AGS Publishes Collective Work about Violence and Oppression Against Women Worldwide
In December the American Graduate School in Paris's research center saw the release of its first book : Crimes Against Women (Nova Publishers, USA), a collective work edited by AGS professor David Wingeate Pike, with a foreword by Bangladeshi author and Human Rights advocate Taslima Nasrin.
Crimes Against Women presents a survey of acts of violence, past and present, that women have endured throughout the world, and calls upon governments, intergovernmental organizations and NGOs to address this issue. The book is organized around a three-fold focus : examining gender-related crimes rooted in concept and law, those deriving from religion, customs and traditions, and those perpetrated in times of conflict. The twenty-eight articles take a broad variety of approaches, ranging from the philosophical and legalistic to the narrative reporting of contributors working in the field.
Crimes Against Women is the first published project of the research center of AGS, which focuses on International Conflict/Crime and subsequent governmental action. The center is co-directed by the president of the school of International Relations at AGS Eileen Servidio, who initiated this project and wrote the chapter entitled « Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Armed Conflict : Legal Aspects », and Professor Pike who edited the book and wrote its preface and introduction as well as the article on « Imperial Japan and its ‘Comfort Women’ ».
The author of the foreword Taslima Nasrin has fought for the past two decades against the oppression and discrimination of women in traditions, religions, customs and cultures in Bangladesh and other countries. A medical doctor by training, she has written a dozen poetry books, novels, essays and memoirs. She had to flee Bangladesh in 1994 and has lived in exile since then, defending human rights and women’s rights through her writings and public speeches. She has received a number of awards and prizes including the Ananda Literary Award in India, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought from the European Parliament, and the Human Rights Award from the Government of France.
Other contributors to the book are very diverse in their origins and expericences: they range in profession from academics, diplomats and lawyers to journalists, artists, and leaders of non-governmental organizations. They include four of the American Graduate School in Paris’s faculty / advisory board members : in addition to the contributions of Professors Servidio and Pike, Sir Christopher MacRae wrote « Forced Marriage as a Foreign Policy Issue in the United Kingdom », and Professor Ruchi Anand wrote the chapters : « The Human Rights Design: A Critique of ‘Universality’ in a Patriarchal World » and « Dowries in India ».
The painting on the cover of the book was done by the British figurative painter Charlotte Lyon.