Research & Action Report Fall/Winter 2003

international work

 The announcement by the Wellesley Centers for Women of plans to host a spring 2004 conference, Innovations in Understanding Violence against Women, has generated unprecedented interest from all parts of the world. To date, more than 300 abstracts for conference presentations have been submitted from 45 countries, evidence of how much this subject is on the minds of researchers, advocates, activists and governmental as well as nongovernmental leaders everywhere.

The first in a series of international research and action conferences to be presented by WCW, the event will take place April 25-28, 2004, in Wellesley, MA. The purpose of the conference is to advance understanding of violence against women by sharing and promoting innovative methodologies in both research and prevention.

Innovations in Understanding Violence against Women will be a forum in which approaches to, and findings of, contextually relevant research from northern and southern hemispheres will be presented and discussed. The Centers hope the conference will expand worldwide awareness and understanding of violence against women, broadly defined to include interpersonal violence, family and community violence, and violence that is politically or socially motivated. The conference will address such specific topics as:
• the roots of gender-based community violence
• violence against women as a violation of human rights
• the relationship between war and violence against women
• designing politically sensitive and culturally relevant research methodologies
• qualitative and quantitative research on gender-specific violence prevention
• trafficking in women
• documenting individual women's experiences.

Conference organizers have designed the program to foster participatory and collaborative interaction among participants from around the globe. The conference will be an international, interactive, dialogue-based gathering of researchers, practitioners, and advocates. It will include talks by internationally renowned experts on issues of violence against women, field-initiated paper presentations, and roundtable discussions. The program has been designed to maximize networking and the formation of collaborations across and within countries.