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   This module is a resource for lecturers   

 

Exercises

 

This section contains suggestions for in-class or pre-class educational exercises, while a post-class assignment for assessing student understanding of the Module is suggested in a separate section.

The exercises in this section are most appropriate for classes of between 30 and 50 students, where students can be easily organized into small groups in which they discuss cases or conduct activities before providing feedback to the entire class. Although it is theoretically possible to have the same small group structure in large classes comprising a few hundred students, it is more challenging. The easiest way to deal with the requirement for small group discussion in a large class is to simply ask students to self-organize into groups of five or six by turning to the other students sitting close to them. When feedback is required, the lecturer should use discretion, because not all groups will be able to provide feedback every time. The lecturer should make random selections and try to ensure that all groups get the opportunity to provide feedback at least once.

All exercises in this section are appropriate for both graduate and undergraduate students. However, as students' prior knowledge and exposure to these issues varies widely, decisions about appropriateness of exercises should be based on their educational and social context.

 

Exercise 1: Brainstorming: Gender-based discrimination in the criminal justice system

This exercise should be conducted before the primary content of the Module is delivered, as the exercise tests students' prior assumptions (i.e. they may assume that 'gender' refers primarily to women and girls; they may assume that transgender women are vulnerable in prison (while overlooking the risks to transgender men); and they may not immediately consider that increased diversity in criminal justice professions is a means of mitigating gendered assumptions, gender discrimination and SGBV).

Lecturer guidelines

Ask students to write down five ways in which gendered assumptions, and gender discrimination bear adverse impacts on individuals involved with the criminal justice system. Call on several students at a time to come up to the white board to write their ideas. Once all ideas are recorded the lecturer can facilitate a plenary discussion about the multiple ways in which gendered assumptions, gender discrimination and SGBV operate at all levels of the criminal justice system (first contact with police, investigation, pretrial, trial, sentencing, and post sentencing and release). Other relevant issues include legislation, procedures, public policy, media reporting, the training of criminal justice professionals, and diversity (sex, gender and sexual orientation) within criminal justice professions. Students should be encouraged to think broadly about the individuals that are affected by gendered assumptions, gender discrimination and gender violence, including women and girls, boys and men, and individuals that identify as, or are perceived to be, LGBTI who come into contact with the criminal justice system as victims, witnesses, accused or convicted offenders, or in their capacity as criminal justice professionals.

 

Exercise 2: Power Walk

Power Walk is a popular exercise used to raise awareness of social categories such as gender, ethnicity, and race. This version of the Power Walk exercise aims at raising awareness of vulnerabilities and intersectional and/or compounded forms of discrimination faced by women and persons with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sexual characteristics.

Lecturer guidelines

Cut out the characters in the table, and give one character to each student. (If necessary, create more characters). Ask students to stand in one horizontal line, one next to each other. Mark the starting place.

1. Male lawyer with private firm 2. Street boy, aged 10
3. Teenage mother, aged 17 4. Lesbian university student living with her partner
5. Formerly imprisoned woman, age 28 with drug addiction 6. Bisexual human rights activist
7. Transgender male asylum seeker 8. Girl, aged 16, completed Grade 8
9. Male school teacher - HIV positive but not open about his status 10. Female doctor
11. Female Local Member of Parliament, lesbian but not open about her sexuality 12. Migrant ethnic minority female illiterate factory worker
13. Male police officer 14. Returned trafficked girl, 17
15. Female HIV and AIDS peer educator 16. Male sex worker, 16 yrs
17. Female sex worker, 25 yrs 18. Girl, aged 7, mother in prison

Read the following statements one by one. After each statement, the character walks one step further if he/she agrees with the statement; walks one step back if he/she disagrees.

  • If I am arrested, I would get legal representation.
  • I would be confident if I had to speak directly to a judge or prosecutor.
  • I am not in danger of being sexually harassed or abused.
  • I have a regular income or means of supporting myself.
  • If I am detained, I would not be treated violently or roughly.
  • I can afford access to appropriate healthcare.
  • If I wanted to complain about how the police treated me, I know who I could go to for help.
  • I can name some of the laws in the country.
  • If I was arrested, someone would immediately be told.
  • I have left over money at the end of the week that I can spend on myself.
  • I can travel anywhere I like without assistance or permission.
  • I do not feel threatened in the workplace by any issues of my identity.
  • I do not feel socially uncomfortable in most situations to voice my opinions.
  • I can do what I like in my home without fear.
  • I can freely attend a demonstration with people who advocate the same causes with me.
  • I have never been called out on the street at night when walking home.

After reading all statements, ask the students to stay where they are. The ones that are most advanced are the most privileged, the ones left at the back, are at the highest risk of vulnerability.

Debrief: Ask the students at the front who they are (their characters), then ask the same question to those at the back. Ask those at the back how they felt when the others were moving forward.

 

Exercise 3: Gender terminology board game

This exercise has been adopted, with permission from IOM and UNHCR's joint training package 'Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Persons in Forced Displacement and Humanitarian Context (2017), authored by Jennifer Rumbach.

The purpose of this exercise is to familiarize students with basic terminology on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC). Instead of teaching the key terms in a traditional lecture style, this exercise engages students in active learning; and requires them to match the terms and definitions in a fun board game setting.

Definitions board

Each person's enduring capacity for profound romantic, emotional and/or physical feelings for, or attraction to person(s) of a particular sex and/or gender

Any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances directed against a person's sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting

Describes a person who predominantly or entirely has romantic, emotional and/or physical attraction to persons of a different sex and/or gender.

Describes a person who predominantly or entirely has romantic, emotional and/or physical attraction to persons of the same sex and/or gender.

Describes a person who has the capacity to be romantically, emotionally and/or physically attracted to person(s) of the same sex and/or gender as well as persons of a different sex and/or gender.

Generally used to describe a man whose enduring capacity for profound romantic, emotional and/or physical attraction is to other men, although the term can also be used to describe women who are attracted to other women.

Fear or hatred of homosexuals or homosexuality/fear or hatred of transgender persons or diverse gender expression/s.

A woman whose enduring capacity for profound romantic, emotional and/or physical attraction is to other women.

The classification of a person as having female, male, and/or intersex bodily characteristics. Infants are usually assigned this at birth based on the appearance of their sexual anatomy.

An umbrella term describing a wide range of natural bodily variations related to sex characteristics (including genitals, gonads and chromosome patterns) that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies. Replaces 'hermaphrodite'.

Refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for individuals based on their assigned sex.

A term used to refer to individuals whose sense of their gender aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth.

Umbrella term used by persons whose gender identity and, in some cases, gender expression, differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth.

Each person's deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth. This includes their personal sense of their body and various means of gender expression

Umbrella term for all persons whose sex characteristics, sexual orientation or gender identity places them outside the mainstream, and persons whose gender identity does not correspond with the sex they were assigned at birth.

 

Terminology cards (to be cut out)

Sexual orientation

 

 

Sexual violence

Heterosexual

Homosexual

 

 

Bisexual

Gay

Homophobia/Transphobia

 

 

Lesbian

Sex

Intersex

 

 

Gender

Cisgender

Transgender

 

 

Gender Identity

Persons of Diverse Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics

 

Lecturer Guidelines

Preparation: Print the Board (where definitions are written) as many as you need. Each group should get one board. Print the table with the terms, cut out the squares containing terms. They will be the cards. Each group should get one pack of these 15 cards.

  • Introduction (5 mins): Divide students into small groups, give each group a board and cards. Introduce the exercise.
  • Group work (15 mins): Instructions for groups: Match each card, with its correct definition on the board, by placing the card on the correct square on the board.
  • Discussion (10 minutes): Go through each definition on the board, asking groups which term they placed on it.
 

Exercise 4: Roundtable discussion on patriarchy, social and cultural norms and economic inequalities

Pre-class component

Request that students read a short background text on the influence of patriarchy, social and cultural norms and economic inequalities (United Nations (2006). Secretary-General's In-depth Study on All Forms of Violence against Women , A/61/122/Add.1. New York: UN, paragraphs 65-91) and to reflect, and make notes, on how this is reflected in criminal laws, policies and practices and what it means for women accused, on trial, or convicted of a crime.

Lecturer Guidelines

For the in-class component invite students to volunteer to report on key aspects of their notes. This should form the basis for a guided discussion about the pervasive effects of patriarchy, social and cultural norms and economic inequalities - as a background to subsequent learning about the specific impacts that this has when women come into contact with the law, as either victims, witness, accused or recognized offenders.

 

Exercise 5: Review of national laws

Mindful of the ways in which discrimination operates across multiple contexts, this task encourages students to identify practical measures for reform, across multiple sectors (media, law, policy, education, etc.).

Lecturer guidelines

Invite students to identify examples of discriminatory criminal legislation in their own country and discuss how it discriminates against women (or LGBTI) and what should be done to address this. While it is useful for students to identify discriminatory statute, this exercise also offers students an opportunity to critically reflect on the extent to which legal practice, and the practices of other sectors, perpetuate or contribute to discrimination on the grounds of gender.

 

Exercise 6: Case study analyses

 

Lecturer guidelines

Invite students to read the case studies and discuss the following questions:

  • How are gender-stereotypes, social and cultural norms reflected in existing criminal law and procedure?
  • What role do the attitudes and perceptions of criminal justice practitioners play? What difference does it make if they are gender sensitive?
  • What are the main obstacles for women/LGBTI persons in conflict with the law in accessing justice in these types of cases?
  • What other cases can you think of where women are treated differently than men?

Possible modifications: Instead of the existing cases in the Module, lecturers may choose to introduce new cases for the purposes of this exercise. To that end, lecturers may refer to compilations of ECtHR cases on gender identity. See the section Additional Teaching Tools for other compilations on homosexuality and sexual orientation.

 

Exercise 7: Case study analysis 'Miguel Castro-Castro Prison vs. Peru'

This exercise prompts students to critically analyse this specific case with a particular focus on women in prisons.

Lecturer Guidelines

Ask students to read the case study on the Case of Miguel Castro-Castro Prison vs. Peru, and discuss the following questions:

  • Do you think women and men in prison have the same needs? If not, which are those needs and how penitentiary systems should address them?
  • How would you combine the obligation to serve a prison sentence and the right of a mother to take care of her children? Is it possible or desirable to respect both? If not, which one should prevail?
  • Do you think criminal laws and procedures should distinguish between men and women in conflict with the law? Should the law be equal for everyone or should it treat differently those who are different or have different needs?
  • Is it relevant for criminal justice practitioners (i.e. defence lawyers, prosecutors, judges, penitentiary authorities, etc.) to receive theoretical and practical knowledge on how to deal with gender issues? What should this training entail?
 

Exercise 8: Group discussion on transgender persons in prisons

This exercise aims at prompting a discussion on potential advantages and challenges related to segregation of transgender persons in detention settings. Lecturers are advised to deliver this exercise only when students have sufficient level of understanding and awareness on gender-related issues.

Lecturer Guidelines

Ask students to read the following article: Lees, Paris (2016). Placing a transgender woman in a men's prison is a cruel punishment. London: The Independent.

Divide students into small groups and ask them to consider the complexities of the argument about separate prison facilities for LGBTI persons. Students should address the following questions and draft notes in order to provide a verbal report back to the class in plenary:

  • What are the advantages, and what are the disadvantages of segregation? (both those mentioned in the article, others that are not mentioned).
  • What are the alternatives to a debate about segregated prisons? (Here it would be useful for students to come up with suggestions that reduce the risk of LGBTI persons coming into conflict with the law. For example, workplace discrimination can increase the risk of survival crimes and homelessness for transgender persons. What practical strategies would mitigate this? Diversity in industrial relations organizations and unions; effective anti-discrimination laws; increased social supports that are non-stigmatizing and non-discriminatory; etc.)
 

Exercise 9: BYOS - Build your own scenario: Developing scenarios relating to vulnerable groups in contact with the criminal justice system, to discuss good and bad practices

This exercise asks students to develop scenarios involving groups at risk of vulnerability, who are in contact with the criminal justice institutions. Students will combine their imagination and knowledge gained in the Module to devise a scenario that includes acts and practices, some of which are in line with international human rights standards, and some of which constitute human rights violations.

Lecturer Guidelines

Introduction (5 mins): Divide students in three or four groups; introduce the exercise and scenario titles.

Group work (30 minutes): Each group will pick one of the scenario titles below, and develop the scenario accordingly. Scenarios should describe the situation involving a person at risk of vulnerability (whether as victim or offender), such as an interview at a police station, or admission to a detention facility. The scenario should then explain the reaction of the criminal justice institution/officer either though narrative or dialogue between the victim/offender and the respective criminal justice officer. The scenario should cover at least one stage of criminal justice process (initial contact with law enforcement, investigation, pretrial detention, trial, prison) and include both good practices that are in line with international standards, and human rights violations.

List of potential scenario titles (Lecturers may adapt scenario titles to local context if necessary):

  • A bisexual woman, victim of domestic violence by her partner, reporting the crime at a police station.
  • A 17-year-old pregnant girl with HIV, being admitted to prison upon convicted of killing her abusive stepfather.
  • A transgender male brought to court on charges of attacking a police officer at a Pride March.
  • A 16-year-old gay asylum seeker, who got involved in a fight at his temporary residence, who is suspected of stabbing a fellow asylum seeker.
  • A woman with a drug addiction, arrested at a home-raid in front of her 2-year-old son, upon suspicion of drug dealing.
  • (Free) This option does not have a 'title' pointing out to a scenario. Students are completely free to design it.

Group presentations and plenary discussions (25 mins): Each group read out their scenario. The rest of the students discuss the scenario by answering the following questions:

  • In which ways the (victim/offender) is vulnerable/discriminated based on gender identity/sexual orientation?
  • Name one act described in the scenario that is in line with international human rights standards. Discuss how the police/prisons officer or the judge respected/protected/fulfilled their rights.
  • Identify one act in the scenario which violated human rights of the victim/offender.

Possible modifications: If there is more time for this exercise, scenarios could be written as a dialogue, which can be played in the form of a role-play exercise.

 

Exercise 10: Designing gender diversity assessment - National Police of (country X) and the judiciary

The purpose of this exercise is to enable students to apply the knowledge on gender diversity in the criminal justice workforce, in the context of a practical assignment. In groups, students will be tasked with designing a gender diversity assessment for the National Police of (Country X) and the Criminal Court of (Country X).

Lecturer Guidelines

Introduction (5 mins): Divide the students into four groups, and introduce the exercise. Groups 1 and 2 will design gender diversity assessment for the Police, Groups 3 and 4 will do the same for the Criminal Court.

Group work (35 mins): Each group has 35 minutes to develop an assessment plan answering the questions in the instructions provided.

Instructions for Groups 1 and 2: You are working as a researcher at a reputable think tank focusing on Gender and Security. The National Police of Country (X) invited you and your colleagues, as a group of external assessors to conduct a gender diversity assessment of the police service. As a group, develop a gender diversity assessment plan according to the following:

  • Which institutional policies and guidelines of the Police Service do you review? (Tips: Lecturers may provide hints at this stage: Recruitment policies, promotion criteria, maternity leave policy, diversity and inclusion strategy, anti-harassment policy)
  • Which institutional mechanisms do you look at? (if necessary give hints: Complaints mechanisms, physical facilities, police equipment)
  • You are given full access to human resources related data. What information do you need to assess gender-diversity among the staff?
  • You are allowed to conduct interviews with staff. Who do you interview? List the questions you intend to ask. Think about whether you would like to conduct individual interviews or focus group meetings, with a view to ensure a gender sensitive approach.

Reflection question: If you were tasked with conducting this assessment in real life, with the National Police of Country X, what kind of challenges would you foresee? Discuss.

Instructions for Groups 3 and 4: You are working as a researcher at a reputable think tank focusing on Gender and Rule of Law. The Criminal Court of Country X invited you, as a group of external assessors to conduct a gender diversity assessment of the police service. As a group, develop a gender diversity assessment plan according to the following:

  • Which institutional policies and guidelines applicable to the Court do you review? Tips: Lecturers may provide hints at this stage: Recruitment policies, promotion criteria, maternity leave policy, diversity and inclusion strategy, anti-harassment policy.
  • Which facilities and institutional mechanisms do you look at to assess whether the work environment is safe and gender-inclusive (e.g. complaints mechanisms, physical facilities)?
  • You are given access to human resources related data. What kind of data and information do you need to assess gender diversity among the staff?
  • You are allowed to conduct interviews with judges and other court staff. Who do you interview? List the questions you intend to ask. Think about whether you would like to conduct individual interviews or focus group meetings, with a view to ensure a gender sensitive approach.

Reflection question: If you were tasked with conducting this assessment in real life, with the Criminal Court of Country X, what kind of challenges would you foresee?

Group presentations and discussion: Each group presents an overview of their plan in 5 minutes, followed by a plenary discussion of 5 minutes (40 mins).

Following the exercise, you may refer interested students to Bastick (2011) for a gender self-assessment guide for the security sector.

 
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