Association of 
Nigerian Scholars 
for Dialogue

Announcement and Invitation to Attend Workshop
Tuesday 20/Wednesday 21/Thursday 22 July 1999
Venue: Johannesburg College of Education
St Andrew's Road
Parktown Johannesburg
South Africa
Hosted by: The University of the Witwatersrand,
Johannesburg, South Africa
Conference Organisers:
Dr Sheila Meintjes (Political Studies), Anusanthee Pillay (Student Affairs)
and Lilian Kimani (Public and Development Management)
of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Dr Meredeth Turshen (School of Planning and Public Policy) Rutgers University,
New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States of America.


Conference Rationale

Work on the book by Meredeth Turshen What Women Do in War Time: Gender and Conflict in Africa (Zed Books, London 1998) led us to raise the question, what happens to women in the aftermath of war and internal armed conflict? What happens to gender relations in African societies in post-war reconstruction? We are aware that for women, a truce does not always bring an end to violence. The idea for a global conference in which African women dialogue with women who have lived through other conflicts arose from recent experiences in several African countries where violence against women escalated after the armistice. In South Africa, for example, women are coming forward to testify about abuse and brutality under apartheid rule in hearings convened by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Violence has not abated.

Purpose of the Conference

The central concern of the conference is how the transitions from war to peace and from authoritarian to democratic regimes can be used as an opportunity to move beyond the reconstruction of prewar institutions to real social transformation. Previous work on violence against women has used the feminist human rights model to consider issues of equality and citizenship, and work on women dislocated by war has used the social needs approach to confirm the material problems aggravated by conflict. This conference will explore approaches that move beyond the 'rights' and 'needs' diletic towards redefining women as active creators of their own reality, able to tackle the problems of resource requirements and find ways to meet their social and psychological needs for healing.

Conference Objectives

Guest Speakers andFacilitators

Guest speakers will give position papers on the five identified themes. Facilitators will be invited to lead thematic working groups on Day 2. Facilitators will include academics, social workers, psychologists, lawyers and others concerned with survivors and working towards gendered social transformation.

Commissioned papers

Speakers will be asked to explore why gender relations were not transformed after the horror of war or civil war.

Who should attend the Conference

The selection of invited African participants will be based on applications designed to identify those who meet the criteria outlined in the conference rationale and purpose. The selection process includes the completion of the enclosed form.

We invite participants to document the 'survival' experiences of conflict situations, analyse the ways in which those experiences were or were not transformative, and assess whether they can be harnessed to social transformation in aftermath situations. Participants will be involved in formulating strategies for empowering women in this critical moment in African history.

Participating Countries

Participants from each of the identified countries will be invited to participate:

Southern Africa

South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Angola, Zimbabwe, Lesotho

Eastern Africa

Eritria, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya

Central Africa

Chad, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo(Kinshasa), Congo (Brazzaville)

Northern/Western Africa

Algeria, Western Sahara, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Nigeria

Other Countries:

Israel, Palestine, Serbia, Ireland, Nicuragua, India, Pakistan, Yugoslavia, Chile, San Salvador, Bosnia, HertzeGovina, Argentina

Application for Attendance

Call for Thematic Submissions

Participants on Day 2 are invited to submit submissions in line with the following themes:

1. Violence against women in the conflict and in the aftermath: analysis of the experiences

2. Women's experiences of war as loss and gain

3. War/postwar shifts in gender relations

4. The new identities of war: gender, ethnicity and race

5. Relation of state to society

Abstracts for the submissions should be no longer than one A4 page, typed in single spacing, using 12pt font. Name, institution or organisation, address, and all contact numbers should be included after the title. These abstracts should reach the conference office by no later than 15 January 1998. Participants will be notified of acceptance on papers by no later than 31 March 1999.

Who Will Benefit From the Conference?

Beneficiaries will be policy-makers, NGOs at programme and policy levels, researchers, gender trainers for government and the NGO & CBO sector. The conference will contribute to a theoretical and practical understanding of continuing violence against women in new democracies.

Conference Open Day

Day 1 of the conference will be open to any individual or organisation who may wish to participate in the proceedings. The fee for attendance for this one day will be R300 which will include teas, lunch and conference materials. Please complete the enclosed registration form and return to the conference office by no later than end of June 1999.

Day 2 & Day 3

Workshops on Days 2&3 will be limited to invited participants only. The fee for invited participants will be R450 which will include teas, lunches and conference materials for Days 1 (Open Day) 2 & 3.

Exhibitionsand Women's Craft Fair

An art and photographic exhibition has been organised to take place during the conference. The theme of the exhibition is "Art on Violence against Women". Publishers are invited to take a table at the book exhibition to display and sell publications on gender and aftermath issues. Booking details are available from the Conference Office. A Craft Fair will be open to the public for the duration of the conference. This will give women from different disciplines the opportunity to display and sell their crafts. Participants from visiting countries are encouraged to bring women's crafts to sell at the fair.


Day 1 Tusday 20 July 1999 (Open Day)

Keynote Address
Plenary Sessions

Plenary Themes

1. Violence against women in the conflict and in the aftermath: analysis of the experiences
2. Women's experiences of war as loss and gain
3. War/postwar shifts in gender relations
4. The new identities of war: gender, ethnicity and race
5. Relation of state to society

Cocktail Reception

Day 2 Wednesday 21 July 1999

Working Groups

Working Group Themes

1. Violence against women
2. Women organising: in wartime for survival, and in peacetime to build the new social order
3. From reconstruction to transformation
4. Healing: Problems of Identity, solidarity and reconciliation
5. Relation of the state to society in the Aftermath

Dinner & Improvisatory theatre

Day 3 Thursday 22 July 1999

Working Groups Report Back in Plenary Session
Developing solutions - Regional Groups - The way forward for each region
Working groups report back in plenary session

Gala Dinner and entertainment

Day 4 Friday 23 July 1999


On day 4 you will have the opportunity to participate in an optional excursion programme. The tours have been especially arranged to let out-of-town visitors experience the political sights of Johannesburg and its cultural diversities.

Participants will need to sign-up for these activities in advance. The full excursion programme will be forwarded to you on registration.

Additional Information

Official Conference Language

The official conference language is English - Simultaneous translation will be provided during the conference in Portuguese and French. Conference papers will be printed in English, Portuguese and French.

Conference Location

The conference will be held at the Johannesburg College of Education a modern education facility situated in Parktown an historic supberb of Johannesburg.


Delegates will be housed at the Reith Residence, Johannesburg College of Education, Parktown. The accommodation comprises basic student rooms with shared bathrooms and toilet facilities. Delegates must please bring their own towels. Breakfast will be served in the residence dining hall. Bed & Breakfast rates are R150 per person per night.

Alternate Accommodation

There are several hotels and bed & breakfasts in Johannesburg with varying price ranges. If you wish to book alternate accommodation please contact our travel agent:

Gordon Harrison at Travelmania
P O Box 1866
Fourways 2055 Johannesburg South Africa
Tel: 27 11 791 1777
Fax: 27 11 792 0949


July in South Africa is a winter month. The weather is sunny with bright blue skies. The temperatures range from 20°c during the day to 1°c at night. Please remember to bring warm clothing for the evenings.


The monetary unit is the South African Rand (R) equal to 100 cents, with the international symbol ZAR.


Visas are required to enter South Africa from most countries. Please check with your local embassy or travel agent if you require a visa. Visas can only be issued in the country of departure. Invited participants will be given a letter of invitation in support of their visa application.


Johannesburg is a non-malaria area.

Airport Transfers

The organisers cannot undertake to meet every plane. The following return shuttles have been arranged from Johannesburg International Airport to JCE.

Monday 19 July........, Friday 23 July....., Saturday 24 July......

Magic Bus

For delegates wishing to take shuttles outside the arranged times the "Magic Bus" runs .... and departs from Terminal 4 (domestic arrivals). The cost of a one way shuttle is approximately R . These shuttles are for own accounts.

Cheque Payments

Cheques can be posted to the conference office and made payable to "The Aftermath Conference" alternatively you may wish to deposit directly into our account:-

Account Name: The Aftermath Conference, Bank: Nedbank, Branch: Wits, Account number: 1951078500

Conference Office

Robbie & Joanne, The Aftermath Conference, P O Box 72147 , Parkview 2122, South Africa
Tel: 27 11 788 2736, Tel/Fax: 27 11 788 3299, Email:

Continue to Workshop Application

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