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Gender-based violence (GBV), particularly against women and girls, is exacerbated in humanitarian emergencies, such as those taking place in Syria, Pakistan, Iraq, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Congo, Nigeria, and Nepal. Yet prevention of and response to GBV is still not treated as a priority by humanitarian actors from the earliest stages of those emergencies, and humanitarian responses lack sufficient mechanisms to ensure that the issue is comprehensively addressed. At this year’s Tripodi Lecture, GBV specialist Elizabeth (Liz) Pender will argue that trained social workers have the knowledge and capacity to act promptly to reduce the risks of GBV as well as to ensure that survivors receive the care they deserve. Social workers possess the skills to assess needs, develop plans of action, safely follow-up, respect confidentiality and informed consent, and ensure the dignity of the client/survivor.
Following her address, Ms. Pender will be joined by Willma and Albert Musher Professor Nabila El-Bassel and Dr. Anindita Dasgupta for a panel discussion about the situation of Syrian women and girls who are refugees. Dr. El-Bassel is stewarding a Columbia University-wide initiative on behalf of Syrian refugees in Jordan and Turkey, called ASPIRE: Advancing Solutions in Policy, Implementation, Research and Engagement for Refugees. Dr. Dasgupta is a member of the ASPIRE team and recently returned from a research trip to Jordan.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
A 2002 graduate of Columbia University’s School of Social Work, Liz Pender works as Senior Gender-based Violence/Humanitarian Protection Advisor to the US Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. Before that, she was a women’s protection expert at the International Rescue Committee and a member of the IRC’s Emergency Response Team. She has worked with at-risk women in Darfur, Sudan, Northern Caucasus, Myanmar, and Zimbabwe, among other places.
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About the Tony Tripodi Lecture Series
The Tony Tripodi Lecture series on International Social Work is made possible through the generous support of alumnus Tony Tripodi, DSW’63. It focuses on research projects, issues, and trends in international social welfare and social work including applications of international research to social policy, social work practice, and social work administration.