Rights, Democracy and Equality in the Shadow of the Pandemic Webinar

Monday, August 31, 2020

at 9am–12pm EEST, 4–7pm AEST

Organized by INEQ Associate Professor of Law Security and Privacy Dorota Gozdecka (UH) in cooperation with the ANU Gender Institute (Australian National University).

To register please go to: https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/106326/lomake.html

The webinar will be run via Zoom platform. Registration is necessary to receive your Zoom invitation to join.


Covid and Rights in the Private Sphere:

9 am–10.30 am EEST/4pm–5.30pm AEST

Go Home, Stay Home: The Requisition of the Home and Gendered Relations of Care under COVID-19

Associate Professor Fiona Jenkins, Australian National University

Home as the place of return, and thus as the point of origin, stands both for the most intimate private spaces and for the nation as harbour of its citizens. This nexus has taken on new significance in the time of COVID as everyone is required in one way or another to go home or stay home. Home serves for a place of shelter and confinement, and as the primary site of continuance of life. My discussion explores the idea that homes have been requisitioned by the state and by employers in this time of emergency, with a legal violence that is concealed in the gendered relations of care that subtend domestic economy.

Coronavirus and the Colonisation of Private Life

Professor Emerita Margaret Thornton, Australian National University

The idea of a distinction between public and private life has a long history in political thought, but the line of demarcation between them is becoming increasingly blurred, particularly as a result of technological developments. The injunction to work at home as a result of coronavirus is threatening to erase the idea of separate spheres altogether. Drawing on contemporary responses to an on-line survey, this presentation will consider the ramifications of the economy colonising the sphere of intimacy.

Pandemic and Gender-Based Violence

Professor Marianna Muravyeva, University of Helsinki

The Covid19 pandemic and measures imposed by governments to contain it created a very specific situation that made lives of women much harder. The UN has described the worldwide increase in domestic abuse as a "shadow pandemic" alongside Covid-19. It’s thought cases have increased by 20% during the lockdown, as many people are trapped at home with their abuser. While the UN already developed the guidelines for the employers to provide safety for their employees who work remotely, the national governments have been facing a number of issues in dealing with domestic (and other types of gender-based) violence in the situation of quarantine and lockdown. In the talk, I will look at how the lockdown impacts access to justice and services for those who experienced GBV due to isolation policies.


10.30–10.45am EEST/5.30–5.45pm AEST

Covid, Emergency and Rights in the Public Sphere:

10.45am–11.45 am EEST/5.45pm–6.45pm AEST

Covid as a State of Emergency and Transmission of Knowledge in Democracies

Professor Risto Kunelius, University of Helsinki

Covid-19 represents a systemic event—a state of emergency—that disrupts the routines of societies from the level of individuals to institutions, nations, and global interaction. Revealing the vulnerability of the intensively interconnected world suggests a juxtaposition with another systemic crisis: the climate emergency. Drawing on some key literature on the different aspects of “events”—as heightened political semiosis as (possible) transformation of social and symbolic structures and as moments where new horizons are opened—this presentation suggests three intersecting themes where reactions to Covid-19 help to sharpen the crucial questions of future journalism: the role of “knowledge” and expertise, the power of national framing, and the challenge of covering the new imperatives and possibilities of everyday life.

Securitization of Rights in the Aftermath of the Pandemic

Associate Professor Dorota Gozdecka, University of Helsinki

This presentation analyses the response to COVID-19 pandemic and its overwhelming impact on human rights globally. It asks whether measures taken to control the COVID-19 pandemic comply with the emergency provisions and limitations allowed under human rights treaties and whether they will lead to permanent securitisation of the health sector. It examines What the impact of a long-lasting securitisation of health on human rights would be. Finally it attempts to disentangle the confusion around what is a violation and what is an allowed limitation of rights in the times of the pandemic.

Concluding discussion

11.45am–12pm EEST/6.45pm–7pm AEST