News Center for Human Rights, Gender & Migration Violence & Abuse

Center presents discussion on conflict-related atrocities & justice, March 27

Written by Kim Furlow, communications manager for the Institute for Public Health

According to a Washington Post report, witnesses and victims’ relatives say that days before a peace deal was made to end the war in Ethiopia’s Tigray region last fall, soldiers from neighboring Eritrea massacred more than 300 villagers over the course of a week. This is just one story of the atrocities committed in the years-long Ethiopian conflict, which also involved countless incidents of rape and other forms of sexual violence.

The Center for Human Rights, Gender and Migration at the Institute for Public Health will present, “War and Rape in Northern Ethiopia: A Dialogue about Healing and Justice” a discussion and reception on March 27 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The event at Brown Lounge at Brown Hall will focus on the atrocities committed in northern Ethiopia during the recent armed conflict, with a view toward advancing healing and the fight for justice.

Guests of honor will include the Honorable Filsan Abdellahi Abdi, former Minister for Women, Children and Youth of Ethiopia, and Hayelom Kebede Mekonen, PhD, former head of Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital in Tigray.

Due to its censorship of her reports of government involvement in conflict-related sexual violence, Hon. Abdellahi Abdi chose to resign from the Abiy cabinet. While a devastating, government-imposed blockade hindered food and medication delivery to the area, Dr. Mekonen mobilized medical support for thousands of survivors of sexual violence and other atrocities.

On March 27, Hon. Abdi and Dr. Mekonen will share their insights on the impact of the war, the use of sexual violence in armed conflict, the psychological trauma faced by survivors, and the need for justice and healing following a fragile peace agreement. L. Lewis Wall, MD, DPhil, Professor Emeritus of Sociocultural Anthropology and of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Kim Thuy Seelinger, JD, director of the Center for Human Rights, Gender and Migration and Research Associate Professor at the Brown School, will moderate the discussion.

Attendees are welcome to speak with special guests at a post-event reception. Light fare and beverages will be provided.   

War and Rape in Northern Ethiopia: A Dialogue About Healing and Justice
Monday, March 27th, 2023
Discussion: 5:30pm- 6:30pm | Reception: 6:30-7:30pm
The Brown Lounge at Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis
Read more and RSVP by March 22. Limited seating is available.

Presented by The Center for Human Rights, Gender and Migration, this event is supported by Global Studies at Washington University in St. Louis

Additional support is provided by: the Global Health Center at the Institute for Public Health and the Department of Medicine; the Public Interest Law and Policy Speaker Series at the School of Law; the office of Global Programs at the Brown School; and the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute.