Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik

An independent international centre for advanced studies


Challenges for old/new economic inequalities
24 May 2010 - 28 May 2010
Course directors:
Rada Borić, Centre for Women's Studies, Zagreb, Croatia
Renata Jambrešić Kirin, Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research,Zagreb, Croatia
Natka Badurina, University of Udine, Italy
Durre S. Ahmed, Centre for the Study of Gender and Culture, Lahore, Pakistan
Zora Kovačić, University of Trieste, Italy
Course description:

The Zagreb Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, the Centre for Women’s Studies - Zagreb, Croatia, the Center for the Study of Gender and Culture, Lahore, Pakistan and the University of Udine, Italy are pleased to announce the fourth postgraduate course with the overall theme of feminisms in a transnational perspective.

This year, colleagues from Udine and Lahore will join the board of co-directors.

The topic for the 2010 course is Challenges for old/new economic inequalities.

Challenges for old/new economic inequalities

Half a century ago Simone de Beauvoir asked why women do not share a group solidarity even though their oppression as the second gender cuts across class, racial and religious differences. She encouraged true feminists to be part of the left political forces in order to fight for a better world. Today, at a time of “postindustrial” financial capitalism oppression, and when inequality and welfare gaps are taking on new forms, feminists across the globe are far from sharing the same transnational agenda and the new/old left is in deep crisis.

Thus, the need for cross-gender, cross-race and cross-class solidarity, old (trade unions) and new forms of struggle (social and alterglobalist movements) against the mighty profiteers of neo-imperial globalization is waiting for urgent feminist reflections and activism. This is particularly relevant today when the dominant economic and political paradigm is finally being challenged more widely in public discourses, raising critical questions of a sustainable human future. The under-pinning factor of this change is the increasing global recognition of the need for partnership and interdependence between women and men, humans and nature, the mind, body, and soul as opposed to competition, the mindless rat race, over-consumption and social alienation. Apart from theoretizations offered by feminists and women-friendly economists, ecologists, developmentalists, geographers, sociologists, macrohistorians and others, we are looking for various good practices of nurturing the feminine sacred spirit and raising women’s economic, cultural and symbolic capital. An important inspiration for relating economic and gender inequalities with the feminine spirit comes from Riane Eisler, the macrohistorian who proposed the seminal cross-cultural difference between androcracy and the partnership social model, the last being the foothold for her “caring economy” concept.

Some of the leading dilemmas and questions of our forthcoming course are as follows:

  • how can women oppose the intention of "cognitive capitalism" to exploit the codified and tacit knowledge of native communities; how can they activate their genuine transcendental aspirations to bring the sacred question of life back to the world
  • how feminist articulation enables us to look differently at various labour regimes, mobile labour and volatile capital across different global and local spaces
  • the consequences of denying the gender impact of the crisis - and what kinds of existing alternative economics exist (gift economy, fair trade, caring economy, ethics of partnership, microcredit loans for women, complementary currency system)
  • how the need for women’s leadership contributes to the holistic vision of human sustainability.
  • The guiding principle of the course is a feminist critique of the rhetoric of “capitalism's temporary difficulties” and the belief that only critically-aware cross-gender, cross-race and cross-class solidarity, supported by the global communications network, can bring us closer to the ideal of human sustainability and social justice. Only by raising women’s critical and political voices can we build stronger coalitions to take the next leap in liberation for ourselves and the planet so desperately in need of women's leadership.


    IUC courses are conducted at the postgraduate level. All postgraduate students interested in the topic may apply to participate, although the course targets young scholars and post graduate students with special interests in women’s studies, transnational studies, postcolonialism and anthropology. The course will be limited to 25 participants (15 students), in order to provide sufficient space for discussion, seminar work and student presentations during the course. Participants are asked to seek funds from their own institutions to cover travel and accommodation costs. Limited financial support is available for participants from Central and Eastern Europe.

    Application Procedure:

    A short narrative explaining your interest in the topic and your C.V. (please be sure to include all your current contact information at the top of your C.V.) should be submitted by e-mail to or with the subject: IUC Dubrovnik 2010. The deadline for paper proposals is January 20, 2010.


    Course co-directors:

     Renata Jambrešić Kirin, Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, Croatia (

     Rada Borić, Centre for Women’s Studies, Croatia (

     Durre S. Ahmed, Center for the Study of Gender and Culture, Lahore, Pakistan


     Natka Badurina, University of Udine (

    24 May 2010, Monday, 2.45 - 7 p.m.

    2.45–3.00 Gathering of the participants at the IUC, Don Frana Bulica 4

    3.00-–3.30 Moderator: Rada Borić (Zagreb, Croatia)

    Short self-presentation by all participants

    3.30–3.45 Renata J. Kirin (Zagreb, Croatia)

    Introduction: Feminist challenges for the old/new economic inequalities

    3.45–5.15 Genevieve Vaughan (The Center for the Gift Economy, Austin, USA)

    The Gift Economy and the Gift Paradigm

    5.15–5.30 Coffee Break

    5.30–6.30 Irena Ateljević (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

    Presentation of the gift economy project „Tsunamika: a living symbol“ accompanied by video-interview with its founder Uma Haimavati (Auroville, India)

    6.30-7.00 General discussion

    25 May 2010, Tuesday, 9.15 – 12.45

    Moderator: Biljana Kašić

    9.15–10.15 Violeta Schubert (Melbourne, Australia)

    'Same difference': individuation, access to networks and (cross-sector) partnerships for development

    10.15–11.15 Irena Ateljević (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

    Feminine wisdom and patriarchy: caring economy begins with caring for oneself

    11.15 –11.30 Coffee break

    11.30–12.30 Ingrid Dahl (USA)

    Leading the way: young women's activism for social change

    12.30–12.45 General discussion

    lunch break

    5–7.15 p.m. Short presentations by doctoral students

    5.00–5.35 Adela Souralova (Brno, Czech Republic)

    Czech nannies and Vietnamese families: new type of inequalities in

    local and transnational contexts?

    5.35–6.05 Martina Bitunjac (Berlin/Rome)

    Gender mainstreaming in the German labour market

    6.05–6.40 Sandra Prlenda (Zagreb, Croatia)

    Creating the politics of equal opportunities for textile industry workers

    6.40–7.15 Solmaz Abyareh (Iran - Germany)

    Women and work in Iran

    26 May 2010, Wednesday, 9.00–12.45

    Moderator of the panel: Genevieve Vaughan

    Solidarity economy and feminist politics as an alternative to social exclusion

    9.00–9.25 Zora Kovacic (Trst-Barcelona-Hamburg)

    Solidarity economy as an alternative to social exclusion

    9.25–9.50 Aline Afonso (Bahia, Brasil – Lisbon, Portugal)

    Women´s behaviours and survival strategies in the Luanda informal labour market

    9.50–10.15 Jaleh Taheri (Lund, Sweden - USA)

    Masculinity and money: what about women's business rights?

    10.15-10.45 discussion

    10.45–11.00 coffee break

    11.00– 11.25 Merima Jašarević (Mostar, BiH)

    Old/new challenges for feminism in Bosnian society

    11.25–11.50 Jelena Milinović, BiH

    Entrepreneurship in postsocialism: women’s sacrifice or the emancipatory potential: female entrepreneurs in Banja Luka

    11.50–12.15 Lejla Sunagić (Sarajevo, BiH)

    International Organizations in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Contesting Institutional Gender Regime

    12.15-12.45 discussion

    free afternoon

    8 p.m. dinner party

    27 May 2010, Thursday, 9.15 a.m. – 12.45

    Moderator: Melita Richter

    9.15–10.15 Maja Hrgović (Zagreb, Croatia)

    Families pay price as the women go west

    10.15–11.15 Lisa Andersson

    Migration and gender in Moldova

    11.15–11.30 Coffee break

    11.30–12.30 Medea Badashvili (Tbilisi, Georgia)

    Is gender equity a woman's issue?Feminism in transitional Georgia

    12.30–12.45 discussion

    lunch break

    5.00-6.40 p.m. Short presentations by doctoral students

    5.00–5.35 Mimoza Malushaj (Elbasan, Albania)

    Economic empowerment of women in an Albanian city

    5.35–6.05 Melanija Belaj (Zagreb, Croatia)

    Family economy – women and the production of alcoholic bevarages

    6.05–6.40 Marina Orešić (Zagreb, Croatia - Vienna)

    Economic empowermnent and human rights for women

    28 May 2010, Friday, 9.15 a.m. – 12.00p.m.

    Does the empowerment of women represent smart economics or silent revolution?

    Concluding discussion moderated by Rada Boric

    Short contributions expected by:

    Violeta Schubert

    Melita Richter

    Jaleh Taheri

    Ingrid Dahl

    Zora Kovacic

    Aline Afonso

    Maja Hrgovic


    6 p.m. Visit to Dubrovnik Women's centre DEŠA (optional)

    Course lecturers:
    Durre S. Ahmed, Centre for the Study of Gender and Culture, Lahore, Pakistan
    Irena Ateljevic, University of Wageningen, Netherlands
    Biljana Kašić, University of Zadar, Croatia
    Jaleh Taheri, Lund University, Sweden
    Zora Kovačić, University of Trieste, Italy
    Genevieve Vaughan, University of Roma, La Sapienza, Italy
    Violeta Schubert, University of Melbourne, Australia
    Maja Hrgović, University of Zagreb, Croatia
    Melita Rihter, University of Trieste, Italy
    Ingrid Dahl, Rutgers University, United States
    Aline Alfonso Pereira, University of Lisbon, Portugal
    Renata Jambrešić Kirin, Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research,Zagreb, Croatia
    Rada Borić, Centre for Women's Studies, Zagreb, Croatia
    Natka Badurina, University of Udine, Italy