Cher Weixia Chen presentation at uOttawa

Universalism v. Relativism: Cultural variations of national law on prohibiting workplace sexual harassment

Much of the existing scholarship on workplace sexual harassment focuses predominantly on North America and Europe, often overlooking the diverse ways in which law — encompassing both legislation and case law — address the issue globally. This study seeks to bridge this gap by addressing two pivotal research questions:

  1. How does national legislation on workplace sexual harassment differ across 190 countries?
  2. How have gender and law interacted in court opinions on workplace sexual harassment?

Guided by four models of gender and law, this study aims to provide a comprehensive global picture of the international legislative and judicial trends on sexual harassment in the workplace and understand cultural variations of legal norms on workplace sexual harassment. The findings could shed light on the extent to which there exists a universal human rights norm on the prohibition of sexual harassment in the world of work, and how effectively to design and implement it. The study seeks to enrich the enduring theoretical discourse on cultural relativism versus universalism in the field of human rights.

Our speaker

Cher Weixia Chen

Cher Weixia Chen

2023 Fulbright Canada Chair in Human Rights & Social Justice

Cher Weixia Chen is an Associate Professor in the School of Integrative Studies, the founder of the Human Rights and Global Justice Initiative, a Senior Scholar of the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, and a faculty fellow of the Institute for a Sustainable Earth, George Mason University (GMU).

She co-developed the undergraduate Social Justice and Human Rights concentration, Social Justice and Human Rights minor, and MAIS Social Justice and Human Rights concentration. She coordinates and teaches courses in International Studies, Legal Studies, and Social Justice and Human Rights concentrations. Dr. Chen is the recipient of the 2021 GMU Oscar Mentoring Excellence Award.

Professor Chen's scholarship revolves around issues related to human rights, with a particular focus on marginalized groups such as women and indigenous communities. Her expertise also extends to international and comparative legal studies.

Date and time
Nov 16, 2023
11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.
RSVP required in person & online (see registration links below).
Format and location
In person, Virtual
Fauteux Hall (FTX)
FTX302 (57 Louis-Pasteur Private, uOttawa) + ZOOM
General public
Free & open to all!
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