Why Women's Lives Don't Matter: ignoring sexual violence in conflict

Hosted by the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security

Online public event


Surood Mohammed Falih

Pramila Patten

Pramila Patten

Robinah Rubimbwa


Sanam Naraghi Anderlini

Our panel will reflect on factors that give rise to sexual violence, persistent gaps in state and multilateral efforts as well as the effective prevention and response strategies that have been put in place.

A nine-year-old girl is sold to a 50-year-old man for $2000. This is Afghanistan today. But it was Iraq a few years ago, and Uganda before that. The horror of sexual violence that threatens the lives of girls and women, as well as many boys and men in today’s wars, is no longer an unknown. In resolution 1325 and 1820, the UN Security Council specifically noted that sexual violence is a strategy of conflict and that such violence, further inflames and exacerbates warfare. Despite the prevalence of such resolutions, sexual violence is not adequately addressed in peace processes nor prevented in crises contexts, and the services and responses for victims and survivors remains limited in humanitarian aid efforts. 

Meet our speakers and chair

Surood Mohammed Falih is a Kurdish woman from Kirkuk city. During the uprising in 1991, she lost three members of her family, was displaced from the city, and started working for an Agriculture research canter as an agronomist. She worked for UNFAO until 2003, then returned to Kirkuk, and started working to raise awareness of human, women, and children’s rights. She uses advocacy to enhance the role of woman for creating peace and implementing UN resolution 1325.

Pramila Patten (@USGSRSGPatten) was appointed Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict at the level of Under-Secretary-General in 2017. A practicing barrister, she has served as a member of the Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women. She has been a member of the Advisory Group for the Global Study on Implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 and is a member of the Advisory Panel for the African Women’s Rights Observatory.

Robinah Rubimbwa (@RobinahR) is a feminist communications specialist, educator and peace activist. She is the Founder and National Coordinator of the Coalition for Action on Resolution 1325 (CoACT). Ms Rubimbwa has extensive experience in building knowledge and capacity in peacebuilding and conflict transformation, and in designing strategies to eliminate the oppression of women and girls. She offers leadership training and development communications consulting.


Sanam Naraghi Anderlini (@sanambna) is Director of the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security and the founder of The International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN).

More about this event

The LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security (@LSE_WPS) is an academic space for scholars, practitioners, activists, policy-makers and students to develop strategies to promote justice, human rights and participation of women in conflict-affected situations around the world. Through innovative research, teaching, and multi-sectoral engagement, the Centre for Women, Peace and Security aims to promote gender equality and enhance women’s economic, social and political participation and security.

This event is part of the the Coming of Age of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda series and is co-hosted with ICAN and the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEWPS

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