GCU gender-based violence experts join Angelina Jolie at global summit

05 June 2014

Professor Lesley McMillan

Professor Lesley McMillan

Two GCU specialists in the study of sexual violence will travel to London in June to attend a global summit billed as the largest gathering ever brought together on the subject.

Professor Lesley McMillan and PhD student Lucy Mathieson – who at only 37 was invited to become a gender-based violence expert for the UN Security Council Affairs Division – will join summit co-chairs Foreign Secretary William Hague and Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict on 10-13 June.

The invitation-only event has been billed as the largest gathering ever brought together on this subject, with a view to creating irreversible momentum against sexual violence in conflict and practical action that helps those on the ground.

Professor Lesley McMillan, Professor of Criminology and Sociology, is a recognised expert in violence against women.

She said: “I am pleased to be one of only a handful of experts selected to attend the summit. I wish to thank colleagues in GCU business who have helped to create this exciting opportunity."

Lucy Mathieson is an experienced human rights worker who is currently studying for a PhD on gender-based violence and women associated with armed movements in the Middle East and North Africa. She is a gender-based violence expert for the UN Security Council Affairs Division.

Fiona Stewart-Knight, Director of GCU Business Academies, facilitated the pair’s attendance at the summit, building on GCU’s strong reputation for human rights in a Scottish context through the development of a work-based Masters in Citizenship and Human Rights and close work with the Scottish Human Rights Commission. She said: “When the details were first published I thought it important to try to involve GCU, particularly given Professor McMillan and Ms Mathieson’s respective field experience, niche expertise and publications track record.

“Participation should enhance GCU’s profile, increase opportunity for research collaboration and contribute towards impact statements. Participation was an aspiration that I thought might be impossible but the right connections and the calibre of these two experts have assured their participation in this event and most probably events to come.”