2004 Conference Statement

2004 International Research & Action Conference: Innovations in Understanding Violence against Women connects the local to the global to stop the violence

Wellesley, MA – 28 April 2004

Recognizing the pervasiveness of multiple forms of violence against women around the world, participants at the Wellesley Centers for Women international conference identified four urgent areas for research and action. First, based on presentations highlighting the impact of war and occupation on women in Iraq, Palestine, and Afghanistan, it is clear that in times of increased global militarism, physical and sexual violence against women by the state, community, and family members intensifies.

Second, restrictions on freedom introduced as part of the war on terror have become a part of many women’s lives at home and abroad. In particular women identified as coming from Islamic communities endure racial profiling and increased surveillance of their families and communities.

Third, the tightening of borders of western nation states through immigration controls has also increased women’s vulnerability. Abused women whose immigration status is uncertain do not have access to necessary support services, keeping them entrapped in abusive relationships.

The fourth critical area is the effect of globalisation on women as it specifically pertains to forced trafficking and selling of women across borders. The growing demand for buying sex and cheap labour in rich countries has increased the vulnerability of socially marginalized women in poor countries to such abuses.

The conference, dealing with innovations in understanding violence against women from international perspectives, hosted over 130 individuals, including researchers, activists, and program managers, from 30 countries. Conference participants stressed the need to connect violence against women locally to global conditions and struggles in order to put an end to violence against women around the world.

Nada Aoudeh, Canada
Susan McGee Bailey, USA
Victoria Banyard, USA
Maria Bevacqua, USA
Mandy Bonisteel, Canada
Floretta Boonzaier, South Africa
Margaret Brew-Ward, Ghana
Khatidja Chantler, UK
Chic Dabby-Chinoy, USA
Janice Du Mont, Canada
Victoria Firmo-Fontan, Turkey
Irina Gorchkova, Russia
Veronica Herrera, USA
Paivi Honkatukia, Finland
M. Ismail, Pakistan
Irina Kalabikhina, Russia
Poonam Kathuria, India
Lilia Labidi, Tunisia
Barb Macquarrie, Canada
Sally Engle Merry, USA
Sharmila Mhatre, Canada
Deborah Parnis, Canada
Minna Piispa, Finland
Vilmante Pakalniskine, Lithuania
Sherene Razack, Canada
Kelley Ready, USA
Shaura Shakurova, Russia
Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Palestine
Irina Shurygina, Russia
Nan Stein, USA
Linda Williams, USA
Janine Zweig, USA