Institute of African Studies - Columbia University

Stereotypes as Grounds for Discrimination

Event Details

Stereotypes as Grounds for Discrimination
Women and the LGBT Community in Courts and Penitentiaries
October 21, 2019 - 12:00pm
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room, 1219 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Please join the Harriman Institute and the Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) at Columbia's Institute for the Study of Human Rights for a presentation by human rights advocate Maria Abrahamyan.

According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, gender stereotyping is one of the root causes for discrimination, abuse, and violence, leading to violations of a wide array of human rights. States not only have an obligation to eliminate discrimination, but also to refrain from stereotyping per se. In this talk, Maria Abrahamyan will discuss how states fail those obligations, leading to de facto "legalization" of harmful stereotypes. Abrahamyan is the author of a domestic violence trial monitoring report that reveals how the Armenian justice system re-victimizes women based on stereotypes, creating barriers to women’s access to justice. Abramyan will also reference reports by the Prison Monitoring Group on obvious discriminatory treatment towards LGBT people, illuminating how the “unwritten laws” of prisons can negate the factual local and international legal framework. While Abrahamyan will address data relating mostly to Armenia, the highlighted problems are widespread and borderless.

Maria Abrahamyan is a Human Rights Advocates Program fellow at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University. She has been working in the human rights sphere of Armenia since 2010. As a researcher and expert, she has contributed to the CEDAW civil society report, the first Armenian femicide report, and a trial monitoring report on indirect discrimination and access to justice in domestic violence trials. She is a member of the CEDAW Taskforce Armenia, and was an expert at the Group of Public Monitors Implementing Supervision over the Criminal-Executive Institutions and Bodies of the Ministry of Justice of RA.