Joan Collins
INSECURITY, fear and male oriented education are the main factors which hold women back, according to Teresa del Valle, Professor of Social Anthropology at the Basque region University. During her participation in the closing conference of the Summer University for Gender Studies (UVEG), “Human rights and mobility: towards new forms of travelling and living”, Del Valle tackled the subject of human migration seen from the point of view of women. Del Valle is a specialist in Female and Political Anthropology, rituals, social change and time and space groups, as well as being the author of well known female anthropology books such as Let's Go to a New Town. With reference to insecurity, Del Valle highlighted the fact that women usually think that danger is found in the street and not in their home.
Because of this, when they leave their home, in the majority of cases, they have a constant fear of being attacked, especially of being sexually assaulted, and she described this feeling as “the vulture of violation which hovers over women”. Del Valle specified that there are various types of fear which create insecurity in women, some of which are real and very probable which can happen because of circumstances (for example, at night in a quiet or badly lit street or a garage). Other fears are those which women create for themselves through their personal experiences or from what they see in the media.
Lastly, she mentioned a third type of fear which she called “things we deny ourselves”, which are restrictions which women impose on themselves or their children, such as avoiding deserted places. The reception of this course has been very positive, according to one of the directors of the UVEG, Esperanza Bosch, who said that the number of people participating (120) had been very gratifying. This was the 10th edition of the Summer University Gender Studies course which was launched, according to Bosch, with the intention of it becoming a place where the exchange of information and debate would be encouraged, as well as being a meeting point for people interested in reviewing and studying in depth the analyses of different things from the perspective of gender.


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