When Home Is Where the Harm Is: Family Law Reform to Challenge Gender-Based Violence






Presented by the Women's Learning Partnership in collaboration with the Gender Studies Program at The New School

Thursday, March 17, 2016, 10:00am - 3:00pm   

The Auditorium at Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall, 66 West 12th Street, New York

Light Lunch Served

View photos here


On March 17, Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) launched the first global campaign on family law reform to challenge gender-based violence. It announced its three-year research and global advocacy campaign on reform of discriminatory laws against women in the family. The project focuses on the relationship between articles of the law and perpetration of violence against women and girls.

As leaders, government officials, and activists came together in New York City during the 60th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, we discussed one of the most important factors contributing to the justification of gender-based violence in Muslim-majority societies. The conference was a powerful engine for merging civil society and government policy-making for collective advocacy against gender-based violence. We discussed necessary changes to legal systems, and the root cause of social and cultural beliefs and practices that make reform and implementation of progressive laws so challenging.


Program (click to download)

Welcome and Introduction

Terri Gordon (USA) Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of Gender Studies, The New School

Mahnaz Afkhami (Iran/USA) Founder and President, Women’s Learning Partnership and former Secretary General of the Women’s Organization of Iran and Minister of Women’s Affairs in Iran

Panel 1 - Perspectives: Law, Culture, Conflict, and Religion (click for video)


Yakin Ertürk (Turkey) Former UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women


Musimbi Kanyoro (Kenya) President & CEO of Global Fund for Women

Jacqueline Pitanguy (Brazil) Founder and Executive Director of Cepia, and former President of the National Council for Women’s Rights

Madeleine Rees (UK) Secretary General, of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Dubravka Simonovic (Croatia) UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women

Panel 2 - Reports from the Field (click for video)


Kavita Ramdas (India) Senior Advisor on Global Strategy, Ford Foundation, former President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women


Anne Gahongayire (Rwanda) former Secretary General of the Rwandan Supreme Court, and former Secretary General of the Ministry for Gender and Family Promotion

Tolekan Ismailova (Kyrgyzstan) Director of Human Rights Movement “Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan” and Founder and Director of the International Documentary Human Rights Film Festival One World

Asma Khader (Jordan) former Senator in the Parliament of Jordan, and former Secretary General of the Jordanian National Commission for Women

Co-sponsored by Gender and Sexuality Studies at The New School for Social Research
and Ethics, Power and Justice at the Schools of Public Engagement


S:SSO to Sakai