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Schedule

Friday, March 30, 2012
All events in the President's Room, Woolsey Hall, unless noted.

4:00 – 5:00 pm
Registration

5:00 – 7:00 pm
Equality, Anti–Discrimination, and Parity

This opening session analyzes different frameworks and mechanisms used to generate equality, and explores the assumptions underlying various frameworks. This comparative discussion will help us understand anti-discrimination and parity laws and the theories that drive these various interventions.

7:30 – 10:00 pm
Welcome Reception and Dinner
The Study Hotel

Saturday, March 31, 2012 
All events in the President's Room, Woolsey Hall, unless noted.

8:30 – 9:00 am
Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 11:00 am
Political Parity and Democratic Legitimacy

Parity is one method used to increase women’s political participation; many countries have political parity laws, including France, Spain, India, and Senegal. The methods and the focus vary, as has their impact. We will discuss which areas of politics are the focus of interventions, how laws are implemented, whether they deal with intersecting forms of identity, the responses, and metrics of their impact. We will consider concerns about essentializing women and undermining forms of democratic legitimacy, just as we will consider the admiration that some of these programs have generated.

11:15 am – 12:45 pm
Corporate Boards, Private Employers, and the Gender Gap

In a global workforce that is dependent on the participation of women and increasingly composed of an equal part of women, principles of parity are being used to situate women in the top levels of corporate management.  Does this corporatist version of parity make a difference, and if so, in what arenas?  How does it affect corporate productivity, profits, and reputation?  Does the presence of women on corporate boards impact management culture or alter corporate policies? And does gender diversity at top levels impact the position and treatment of women elsewhere in the company, and, if so, at what levels of employment?

1:15 – 3:15 pm
Working Lunch: Public Parity Without Private Parity?

While parity programs target the level of female participation in the public spheres of work and political governance, it is impossible to disentangle female public presence from questions of governance in the private sphere. In all parts of the world, and contiguous with parity programs, tremendous shifts have occurred in the laws of family and the relationship between workplaces and households. Countries such as Egypt, Jordan, and Tunisia liberalized divorce law as well as the division of marital property. In India, laws protecting women against domestic violence and prohibiting dowry have been passed. In the United States, a family and parental leave act permitted caregivers to take time from workplaces without losing their jobs.  In Norway, set asides in benefit programs target fathers, and families get less support if both parents do not take time away from wage work.  What is the interplay between these legal trends – meant to introduce the idea of parity into the domestic sphere – and the success of traditional, public-sphere parity programs?

3:30 – 5:00 pm
Parity in the University

Much debate has taken place around the subject of women in academia, especially in the sciences and in the ranks of tenured faculty. The status of women is uneven, as women have a significant academic presence in some fields and minimal presence in others. Many gender initiatives have been generated in an attempt to reform hiring and promotion practices and address related problems, from salary equity to leave time.  The kinds and forms of work that are valorized, topics studied, and the structure of the academy are all subjects of inquiry in equality terms. What success have various interventions had and why? Where are the current frontiers and what areas are seen as immune from such inquiries?

5:15 – 6:40 pm
Development and Gender Parity 

The World Bank has urged countries to work toward equality of “rights, resources, and voice” for women and girls in order to increase competitiveness and effectively use human talent. Taking the category of “resources” as the pivot, this panel will discuss the connections between economic development and gender empowerment as well as the ways in which economic and organization-based strategies align with other efforts to create gender parity.

7:00 – 10:00 pm
Dinner, Reflecting on Parity’s Import: Frustrations and Frontiers
Yale Law School, Alumni Reading Room
We will have the opportunity to return as a group to the opening questions and to reflect on how issues of parity do and do not vary according to the domains we have carved out, as well as to consider what forms of invention would be generative.