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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Mover Over Sectarianism! Hello Sextarianism! Religion, Feminism and the Regulation of Commercial Sex in Northern Ireland Seminar

11 November 2015
Lecture Theatre B, Shackleton Building 44

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Dr Nathaniel O'Grady at N.O' .

Event details

Since the commencement of the ‘peace process’ in the mid-1990s ethno-religious sectarianism has become less pronounced in Northern Ireland. This has created space on the political agenda for some broader social issues to receive policy attention. In particular, issues around sexual citizenship (e.g. gay rights and reproductive choice) and sexual commerce (e.g. sex work/prostitution and other forms of adult entertainment) have become ‘new’ sites of struggle about identity politics in this ethno-religiously divided part of the UK. Interestingly, whereas Catholic/Nationalist and Protestant/Unionist politicians have long engaged in sectarian politics the issue of regulating commercial sex has resulted in an interesting alliance between both side of politics as well as elements of the feminist/women’s movement in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This is illustrated through an examination of the Human Trafficking & Exploitation (Further Provisions and Support for Victims) Bill introduced by Lord Morrow from the Democratic Unionist Party. The passing of this Bill witnessed the introduction of the so-called Swedish model to regulate the ‘sex industry’. Put simply, the political debates and legislation around sex work and, more broadly, sexuality in Northern Ireland render this part of the UK a sextarian society. chaired by Dr Nathaniel Lewis

Speaker information

Dr Paul Maginn, University of Western Australia. School of Earth and Environment,

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