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.

A report will be published here shortly. Here are the speakers’ presentations – for information only, not to be re-used without the authors’ express permission.


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.

Here is the programme.

There have been some changes in the speakers since the provisional programme was announced.

Here are short biographies of those now confirmed as participants. The panelists will give short introductions, allowing plenty of time for discussion – we hope that many participants will join in!

To book your place, please sign up via Eventbrite, using this link.

Or to avoid the Eventbrite booking fee, you may complete and send us this booking form, using one of the methods in it to pay your fee directly to the BEARR Trust.


Please book by 8 November!


Put the date (15 November) in your diaries now!