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Participating in Politics in the Middle East as a Disabled Woman

Turkish Parliament member to discuss gender, politics, disability and human rights

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October 28, 2011 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Turkey was a country with few accommodations for people with disabilities when, in 1996, 19-year-old Safak Pavey fell between a railroad platform and a moving train, losing an arm and a leg.

Now the Deputy of Istanbul and first disabled member of the Turkish Parliament, Pavey will speak on “Participating in Politics in the Middle East as a Disabled Woman,” Tuesday, Nov. 8, at Northwestern University. The free, public lecture on gender, disability and human rights takes place at 6 p.m. in the Guild Lounge of Scott Hall, 601 University Place, on the Evanston campus.

On completing post-graduate studies at the London School of Economics, Pavey worked on humanitarian missions in the Middle East, Asia and Africa for the United Nations High Commission on Refugees. She later was named Secretary to the newly established U.N. Human Rights Committee for the rights of persons with disabilities at Geneva headquarters.

A former columnist for the Armenian-Turkish newspaper Agos, Pavey has written three books and edited a volume on law with Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi. “Track Number Thirteen,” about her post-accident experiences as a disabled person in Turkey, became a bestseller in that country.

Pavey has received numerous national and international awards for her work. Most recently, she was named the 2011 Outstanding Young Person of the World by Junior Chamber International for her contributions to world peace and human rights.

The lecture is presented by Northwestern’s Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies and co-sponsored by the Global Engagement Summit and Northwestern University Conference on Human Rights.

For information about the lecture, visit the Buffett Center’s Facebook event page at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=172317432849846, call (847) 467-2770 or e-mail Rita Koryan at r-koryan@northwestern.edu.

Topics: Campus Life