The London School of Economics and Political Science today hosted First Secretary of State William Hague and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie to launch the UK’s first academic Centre on Women, Peace and Security, to be based at the School.
Mr Hague and Ms Jolie announced the establishment of the ground-breaking initiative to students and academic colleagues with LSE Director Professor Craig Calhoun and Professor Christine Chinkin, who will lead the new centre. It will focus on the participation of women in conflict-related processes and on enhancing accountability and ending impunity for rape and sexual violence in war.
The Centre marks a collaboration between LSE, Mr Hague, Ms Jolie and the UK Government. It will support the aims of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI), co-founded in 2012 by Mr Hague and Ms Jolie by bringing academic expertise to bear on preventing crimes of sexual violence, holding perpetrators to account and protecting the rights of survivors. From 2016 the Centre will provide a post-graduate teaching programme in Women, Peace and Security, leading to an MSc degree.
LSE has recently announced the creation of a new Institute of Global Affairs which will host the Centre on Women, Peace and Security. The choice of LSE as host university for the Centre reflects both its international reach and its focus on issues of global concern.
Mr Hague said, “By founding this Centre LSE is setting an impressive example to other universities in the UK and around the world. I’m delighted that as we take forward the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative we’ll be able to work with the UK’s first academic centre on Women, Peace and Security at the LSE, providing the ideas and rigorous academic understanding needed to expand equal rights, equal freedom and equal opportunity for women everywhere.”
“I am excited at the thought of all the students in years to come who will study in this new Centre,” added Angelina Jolie. “There is no stable future for a world in which crimes committed against women go unpunished. We need the next generation of educated youth with inquisitive minds and fresh energy, who are willing not only to sit in the classroom but to go out into the field and the courtrooms and to make a decisive difference.”
The Centre also received a message of support from US Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton.