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Women In and At War 2014 Conference

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September 18 and 19, 2014

University of Warwick, Scarman House

£100 – registration for both days of the conference; £50 – one day only

£70 – both days (postgraduate rate); £35 – one day only (postgraduate rate)

Conference Organisers

Solange Mouthaan
University of Warwick, School of Law

Olga Jurasz
Open University, Business School

Ryszard Piotrowics
Aberystwyth University, Law and Criminology

Anel Boshoff 
Aberystwyth University, Law and Criminology

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Women’s roles in war are complex and varied. During the Arab Spring, women took to the streets protesting against oppressive regimes in North Africa and the Middle East. We are also witnessing a significant rise in female political activism during conflict: many women increasingly find the Internet, blogs and social media to be a useful tool to fight oppression, advocate change but also to report from war zones. Many women actively participate in combat, in regular armed forces but also as guerillas and, freedom fighters. They are also compelled to fight as girl child soldiers.

Sexual violence against women remains an alarming and disturbing feature of modern armed conflicts. This is despite the fact that International Humanitarian Law (IHL) prohibits rape and other forms of sexual violence in war and despite the major advances in International Criminal Law (ICL) in the punishment of gender crimes. Over the past two years, some further steps and initiatives have been taken at national and international level to address this problem. For instance, in June 2013 the United Nations Security Council issued Resolution 2106 on sexual violence in conflict, calling (once again) for the prevention of sexual violence during conflicts. In April 2012, the UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague, launched the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative, which resulted in adopting a G8 Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict and endorsing the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, which has been signed by 70% of UN Member States.

What impact have these measures had? Will they make a real difference? Have they had any impact on the way that armed conflict is conducted? How much can the law actually achieve? What do recent conflicts tell us about the contemporary representations of women in and at war?

This conference builds on the 2012 Women in War and at War conference held at Aberystwyth University and is designed to focus in particular on recent developments in relation to women and war.

Please note there is limited funding available for Ph.D. students.

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