INTERNATIONAL NETWORK ON
FEMINIST APPROACHES TO BIOETHICS
Dear members of FAB:
As you may know, the 2024 WCB/FAB will be held in Qatar. FAB was not consulted on this choice by IAB, and since the decision was made, we have been involved in a number of difficult conversations with IAB and with our own Advisory Board, as well as with the FAB membership at our Business Meeting on 12/13 October 2022 where the decision was ultimately approved by membership vote. Some of the FAQ about the process of choosing Qatar can be found here: https://iabioethics.org/2024-congress
There are many reasons to be concerned about Qatar as a destination for a feminist bioethics conference—its policies toward women, LGBTQI+ communities, and migrant workers are but some of them. Nevertheless, we must also note that in the past, FAB has held its conferences in partnership with IAB in several other countries with problematic policies toward these and other groups. This makes it harder to justify singling out Qatar as exceptionally bad by boycotting it. Instead, we have chosen to bring FAB to the region in solidarity with women and others whose voices may not be heard. IAB also assures us that all WCB/FAB conferences from now on will be hybrid, thus allowing members the choice to present or attend from their homes if they prefer.
We know that this situation is not ideal, and that for some, our choice might be seen to compromise FAB’s principles. We share these worries. Nevertheless, we hope that our members will understand the often contradictory and challenging nature of holding conferences in regions whose laws and practices can be problematic. As your co-chairs, we commit to working towards a conference that will amplify FAB’s efforts and voices in a part of the world where they might otherwise not be heard, as well as being a safe and stimulating event for everyone attending in whatever mode, while extending FAB’s efforts to support feminist scholarship through mutual learning and collaboration in all settings we find ourselves. FAB will continue to monitor the implications of this choice, and to welcome your questions, comments, and concerns.
Jackie Leach Scully
Many thanks to Kate MacKay for pioneering the FAB GAB podcast!
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