A Scholarly Lens onto the Sexual Violence of the October 7 Hamas Attack

Monday, February 26, 2024 at 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Virtual Event

The panel will bring together two feminist legal scholars from Israel to unpack the sexual violence dimension of the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel. After a brief overview of what we know and how we know it, we will historicize the role of gendered violence in the long history of the Israel-Palestine conflict. We will then turn to the question of how the international community responded and how that response evolved in the last four months. The panelists will address the weaponization of sexual violence for political purposes and question the limits of a focus on gender. The panel is organized and moderated by Prof. Lerna Ekmekcioglu, McMillan-Stewart Associate professor of History and the director of the WGS. She is an expert on women’s experiences during wars and genocides and teaches courses on minorities and women in the Middle East.


Prof. Ruth Halperin-Kaddari is an expert on family law and international women's rights, and is the Founding Director of the Rackman Center for the Advancement of the Status of Women at Bar-Ilan University Law Faculty in Israel, where she serves as a Full Professor. In December 2018 she completed three terms (twelve years) on the UN Committee on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), during which she also served twice as the Vice-Chair of the Committee, and as the first Chair of the Working Group on Inquiries. A graduate of Yale Law School (LL.M.; J.S.D.), she is a renowned speaker in academic as well as in professional forums, and has published extensively in her areas of expertise, including a book on Women in Israel that was published by University of Pennsylvania Press,  and a co-edited 2nd edition of the CEDAW Commentary by oxford University Press. She is a recipient of numerous research grants as well as international awards including the US States Department Women of Courage Award, and in 2018 she was named on Apolitical's 100 most influential people in gender policy around the world. In June 2023 she was shortlisted for the OHCHR Working Group on Discrimination Against Women and Girls.

Daphna Hacker is a legal scholar and a sociologist, and is a full professor at the Law Faculty and the Women and Gender Studies Program, Tel Aviv University. Her socio-legal research focus on the intersection of law, families and gender. Prof. Hacker has published numerous articles in leading legal and socio-legal journals and is the author of three books. Her latest, published by Cambridge University Press in 2017, is titled "Legalized Families in the Era of Bordered Globalization", and wan the best book award by the American Law & Society Association. Prof. Hacker is also a known Israeli feminist activities who wan prizes for her contribution to the promotion of women status in her country. She currently serve as an expert member of The International Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) for the term 2023-2026.

Moderated by Lerna Ekmekcioglu, McMillan-Stewart Associate Professor of History & Director Women and Gender Studies Program

Event Type


Events By Interest


Events By School

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS)



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