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UW Celebrates 30 Years of Women's Studies

March 13, 2009
Girl holding baby
Susan McKay, UW professor of women's studies, will discuss her research regarding girl mothers and the aftermath of wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone and northern Uganda. The girl's face is blurred to protect her identity.

The University of Wyoming Women's Studies Program will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a free public lecture by Professor Susan A. McKay.

The event will be held at 4:10 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, in Room 129 of the Classroom Building. Light refreshments follow the lecture.

McKay will discuss her award-winning research about the importance of leadership and reintegration of girl mothers in the aftermath of war in "‘People in the community told us we are good for nothing:' Community-based participatory research to empower war-affected girl mothers in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Northern Uganda."

Armed groups fighting wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Uganda and other African countries often recruit or abduct young people to serve as members of their armies. In many cases, girls are raped and forced to become sexual partners for militant commanders. Many of these girls give birth to babies. When released or when they escape, boys and girls have difficulty reintegrating into their communities. Girl mothers in particular are stigmatized and marginalized.

McKay's participatory action research works with these "girl-mothers" to support their empowerment and healthy reintegration into communities and to develop social actions that improve their circumstances.

Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009

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