Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Special African Studies Seminar: Local Resistance to an International Norm

07 June 2016, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

Dr Peace Medie

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Institute of Advanced Studies


IAS Seminar Room 19, First Floor, South Wing, Wilkins Building

'Local Resistance to an International Norm - How Social Pressures Affect the Decision to Report Rape in Cote d'Ivoire'

The Institute of Advanced Studies is pleased to host this Special African Studies Seminar given by Dr Peace Medie.  States in Africa have signed international instruments that require them to enforce rape and other gender-based violence laws. Studies, however, show that there is a large enforcement gap; the majority of rape cases are not reported and reported cases rarely end in prosecution. This presentation discusses how the international anti-rape norm - the requirement that states arrest and prosecute offenders - is contested in communities in Côte d'Ivoire. It discusses how traditional and religious leaders oppose the norm and the efforts of the state, international organizations, and local civil society organizations that seek to end impunity for rape. It then explains how this resistance to the norm affects the enforcement of the country's rape law.

Dr Peace A. Medie is a Research Fellow in the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) at the University of Ghana and an Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow. Her research centres on the dynamics of violence during and after conflicts and the steps that state and non-state actors take to address this violence. Her book manuscript, Global Norms and Local Action: The Campaigns to End Violence against Women in Africa, examines how international organisations and the women's movement have influenced the implementation of gender-based violence norms in Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire. Dr Peace's work has been published in African Affairs, International Studies Review and Politics & Gender, and has won several awards, including the 2012-2013 African Affairs African Author Prize. She delivered the Royal African Society's 2015 Mary Kingsley Zochonis Lecture. Prior to joining LECIAD, she was a Dissertation Fellow in the African and African Diaspora Studies program at Boston College. She earned a PhD in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.