Press release | 25 October 2021 | pp

The Invisible Force – Women in War and Peace

Invitation to the digital Queen’s Lecture on 1 November 2021

Women continue to bear the main brunt of social conflicts such as wars. However, in their roles as wives, mothers, and soldiers as well as teachers and politicians they have a major influence as an invisible but important force, particularly in initiating peace, says Sanam Naraghi Anderlini. Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, who is an attorney, peace strategist, and director of the Centre for Women, Peace and Security at the London School of Economics as well as author of UN Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security, and Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), will be giving this year’s Queen’s Lecture at TU Berlin. She will examine the key role women play in peacebuilding in international conflicts and focus on the current plight of women in Afghanistan. 

“Wars take place in villages, in the homes of people – no matter how many different actors are involved on the big stage,” says Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, who has studied the role of women as unarmed actors in war and peace for many years. It is now more than 20 years since the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security. For the first time, it called on member states to protect women's rights and include women on an equal footing in peace negotiations, conflict mediation, and the reconstruction of devastated regions, as well as the prosecution of offenders. The author was Sanam Naraghi Anderlini. Yet 20 years after the passing of this breakthrough resolution, women all over the world are still oppressed, raped, and killed merely for standing up for their rights.

We cordially invite you to the Digital Queen’s Lecture 2021

“Blueprint for Peace in C21st: So little done, but it’s not too late”
The Role of Women in Peacebuilding Processes in Conflict Zones

Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, MBE, Director of the Centre for Women, Peace and Security at the London School of Economicsand Political Science

When:  Monday, 1 November 2021, 18.00 to 19.30 (livestream)

Where: The Queen’s Lecture 2021 is taking place digitally

Further information is available here.  


The lecture will be broadcast as a livestream on TU Berlin’s YouTube channel. Members of the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions at the end via chat. The lecture will be given in English.

We kindly request you to promote the event in your own media.

Currently, Sanam Naraghi Anderlini is particularly concerned about women in Afghanistan. “The American withdrawal from this country in the Hindu Kush region has greatly exacerbated the situation of women. They fear losing everything they have built up over the past two decades - their rights, their freedom, and ultimately even their lives.”

Uncomfortable truths – urgent solutions needed

Sanam Naraghi Anderlini grew up in Tehran. She understands very well the situation of women in systems ruled by fanatical male dictators. Today, she has a global reputation as a peace strategist dealing with conflicts, crises and violent extremism and as an important player in global women’s politics, advocating and fighting for the safety of women in conflict zones. The many international prizes she has been awarded testify to the growing international respect for the causes she espouses. Yet, the world still seems far from finding workable solutions. In this year’s Queen’s Speech at TU Berlin, she will reflect on the political, social, and economic factors that led to the current quagmire regarding multilateralism, raise uncomfortable truths, challenge conventional wisdoms, and offer urgently needed solutions arising from feminist perspectives in the field of peacebuilding and security.

Sanam Naraghi Anderlini

Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, MBE, is director of the Centre for Women, Peace and Security at the London School of Economics. She is founder of ICAN (International Civil Society Action Network), where she spearheads the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) comprising independent, women-led organizations active in preventing violence and promoting peace, rights, and pluralism in 40 countries, among them Yemen, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Namibia, Syria, Cambodia, Nepal and Afghanistan. At the end of 2011, she became the first Senior Expert on Gender and Inclusion on the UN’s Mediation Standby Team, working on Somalia, Libya and Syria among other cases. She has set up and led a number of initiatives around the world, and working with UNFPA in Nepal, she led the first assessment team into Maoist cantonments. She is a member of the Steering Board of the UK’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, the Commonwealth’s Panel of Experts on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), and an adjunct professor at Columbia University.      

She was the 2014 recipient of the UN Association Perdita Huston Award for human rights and the 2016 Greeley Peace Scholar at the University of Massachusetts. She is also the author of many articles and publications on peacebuilding, international women’s politics, and human rights and is in much demand as a speaker and interview partner for academic institutions as well as the media.

Queen’s Lectures at TU Berlin – a tradition dating back to 1965

The Queen’s Lecture is an annual event hosted by the president of TU Berlin. The event is supported by the British Embassy Berlin and the British Council, the United Kingdom’s international organization for cultural relations. The lectures, which are given by leading academics from the UK and focus on issues relating to economics, culture, and science, form an important part of TU Berlin’s science and cultural program. The lecture series was a gift to Berlin from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her visit to the city in 1965. To mark the 50th anniversary of the lectures, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited TU Berlin in person in 2015. Guests of honor were German president Joachim Gauck, federal chancellor Angela Merkel, and Michael Müller, governing mayor of Berlin (further information and photos).

This year’s Queen’s Lecture will once again be held as part of the Berlin Science Week, an event which runs from 1 to 10 November 2021 and features more than 200 virtual discussion events, workshops, and exhibitions, bringing together the most innovative and leading science institutions and researchers. More information about Berlin Science Week.


Organization name Office of Communication, Events and Alumni