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REF NO.: 304

SUBJECT: Public presentations will explore the issue of violence against women in Kenya and Poland
DATE: Aug. 6, 2004

Wanjiru Nderitu and Ewelina Pruszynska will each give public presentations at Memorial University on violence against women and children in Kenya and Poland. Their presentations begin at 1 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 9. in room SN-4087 (Sally Davis Seminar Room), located in the Science Building on Memorial’s St. John’scampus. In their presentations, both speakers will draw on their own front-line work with victims of violence in their respective countries, and they will also comment on their original research.

Kenya

Wanjiru Nderitu will give a presentation titled Violence Against Women in Kenya. Nderitu is an activist on gender issues in Kenya, particularly on violence against women and the girl-child in her country. She has wide international experience, including a term as Kenya’s government representative at the Kenya General Consulate in Frankfurt(1987-1991), and as tourism consultant in Botswana(1999 to 2003). Currently enrolled as a graduate student in the women's studies program at Memorial, she has a commitment to the United Nations Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.

Poland

Ewelina Pruszynska will give a presentation titled Family Secrets - A Polish Perspective on Domestic Violence. "Many of us associate home with safety," Ms. Pruszynska has noted. "But the cruel irony of staying home because one fears violence in the street is that the real danger of personal attack is in the home. Most offenders are not strangers climbing through windows, but loved ones, family members. So how is it that in spite of the huge dimensions of this problem, nothing really has been done to change it for the better? Lack of shelters for abused women, the police unwilling to be involved in family matters, insufficient victim services. These are some of the issues which my presentation will focus on."

Ms. Pruszynska is a student in the Faculty of Law, Warsaw University, where she works in a legal clinic to provide free legal advice to abused women. She also works with the Committee for the Protection of Children's Rights. She is currently attending Memorial on a three-month Canadian International Development Agency scholarship to research domestic violence issues for her MA thesis.

Media agencies are invited to attend these presentations.

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