Women's Rights Exchange

 Listed by Name

 Sunila Abeysekera, Founding Director, INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre

 Fatima Ahmed, President, Zenab for Women in Development

 Cathy Albisa, Executive Director, National Economic & Social Rights Initiative

 Lydia Alpízar, Executive Director, Association of Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)

 Carol Barton, Executive Secretary for Racial Justice, United Methodist Women’s Division

 Charlotte Bunch, Founding Director and Senior Scholar, Center for Women’s Global Leadership

 Mónica Carrillo, Director, LUNDÚ, Centro de Estudios y Promoción Afroperuano/Center for Afro-Peruvian Studies and Empowerment

 Mirna Cunningham, Center for Indigenous Peoples’ Autonomy & Development (Spanish acronym, CADPI)

 Rose Cunningham, Director, Wangki Tangni

 Mallika Dutt, President and CEO, Breakthrough

 Elaine Enarson, Independent Consultant, Speaker and On-line Instructor in Disaster Management

 Alda Facio, Director, Women, Gender and Justice Program at the United Nations Latin American Institute for Crime Prevention (ILANUD)

 Viviana Figueroa, Association of Indigenous Argentine Youth

 Adriana Gonzalez, President, LIMPAL

 Jean Hardisty, Founder and President Emerita of Political Research Associates (PRA), Senior Scholar at Wellesley

 Houzan Mahmoud, Spokesperson, Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq

 Eileen Mairena, Nitlapan (Recinto universitario UCA), Programa de investigacion

 Geetanjali Misra, Executive Director, Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action (CREA)

 Yanar Mohammed, Director, Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq

 Betty Murungi, Founder, Urgent Action Fund

 Ana Elena Obando, Women’s Human Rights Lawyer

 Tarcila Rivera, Executive Director, CHIRAPAQ, Centro de Culturas Indígenas del Perú

 Alejandra Sardá, Coordinator, Mulabi - Espacio Latinoamericano de Sexualidades y Derechos

 Farida Shaheed, Coordinator, Shirkat Gah-Women’s Resource Center

 Simona Sharoni, Professor of Women’s Studies, State University of New York-Plattsburgh

 María Eugenia Solís, Member of the Board of the Feminist Organization “La Cuerda”

 Anne Sosin, Coordinator, Haiti-Rwanda Commission

 Maria Suarez, FIRE - Radio Feminista

 Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Executive Director, Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education)

 Gina Vargas, Founder of Centro de la Mujer Peruana Flora Tristán

 

 



 Sunila Abeysekera, Founding Director, INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre

Sunila AbeysekeraSunila Abeysekera is a Sri Lankan activist for women’s rights and human rights and founding Director of INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre. Her focus is on minority, human, and sexuality-related rights with a special focus on human rights in conflict situations. She is one of five recipients of the UN Human Rights Prize in 1998, marking the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Ms. Abeysekera is also a member of the Women and Media Collective Sri Lanka and the Women’s Support Group Sri Lanka; she is co Chair of UNDP Global Civil Society Organizations Committee and Board Chair of the Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights.  She is a founding member of SANGAT, the South Asian Feminist Network, and of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development.  She works as a trainer in conflict transformation, peace-building, gender, and human rights, in Sri Lanka and internationally.

Languages: English, Spanish

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 Fatima Ahmed, President, Zenab for Women in Development

Fatima Ahmed is a community leader from Sudan. She is a P.H.D candidate from the University of Gezira, Sudan, and holds a Masters Degree in plant physiology from a joint program between University of Gezira and the International Center for Agricultural Researches in Dry Areas  (ICARDA), Syria. Her research background led her to focus on women farmers. Throughout her education she sought leadership roles and was often the only female involved in student governance. In 2000, she founded Zenab for Women in Development in order to promote peace-building, women’s rights, women’s reproductive health and girl’s education. For her work she has been awarded the name Ambassador of Peace from WFIP. Ms. Ahmed's mother, in whose name she founded Zenab, was the first woman to be educated in Elgedarif state back in 1930s. She founded many schools for girls in the region (1940s-1980s) before retiring and was one of 1000 Peace women nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Languages: English, Arabic

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 Cathy Albisa, Executive Director, National Economic & Social Rights Initiative

Cathy Albisa is an attorney with a background on the right to health specializing in the implementation of human rights standards in the United States. She is the co-founder and Executive Director of NESRI, the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, which promotes a human rights vision for the US. Toward this end, NESRI works with organizers, policy advocates and legal organizations to incorporate a human rights perspective into their work. She clerked for the Honorable Mitchell Cohen in the District of New Jersey. She received a BA from the University of Miami and is a graduate of Columbia Law School.  She is the former director of the Human Rights in the US program at the Center for Economic and Social Rights. She was also the Associate Director of the Human Rights Institute at Columbia Law School and co-directed the International Women's Human Rights Law Clinic at CUNY Law School.

Languages: English, Spanish

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 Lydia Alpízar, Executive Director, Association of Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)

Lydia AlpizarLydia Alpízar is a Costa Rican feminist activist who lives in Mexico City.  She participated actively in youth organizing and mobilization around the Earth Summit process in 1991-1992 and worked for several years as coordinator of the Youth Program of the Earth Council.  She facilitated the participation of young women from Latin America in the Beijing ‘95 process.  She is co-founder and advisor of ELIGE – Youth Network for Reproductive and Sexual Rights (Mexico), and she is also co-founder of the Latin American and Caribbean Youth Network for Reproductive and Sexual Rights.  In 2000, she was the Latin American regional representative to the International NGO Committee for Beijing +5.  She has extensive experience in advocacy and training on women’s human rights, particularly in sexual and reproductive rights and violence against women.

Languages: English, Spanish

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Carol Barton, Executive Secretary for Racial Justice, United Methodist Women’s Division

Carol Barton currently co-staffs the Racial Justice Program, Women’s Division, General Board of Global Ministries at the United Methodist Church with Elmira Nazombe. She has been the coordinator of the Women’s International Coalition for Economic Justice (WICEJ) since 2000, comprised of organizations from all regions of the globe, focused on gender, race, class and macro-economic policy at the international level. WICEJ has been actively involved in numerous UN conferences, including the Commission on the Status of Women, “Beijing+10”, Financing for Development Conference, and the World Conference Against Racism. She helped plan two international Feminist Dialogues prior to the 2004 and 2005 World Social Forums, as well as a Women’s Orientation at the 2005 WSF. Carol is editor of ‘Seeking Accountability on Women’s Human Rights: Women Debate the Millennium Development Goals’ and author of a UNDP monograph, ‘Women’s Movements and Gender Perspectives on the Millennium Development Goals’.

Languages: English

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 Charlotte Bunch, Founding Director and Senior Scholar, Center for Women’s Global Leadership

Charlotte BunchCharlotte Bunch is the founder of the Center for Women's Global Leadership at Rutgers University. She is the author of several books on feminism and global human rights activism.  In 1996, Bunch was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.  In 1999, she was selected by United States President Bill Clinton as a recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights. She serves on the Boards of the Ms. Foundation for Women and the Women’s Division of Human Rights Watch.  Ms. Bunch has been a consultant to many United Nations bodies and recently served on the Advisory Committee for the Secretary General’s 2006 Report to the General Assembly on Violence against Women.

Languages: English

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 Monica Carrillo, Director, LUNDÚ, Centro de Estudios y Promoción Afroperuano/Center for Afro-Peruvian Studies and Empowerment

Monica CarrilloMónica Carrillo is a feminist, scholar, poet, and the director of LUNDU, the Center for Afro-Peruvian Studies and Advancement in Lima, Peru.  LUNDU is an organization of Afro-Peruvian youth who work to promote recognition and respect for Peru’s African-descendant population and to combat racism and sexism in Peruvian society. Ms. Carrillo is also a journalist with expertise in International Human Rights Law and African and Minority Rights. In her tireless work for social justice, she helps people understand the importance of human rights – including sexual and reproductive rights – as she works in her community and internationally to defend the rights Afro-Peruvians, women, and youth.

Languages: Spanish

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 Mirna Cunningham, Director, Center for Indigenous Peoples’ Autonomy & Development (Spanish acronym, CADPI)

Mirna CunninghamMirna Cunningham, Vice-President of the Indigenous Initiative for Peace and Director of the Center for Indigenous People’s Autonomy and Development (CADPI), was trained as a surgeon and teacher and has a Master’s Degree in Public Health. She is an Indigenous Miskita who worked for more than 10 years as a teacher and as a doctor in hospitals and health clinics throughout Nicaragua. She is a former member of the National Assembly of Nicaragua who also served as Minister of Health and as Governor of the North Atlantic Coast.  Dr. Cunningham founded (and acted as the first female Chancellor of) URACCAN, the University of the Autonomous Regions of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua, and served as the General Secretary of the Interamerican Indigenous Institute.

Languages: English, Spanish

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 Rose Cunningham, Director, Wangki Tangni

Rose CunninghamRose Cunningham is a Miskita Indigenous leader and an expert in popular education, international labor law, and the rights of migrants, refugees, and displaced persons.  She served as an officer of the Organization of American States for 10 years and as Gender Coordinator for the International Organization of Migration.  She is the Founder and current Director of Wangki Tangni (“Flower of the River” in the Indigenous Miskitu language).  Through Wangki Tangni, she has worked to serve more than 104 poor and marginalized communities along the Coco River by developing programs that promote self sufficiency and assisting Indigenous Peoples to develop the skills they need for self-government, protection of their region’s biodiversity, and preservation of their traditional cultures.  With an explicit focus on gender, Wangki Tangni plays a unique role on the North Atlantic Coast, offering programs, building local infrastructure and institutions, and providing essential coordination between numerous Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations.

Languages: English, Spanish

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 Mallika Dutt, President and CEO, Breakthrough

Malika DuttMallika Dutt is the President and CEO of Breakthrough, an international human rights organization that uses media and popular culture to promote values of dignity, equality and justice. Until December 2000, Mallika was the Program Officer for the Human Rights & Social Justice Program at the Ford Foundation’s New Delhi office. She focused on addressing the rights of marginalized communities like dalits, adivasis, and women. Dutt also served as the Associate Director of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, where she held the first US meeting to create links between human rights domestically and abroad. Mallika authored the widely-referenced With Liberty and Justice for All: Women's Human Rights in the United States. She was also the co-author of the globally utilized manual, Local Action Global Change: Learning About the Human Rights of Women and Girls.

Languages: English

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 Elaine Enarson, Independent Consultant, Speaker and On-line Instructor in Disaster Management

Elaine EnarsonDr. Elaine Enarson is an American disaster sociologist with a focus on gender relations and social justice. Her research and publications have addressed social vulnerability and resilience issues, including the impacts of Hurricane Andrew on women, gender patterns in flood evacuation, women’s human rights in disasters, and the impacts of drought and earthquake on rural women in Gujarat, India. Other publications have focused on gender and employment, international perspectives on disaster and gender, gender mainstreaming disaster management in Canada, strategies for addressing high-risk social groups in local emergency management, and gender-sensitive disaster prevention and disaster recovery. She has collaborated with UN agencies on gender and disaster risk reduction initiatives and co-convened numerous workshops and conferences in the field. In 2006, she was the recipient of the Mary Fran Myers Gender and Disaster Award. Currently, Dr. Enarson is co-editing a second international reader in the field and developing a monograph on Women and Girls Last? Gender and Disaster. She is an independent consultant, speaker and on-line instructor in disaster management based in Colorado.

Languages: English

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 Alda Facio, Director, Women, Gender and Justice Program at the United Nations Latin American Institute for Crime Prevention (ILANUD)

Alda Facio is a feminist human rights activist, jurist and writer. In September 1996, she was awarded the first Women’s Human Rights Award from International Women, Law and Development. She was one of the founders and the first Director of the Women’s Caucus for Gender Justice in the International Criminal Court. Since 1990, she has been the Director of the Women, Gender and Justice Program at the United Nations Latin American Institute for Crime Prevention (ILANUD) based in Costa Rica. Alda Facio has written hundreds of articles on feminist issues and women's human rights published in various sources, including FEMPRESS (a feminist Latin American news agency) for whom she was a correspondent for fourteen years. For the past three years, she has been a professor at the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica.

Languages: English, Spanish

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 Viviana Figueroa, Association of Indigenous Argentine Youth

Viviana FigueroaViviana Figueroa is a lawyer specializing in international public law in Buenos Aires who has dedicated herself to promoting the rights of her community, the Omaguaca-Kolla Indigenous People in Argentina, and all Indigenous Peoples worldwide. She has helped establish and teach courses on Indigenous Law at the University of Buenos Aires, where she has educated hundreds of future lawyers, legislators, and other policymakers about the rights of Indigenous Peoples.  Viviana has been actively defending the rights of her community since age 12, when she began participating in Community Assemblies. As a teenager, Viviana represented the Indigenous Peoples of her region in national political processes, such as the reform of the Argentine constitution. She is president of the Association of Indigenous Argentine Youth. Viviana continues to work for Indigenous rights in Argentina and in the international arena.

Languages: Spanish

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 Adriana Gonzalez, President, LIMPAL

Adriana GonzalezAdriana Gonzalez is a social worker with expertise in the areas of women, gender and development; public policy; human rights; and education and disability.  She is a feminist, pacifist and activist in the field of women’s human rights.  Adriana has experience in management and administration of international projects, and participates in the development of programs related to the promotion of women, childhood and youth.  She has worked as an advisor in the construction and execution of International Education Projects.  Adriana participates in the organization and development of community processes, and contributes to the design and execution of investigative, formative, productive and pedagogical programs.  She is a facilitator of both formal and informal groups of adults, children, youth, men and women.  Adriana also works in the inter-institutional coordination and structuring of work support networks and of networks that promote the protection of vulnerable populations.

Languages: Spanish

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 Jean Hardisty, Founder and President Emerita of Political Research Associates (PRA), Senior Scholar at Wellesley

Jean Hardisty is the Founder and President Emerita of Political Research Associates (PRA), a research center that analyzes right wing, authoritarian, and anti-democratic trends and publishes educational materials for the general public. A political scientist with a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, she left academia after eight years of teaching and researching conservative political thought to establish PRA in response to the emergence of the New Right in 1981. After 23 years, she retired from PRA in 2004 and is now a Senior Scholar at the Wellesley Centers for Research on Women at Wellesley College. Dr. Hardisty is a widely published author and has been an activist for social justice issues, especially women's rights and civil rights, for over thirty years. Her book, Mobilizing Resentment: Conservative Resurgence from the John Birch Society to the Promise Keepers, was published by Beacon Press in October 1999.

Languages: English

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 Houzan Mahmoud, Spokesperson, Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI)

Houzan Mahmoud is the International Representative of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq and Editor in Chief of Equal Rights Now, a publication of OWFI.  Ms. Mahmoud speaks internationally on behalf of OWFI about the impact of the US occupation and Islamic fundamentalism on women’s human rights and women’s daily lives. Her analysis has been published by The Guardian and The Independent, and she has been a featured commentator on BBC, CNN, NBC, and other international media outlets. Ms. Mahmoud received a death threat on February 26, 2007 from the notoriously brutal jihadist group, Ansar al-Islam. Originally from Iraqi Kurdistan, Ms. Mahmoud is based in London.

Languages: English, Arabic

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 Eileen Mairena, Social Researcher, Nitlapan (Recinto universitario UCA)

Eileen Mairena is an Indigenous Miskita from Nicaragua.  An expert in sustainable development, she currently works at Nitlapan-UCA, a university-based Nicaraguan research institute.  She studied Anthropology in the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (1993-1999), and has done post-graduate work which includes: Political Incidence at the Washington Office for Latin America (WOLA); Science, technology and society, and the contributions of gender analysis at the Latin America Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) – Organizations of American States (OAS) and UNESCO; and Socioeconomic and Gender Analysis, Economic Tools for the Formulations of Environmental Policies and Collective Action and Rural Development in Latin America and the Caribbean at the FODEPAL program of the FAO.  She also received a Certificate in Sustainable Environmental Management from the University of California, Berkeley in July 2006.

Languages: Spanish, English

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 Geeta Misra, Executive Director, Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action (CREA)

Geetanjali Misra is a co-Founder and Executive Director of CREA. She has worked at the activist, grant making and policy levels on issues of sexuality, reproductive health, gender, human rights and violence against women. She was the Sexuality and Reproductive Health Program Officer at the Ford Foundation where she worked on issues of HIV/AIDS, sexuality, violence against women and research and advocacy relating to reproductive freedom. She is a co-Founder of Sakhi for South Asian women in New York, a non-profit organization committed to ending violence against women of South Asian origin. She is on the Board of Directors of Reproductive Health Matters and Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, Women’s Dignity Project, President of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), and recently co-edited Sexuality, Gender and Rights: Exploring Theory and Practice in South and South East Asia (2005).

Languages: English

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 Yanar Mohammed, Director, Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI)

Yanar MohammedYanar Mohammed is the Director of The Organization of Women's Freedom (OWFI), a group that works to stop atrocities against Iraqi women and defend their rights.  Ms. Mohammed graduated from Baghdad University in 1984, with a degree in Architecture, and obtained a Master's in Architecture in 1993.  Ms. Mohammed, her then-husband, and their infant son left Iraq in 1993 and settled in Canada in 1995, where she worked with other Iraqi women to establish the Defense of Iraqi Women's Rights (DIWR) in 1998. The shelter her organization helped open in Iraq has saved over 250 women from honor killings.  Ms. Mohammed also works as Editor-in-Chief of a newspaper called Equality (Al-Mousawat) and is an important and passionate speaker on behalf of Iraqi women.

Languages: English, Arabic

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 Betty Murungi, Founder, Urgent Action Fund

Betty Murungi is the Founder and former Director of the Urgent Action Fund-Africa and has been a lawyer in private practice in Kenya for 17 years. She is a member of the Board of Kituo Cha Katiba, the East African Centre for Constitutional Development, and is the Law Society of Kenya Representative on the board of the Public Law Institute. She was the chair of the Executive Committee of the Women's Caucus for Gender Justice for an International Criminal Court and is currently on the Board of Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice (WIGJ). Since 1998, Ms. Murungi has been a consultant and legal advisor to Rights & Democracy on gender-related crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). In 2003, Ms. Murungi was awarded the Kenya National Honour of the Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear for her work on human rights issues.

Languages: English

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 Ana Elena Obando, Women’s Human Rights Lawyer

Ana Elena Obando has been a women’s human rights lawyer and activist for more than twenty-two years. She is from Costa Rica and holds a Master’s degree in justice and gender. Ms. Obando was formerly the coordinator of the Concertación Interamericana de Mujeres Activistas por los Derechos Humanos (CIMA) and is now affiliated with a number of NGOs. She is an independent consultant for international organizations, an ex-professor of law, and a researcher and trainer. Ms. Obando has published numerous articles and essays on the subject of women’s human rights and writes regularly for several print publications and electronic media.

Languages: Spanish, English

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 Tarcila Rivera, Executive Director, CHIRAPAQ, Centro de Culturas Indígenas del Perú

Tarcila RiveraTarcila Rivera is the Executive Director of CHIRAPAQ, an organization based in rural Ayacucho, Peru.  CHIRAPAQ offers human rights trainings, distributes information on Indigenous cultures and rights, and investigates violations of Indigenous Peoples’ rights.  The organization also works to eradicate poverty and hunger in the Andean region through community programs that increase self-sufficiency and access to food and expand the community’s economic base.  An Indigenous Quechua from Ayacucho, she is a popular educator and renowned advocate for the international recognition of Indigenous rights.  She has served as a resource person to the NGO Committee on Indigenous Rights, and she advocates for sexual and reproductive rights at the local, national, regional, and international levels.

Languages: Spanish

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 Alejandra Sardá, Coordinator, Mulabi - Espacio Latinoamericano de Sexualidades y Derechos

Alejandra Sardá was born in and lives in Argentina and has been active in the feminist and LGBTI movements for about seventeen years at the local, regional and international level. Ms. Sardá has a long record of advocacy for the rights to sexual and reproductive health and social and economic rights of lesbians and gays. She has worked within the UN human rights system to give visibility to violations of gay and lesbian human rights. Formerly ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Association) Women's Secretariat (1997-1999) she also served as IGLHRC (International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission) Latin American and Caribbean Program Coordinator from 1999 to 2006. Alejandra is a coordinator of the Campaign for an Interamerican Sexual and Reproductive Rights Convention, a multi-movements civil society initiative. Currently, Alejandra is working with Mulabi, a Latin American Working Group on Sexual Rights, and Translingua, a Feminist and Multigendered Translation Business.

Languages: English, Spanish

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 Farida Shaheed, Coordinator, Shirkat Gah Women’s Resource Center

Farida Shaheed is the Coordinator of Shirkat Gah Women's Resource Centre in Lahore, Pakistan. She also works with Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) International Solidarity Network.  Farida is a sociologist with 25 years’ research experience on women’s issues (including rural development, women and labor), especially in Pakistan and South Asia.  Her more recent work has explored the interface of women, culture, identity, and governance/state, with a particular focus on Islam and Muslim contexts.  Recipient of the Second Annual Award for Women’s Human Rights (1997) and the Prime Minister’s Award (1989) for her book on the women’s movement in Pakistan, she led the Pakistan Beijing +5 NGO review process.  As Shirkat Gah Coordinator, she developed and runs its (largest) legal consciousness program that seeks to change laws and policies while building grassroots capacity. She is completing a South Asian research project on violence against women.

Languages: English

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 Simona Sharoni, Professor of Women’s Studies, State University of New York-Plattsburgh

Simona Sharoni is an internationally-known feminist scholar, researcher and activist. She holds a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University and is the author of Gender and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Politics of Women's Resistance. Simona has taught at a number of universities and is currently a professor of Women’s Studies at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh. In Israel, she worked for ten years coordinating and facilitating encounter groups between Israeli-Jews and Palestinians who hold Israeli citizenship. There, she was a founding member of the international peace network Women in Black and was involved in advocacy work with Israeli women's peace groups, which struggled to end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Militarization and de-militarization and the relationship between violence against women and the violence of war have been among her primary topics of interest.

Languages: English

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 María Eugenia Solís, Member of the Board of the Feminist Organization “La Cuerda”

Maria Eugenia SolisMaría Eugenia Solís is a 52 year old feminist professor and attorney from Guatemala.  She studied labor issues and has a Master’s in Human Rights.  She is a litigator, a strong women’s rights advocate and a professor in a Master’s Program for Human Rights. She is also a founding member of La Cuerda, which produces a feminist monthly publication of the same name: since 1997, the only newspaper produced by women, for women in Guatemala. La Cuerda’s other activities include building political alliances with other social movements, running feminist workshops, fighting racism and discrimination, and conducting research and activism around the International Criminal Court (ICC). She has done extensive advocacy work in Guatemala on the ICC and on gender issues within this body. She was Guatemala’s only delegate to the Women’s Caucus for Gender Justice and has since continued to participate in activities of this group, now known as Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice. She has produced training materials for women on labor law, economic and social human rights, and sexuality.

Languages: Spanish, English

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 Anne Sosin, Coordinator, Haiti-Rwanda Commission

Anne SosinAnne Sosin is currently the currently the Coordinator at the Haiti-Rwanda Commission. She graduated from Dartmouth College in 2002 and began living and working in Haiti the following year as a Dartmouth College Lombard Fellow. Initially working with a local human rights organization to observe rights violations and provide assistance to victims, Sosin went on to help found the Commission of Women Victims for Victims (KOFAVIV). She has worked with human rights groups and international media to bring attention to the state of human rights in Haiti, particularly the situation of women following the overthrow of the elected government in 2004. In 2005, Sosin was a participant in the International Consultation on Women Human Rights Defenders in Colombo. As of July 2007, Sosin has started a MPH program at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as a Sommer Scholar. She was also the Founder and Director of Vizyon Dwa Ayisyen (VIDWA), a health and human rights organization based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Languages: English, French

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 Maria Suarez, Co-Director, FIRE - Radio Feminista

María Suárez is a feminist, journalist and human rights activist in local, national, regional and international arenas, and has served as co-director of FIRE: Feminist International Radio Endeavour since 1991. She holds a Ph.D in Education from the University of La Salle in Costa Rica, Licenciatura in Journalism from the Universidad Federada in Costa Rica, and a Masters Degree in Education from New York State University. María worked as a human rights activist and literacy teacher at the grassroots level in El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras in the 1970s and 1980s. She was a Professor of Communications at the University of Denver from 1998-2002 as well as at the Institute for Further Education of Journalists (FOJO) in Sweden from 1995-2000. María is editor and writer of Voices on FIRE, a bi-annual magazine published by FIRE since 2000.

Languages: English, Spanish

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 Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Executive Director, Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education)

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz is Executive Director of the Tebtebba Foundation (Indigenous Peoples' International Center for Policy Research & Education), which has United Nations ECOSOC NGO consultative status and is based in Baguio City, Philippines. Ms. Tauli Corpuz has served as the Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples (UNPFII) from 2005-2007 and was the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations from 1996 to 2003; she is the founder and convener of the Asia Indigenous Women's Network. She has a Nursing degree; is an Indigenous activist who is committed to the recognition, protection, and promotion of Indigenous Peoples' rights worldwide; and has been defending the rights and cultures of Indigenous Peoples for more than 30 years.

Languages: English

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 Virginia Vargas, Founder, Centro de la Mujer Peruana Flora Tristán

Virginia Vargas is a sociologist, professor and consultant.  She pursued her studies in the department of sociology at the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Peru and the school of sociology at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, Chile.  She also has a Master’s in Political Sociology.  She is an author, feminist and activist known for her extensive experience as a consultant for projects and programs on both the regional and national levels.  In 1993 she received the “Monseñor Proaño” prize, which is awarded each year by the Latin American Association for Human Rights (ALDHU) to people working for human rights.  In 1995 she was one of the recipients of an award given by UNIFEM on its 20th anniversary.  In 1996, she was awarded the “Progressive Woman 1995” prize by the Federation of Progressive Women in Spain.  She has been a visiting professor for various programs both in Latin America and in The Hague, Holland.  She has been coordinator of NGOs in Latin America and the Caribbean for the Forum on NGOs for the Fourth World Conference on Women held by the United Nations in September 1995 in Beijing, China.  She is also an active participant in the Latin American political movement Articulación Feminista MARCOSUR (Marcosur Feminist Coordination), and participates in the Women’s Movement for Democracy (MUDE) in Peru.  In recent years, Virginia has also worked as a consultant for UNIFEM and as a permanent consultant of the budgets team with a gender perspective in Peru.  She is currently a member of the Feminist Studies and Discussiob Program in the Flora Tristán Center.

Languages: Spanish

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