Hybrid Panel Discussion – Can the Law Prevent Violence Against Women in Conflict?

Saturday 15 June 2024, 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm BST, online and London, UK


Global legal frameworks to protect women in conflict have been agreed by all members of the UN Security Council. Yet evidence from around the world shows that violence against women, because they are women, remains very much a part of twenty first century warfare.  

The panel will look at case studies from Ukraine, Ethiopia, and Uganda to explore the complex power dynamics around violence against women in conflict and what research from the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa and the Centre for Women, Peace and Security can teach us about preventing and prosecuting transgressions. As we enter a new phase in the politicisation of sexual violence against women in conflict, it’s a debate that must take centre stage.    

Meet our speakers and chair 

H.E. Fatou Bensouda is High Commissioner of the Gambia to the UK. She has previously also held the position of Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and ICC Deputy Prosecutor (Prosecutions) from 2004 until 2012. Prior to her ICC roles, Bensouda worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in various capacities, including Senior Legal Advisor. During her time in Gambian government, she served as Attorney General and Minister of Justice. Bensouda has played key roles in international negotiations and conferences, including those within ECOWAS and the United Nations. She holds a master’s degree in International Maritime Law and Law of The Sea, making her the first international maritime law expert from The Gambia.  

Rita Kahsay is Executive Director of the NGO Irob Anina and co-author of In Plain Sight, a book on CRSV in Tigray. Over the past three years she has focused on gathering testimonies from victims of atrocity crimes and presenting their plight on many platforms. Rita lived in the refugee camps in Sudan that housed over 70,000 Tigrayans for a year doing research on what had caused Tigrayans to seek refuge and is now based in Tigray continuing the same work particularly focused on gendered issues and the rights of minorities.  

Iliana Sarafian is a Lecturer in Medical Anthropology at UCL and a researcher at the Centre for Public Authority and International Development at FLIA, LSE. Iliana’s research is on minority health and wellbeing, gender, ethnicity, and social inequalities in European contexts, including the UK, Italy, Poland and Bulgaria. Iliana’s previous work experience spans international policy and academic fora. She was the Principal Investigator of a British Academy grant exploring resilience and deservingness among Ukrainian Roma refugees in Poland. She was also the Co-investigator of a British Academy grant on COVID-19 Recovery ‘Ethnographies of (Dis)Engagement: Understanding Vaccine Rejection in Chronically Neglected Communities across the G7’, with a specific focus on COVID-19 vaccine uptake and orientations among Roma communities in Italy.    

Joanna Lewis is Professor in the Department of International History at LSE and a historian of Africa and empire, and Africa in the wider world explored through imperialism, colonialism and legacies. Her latest book is Women of the Somali Diaspora: Refugees, Rebuilding and Resilience (Hurst, 2021). It is a history of the impact of the end of the Cold War on women mainly from a region of Somalia that was once British Somaliland. 


Find more information and book your free place here: https://www.lse.ac.uk/Events/LSE-Festival/2024/0615/women?_gl=1*2zp5wg*_ga*MjEzODYxMDY5NC4xNjk1OTI2NTQy*_ga_LWTEVFESYX*MTcxNDE1NTQ2OC44LjEuMTcxNDE1NTY2My42MC4wLjA.

This event will be held online and at Marshall Building, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, UK.

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