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UN under-secretary general to speak at FAU

The special U.N. representative on sexual violence will kick off a three-day symposium on Women’s Empowerment in Sierra Leone.

United Nations under secretary-general Zainab Hawa Bangura will be on the Boca Raton campus Wednesday to discuss sexual violence in high conflict areas. Photo courtesy of FAU.

United Nations under secretary-general Zainab Hawa Bangura will be on the Boca Raton campus Wednesday to discuss sexual violence in high conflict areas. Photo courtesy of FAU.

Brett Barnes, Contributing Writer

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Florida Atlantic University will host guest speaker U.N. Under Secretary-General Zainab Hawa Bangura in a free public lecture on “Sexual Violence in Conflict: The Moral Challenge of Our Time” on Wednesday, Feb. 10, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The talk is presented by FAU’s Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and will take place on FAU’s Boca Raton campus in the Live Oak Pavilion of the Student Union.

U.N. member Zainab Hawa Bangura was appointed special representative of the U.N. on sexual violence in conflict in 2012. Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2015, Bangura was previously the second female minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone, bringing over 20 years of experience to her current position.

Bangura’s speech will commence a three-day symposium on “The Politics of Women’s Empowerment in Post-War Sierra Leone: Contradictions, Successes and Challenges.”

According to the U.N. website, her knowledge and experience as a women’s rights advocate in high conflict war zones will serve as a launching point for the symposium. With hands-on experience in peacekeeping operations from within the U.N. Mission in Liberia and conflict resolution and reconciliation in Africa, Bangura’s perspective of an under secretary-general U.N. member will be given.

Following the lecture will be a ticketed reception, costing $35. Proceeds will serve as a scholarship donation for the Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

The symposium will continue on Feb. 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Feb. 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. — taking place in the House Chamber of the Student Union.

The occasion will focus on issues following the resolution of the Sierra Leone civil war and the role the state and civil society played in confronting these issues at the close of the civil war in 2002.

Symposium participants will review the achievements and challenges regarding women’s empowerment following the war and study a selection of themes including women’s political representation, gender-based violence, health and education.

To reserve tickets for the reception following Bangura’s lecture, visit https://fauf.fau.edu/bangura.

Brett Barnes is a contributing writer for the University Press. To contact her regarding this or other stories, she can be reached at barnesb2013@fau.edu

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