BEARR Trust annual conference 2019 – Violence and Coercion against Women and Girls in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2019 Annual Conference was held on Friday 15 November at CAN- MEZZ, 7-14 Great Dover Street, London, SE1 4YR.

We had speakers from Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and the UK, and looked at the subject from both a research perspective and from the point of view of NGO activity in the region in tackling the consequences of gender-based violence and working to prevent it.

Click here for the speakers’ presentations and the conference report.

Here is the programme.

Here are short biographies of the speakers.

Gender-based violence – including rape, domestic violence and murder, sexual abuse, early and forced marriage, trafficking and other forms of coercion – is a profound problem for women and girls across the world. In countries of the former Soviet Union, political and economic transition have exacerbated many of these forms of violence by removing old social guarantees and creating new risks. The mass experience of poverty across the region, alongside gender inequalities in the employment spheres, have made more women economically dependent on men, while the difficulties associated with meeting social and familial expectations have pushed many men towards violence.

These tendencies have been further underpinned by conservative and patriarchal currents tapped into by religious leaders and nationalist politicians, which have encouraged a culture of misogyny and male impunity. In this context, promoting the rights of women and girls has been extremely difficult, as feminist arguments are easily framed as western “liberal” impositions threatening the family and the nation.

This conference seeks to explore current trends and how domestic and international NGOs across the post-Soviet region have worked to further the rights of women and girls in order to protect them from violence of all forms, and the obstacles they have faced in doing so. It will be of interest to students, academics, third sector workers, activists and all with a professional or general interest in health and wellbeing in the region.