The American Graduate School in Paris to Host International Conference on ‘Fighting Violence Against Women’

By Purnell T. Cropper | October 22, 2014

On Nov. 28, the American Graduate School in Paris (AGS) will host an international conference on “Fighting Violence Against Women,” organized on the occasion of the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

This conference will bring together policy-makers, diplomats, NGO leaders, lawyers, journalists, scholars, and human rights activists from around the world. Speakers will include Nazir Afzal, chief prosecutor of the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service, Carolina Lasén Diaz, program officer at the Council of Europe, and H.E. Ursula Plassnik, Austria’s ambassador to France and former Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The program will focus on three main types of gender-based acts of violence: those rooted in sources of law, national and international; those deriving from customs, religion, and traditions; and those perpetrated during armed conflict. “Up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime,” according to the United Nations. “Violence against women and girls is not inevitable. Prevention is possible and essential.”

The conference will offer a forum for discussion and knowledge-sharing between contributors from different professions, raise public awareness, and call the governments as well as intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations to address this worldwide epidemic.

This conference is organized on the initiative of Lorraine Koonce Farahmand, Esq., English solicitor and New York lawyer, as a continuation of the work of the American Graduate School in Paris Research Center on International Relations and Violence, which published a book on the subject in 2010 (Crimes Against Women, New York: Nova Publishers) edited by David Pike, with a foreword by Taslima Nasreen. The conference contributions and findings are expected to lead to the publication of a second volume on the same theme.

“Fighting Violence in all its forms is at the heart of the mission of the American Graduate School in Paris,” says Dr. Eileen Servidio, who heads the Research Center and the School of International Relations at AGS. “By bridging academia with actors in the field through such conferences and publications, and by educating the policy-makers and influencers of tomorrow so that they can apply these values in their daily action and decision-making, we wish to contribute to this worldwide combat.”

The American Graduate School in Paris is a nonprofit institution of higher education specializing in International Relations and Diplomacy. It is located in France and offers American programs to students from around the world in partnership with Arcadia University. This conference is organized with the support of Maison des Cultures du Monde and Fondation Alliance Française. This conference is open to the public, free of charge. RSVP to