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No safe place: Prevalence and correlates of violence against conflict-affected women and girls in South Sudan - 17 February 2021

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Speaker: Mary Ellsberg, Founding Director, Global Women’s Institute, George Washington University

Chair: Dr Christine Cheng, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, King's College London

Dr Ellsberg will present two papers from studies carried out in South Sudan and focusing on violence against women. The first paper presents the results of a qualitative study on the context and different forms of violence committed against women and girls in South Sudan.

The study documents many forms of sexual and physical violence against women and girls in South Sudan, including conflict-related sexual violence, intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, child and forced marriage, and abduction.Violence occurred during three over-arching contexts: armed conflict, gender inequality, and the economic crisis. The custom of bride price, combined with the economic crisis, is a key driver of many other forms of violence.

The second study measured the prevalence and risk factors of different forms of violence against women and girls in South Sudan, which has suffered decades of conflict, most recently in 2013. The paper presents the findings of a population-based survey was conducted among women aged 15–6 4in three conflict-affected sites in South Sudan between 2015 and 2016.


Mary Ellsberg is the Founding Director of the Global Women’s Institute at the George Washington University, a university wide institute dedicated to producing policy-oriented research to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. She has more than 30 years of experience in international research and program work on gender and public health issues.

Dr. Ellsberg’s deep connection to global gender issues stems not only from her academic work but also from living in Nicaragua for nearly 20 years leading public health and women’s rights advocacy. She was a member of the core research team of the World Health Organization’s Multi-Country Study on Domestic Violence and Women’s Heath, and she has written more than 40 books and articles on gender-based violence and ethical and methodological aspects of violence research.

Dr. Ellsberg earned a doctorate in epidemiology and public health from Umea University in Sweden and a bachelor's degree in Latin American studies from Yale University.

Mary Elsberg
Mary Elsberg

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Christine  Cheng

Christine Cheng

Senior Lecturer in International Relations

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Event details

17 February 2021

Online event