least in the social sciences, speaks to how the historical, physical appropriation of Indigenous bodies, silencing of Indigenous knowledge systems, and exploitation of Indigenous land served to support the dehumanization of indigenous life. Smith also inspires us to forge new ways of doing research premised on respectful and mutually-beneficial relationships between researchers and communities.

For the Spring ’21 Davies Forum, Dr. Smith will ask how indigenous knowledge(s) can help to make sense of a nascent, post-Western world – the arrival of which may have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic – where the West’s relative primacy in shaping world affairs may be in eclipse.

The 20th Annual Global Women’s Rights Forum is co-sponsored by: Dean of Arts & Sciences, Critical Diversity Studies, USF School of Law, Media Studies, Sociology, Politics, International Studies, Philosophy, History, Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice, Communication Studies, Master in Migration Studies, Environmental Studies.