Every year, the United Nations dedicates May 15th, the International Day of Families, to bringing attention to the rights of families across the world and society as a whole, with a particular focus on women and children. This year’s commemoration of the day centered upon “the role of men, gender equality and children’s rights in contemporary families”–  a theme discussed in depth during a panel held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

The Trouble with Marriage: Feminists Confront Law and Violence in India
The Trouble with Marriage: Feminists Confront Law and Violence in India

Among the many insightful panelists and speakers present that day was our own Srimati Basu, Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Anthropology at the University of Kentucky and author of The Trouble with Marriage: Feminists Confront Law and Violence in India.

BasuIn line with her new book, she spoke of the inequality still present in South Asian family law, especially pertaining to those surrounding family violence:

“I wanted to make a push for us to talk more about ideas of gender-based violence in terms of notions of affirmative consent of the people concerned and in terms of notions of violence as violations of bodily integrity, for example,” says Basu in a post-panel interview, “instead of violations of honor and violations of kinship.” Basu also touches upon the conflicting role of families as sources of both care and economic sustenance, as well as how to address these differences while guarding against family violence.

Read more about the Day of Families panel session at the UNDESA Division for Social Policy and Development’s website, which also features a link to the full webcast of the event.