Keeping Fieldwork Safe from Sexual Harassment and Physical Violence

Posted in: ASOR, ASORTV
Tags: Anthropology, Archaeology, data, fieldwork, gender gap, physical assault, physical violence, Sexual Harrassment, sexual violence, summer abroad, survey
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At the 2014 ASOR Annual Meeting, Beth Alpert Nakhai not only chaired the Women at Work: Making One’s Way in the Field of Near Eastern Studies session, but also presented a paper and was a discussant for another presentation. Her presentation, “Keeping Fieldwork Safe from Sexual Harassment and Physical Violence,”  takes a look at the data collected from a survey she launched last year. So, we were delighted that she took the time to meet with the ASORtv team to record her presentation. Below you can watch Dr. Alpert Nakhai’s presentation, as well as read the abstract submitted to the 2014 ASOR Annual Meeting Program Book.

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Abstract from the 2014 Annual Meeting Program book.

“Women in ASOR: ASOR Leadership and CAP-Affiliated Excavations: Keeping Fieldwork Safe from Sexual Harassment and Physical Violence”

This component of Women at Work: Making One’s Way in the Field of Near Eastern Studies offers some results and observations, which derive from three projects. The first two, under the rubric of “Women in ASOR,” discuss the history of women in leadership positions within ASOR, and as directors or co-directors of CAP- affiliated excavations. In this I am joined by Valerie Schlegel, The University of Arizona. Leadership positions in learned societies and on field projects are two factors that promote women’s professional advancement in the academy and in other places of employment; concomitantly, women in leadership positions are well placed to support junior scholars, female and male alike, in attaining their professional goals. Recent studies indicate that men who are mentored by women are more likely to promote the advancement of women. The third project, “Keeping Fieldwork Safe,” has multiple components. The first is acquiring accurate data about the extent to which archaeologists are—or are not—safe when in the field. “Safe” includes freedom from sexual harassment, and from sexual and other forms of physical attack. Additional components of this project include: developing an ethics policy that includes protocols for “best practices,” to be adopted by ASOR and implemented by all CAP-affiliated excavations; providing trainings for excavation leadership to ensure that all members of their projects, whether professionals or volunteers, fully understand their legal obligations and their rights; and, creating mechanisms within ASOR to support individuals whose right to safety from sexual harassment and violence has been violated, including (but not limited to) providing information about reporting to the appropriate authorities.


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