Europe Regional Working Group

Jackie Jones

Wales (UK), Europe

Jackie Jones is Professor of Feminist Legal Studies at the University of the West of England, the president of European Women Lawyers Association, Board member of the National Association of Women’s Organisations (NAWO), and Chair of the Wales Assembly of Women. Jackie has worked and published extensively on gender, equality, and human trafficking issues. Among the many law journal articles she has authored are: ‘Human Dignity in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and its Interpretation before the European Court of Justice’, Liverpool Law Review; Trafficking of Human Beings in the UK: a focus on children’, Child and Family Law Quarterly; ‘Trafficking Internet Brides’, Information and Communications Technology Law Journal. In 2012, her book Gender, Sexualities and Law (with K Stevenson, A Grear, R Fenton), originally published in 2011, came out in paperback. She is regularly asked to advise EU and UK governmental institutions on equality, gender and violence against women issues.

Katarzyna Sękowska-Kozlowska

Poland, Europe

Katarzyna Sękowska-Kozłowska, Ph.D. is a senior researcher at the Poznań Human Rights Centre of the Institute of Legal Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences. She conducts research in various fields of human rights with focus on gender issues (reproductive rights, violence against women, temporary special measures, gender stereotyping). She is author of numerous publications on this topic and legal analysis for national and international bodies and NGOs. She is also lecturer at Gender Studies of Adam Mickiewicz University.

Poznań Human Rights Centre

Poznań Human Rights Centre was founded in 1973. It is a research institution working within the framework of the Institute of Legal Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The Centre has been created with a view to conducting research and training experts as well as to promote knowledge in the field of human rights. Currently it focuses on the protection of human rights on an international level, particularly within the UN system, as well as within national legal order. Its scholars participate in numerous Polish and international research projects and publish on various human rights issues including gender quotas, domestic violence, reproductive rights, “memory laws”, countering discrimination based on race and ethnic origin, protection of rights of LGBT persons, enforced disappearances, fighting hate speech and hate-based crimes.

“Poznan Human Rights Centre is eager to join and support idea of creating globally binding instrument on VAW,” says Roman Wieruszewski, Director of the Poznan Human Rights Centre.

Martha Jean Baker

England, Europe

My family were activists during the McCarthy era and we would sit in on the meetings they often had in our home. At University I became active in the peace movement and civil rights issues of the time. I spent many years raising my three children and living in the UK and Germany before returning to the US. I worked for social justice and women’s rights issues, mainly through WILPF, an organisation I knew through my Mother. I became a spokesperson on a variety of human rights issues and was often asked to speak. With the encouragement of my partner, I began my legal studies shortly before my 50th birthday and after completing law school and passing the Illinois bar, we moved to London where I completed an LLM in Public International Law and International Human Rights. While a student in London I represented WILPF on the Coalition for the International Criminal Court where I worked on the elements of the Gender Crimes. I have represented WILPF at the European Women’s Lobby since 2002, been a board member for 6 years, with the last two as a VP. I complete my last year as a WILPF International VP at the celebration of WILPF’s 100th birthday in April.

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

WILPF members create the peaceful transformation they wish to see in the world by making connections that provide continuity with the past so that knowledge of historical events and patterns informs current activities for change; create analysis and action that reflect and reinforce each other; link and challenge root causes of oppression, especially racism, sexism, heterosexism, militarism, economic disparity, and political disempowerment; and build and strengthen relationships and movements for justice, peace, and radical democracy.

WILPF welcomes a comprehensive global binding norm on VAW.

Sandra Johansson

Spain, Europe

A passionate feminist, with a strong sense of justice, Sandra is the Women’s Rights Coordinator at Alianza por la Solidaridad. She holds a degree in gender studies from the University of Stockholm and has worked extensively on women’s rights and development, particularly on issues related to violence against women and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Over the past fifteen years, she has collaborated with national and international civil society organizations, governmental institutions and research centers in countries across Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. In her current position she coordinates Alianza’s work on violence against women, including development cooperation and humanitarian initiatives, political advocacy, awareness raising and research projects.

Alianza por la Solidaridad

Alianza por la Solidaridad is a civil society organization born from the union of Solidaridad Internacional, Ipade, and Habitáfrica. In the past decades we have worked for human and economic development in other continents. Today, the challenges are now global, and must also be addressed from a global perspective with a focus on Human Rights. As a civil society organization, we seek a model of informed global citizenship, critical and eager to engage in social change necessary to achieve a world more focused on people. The causes that move us are citizen participation, democracy and protection of migrants’ rights, women’s rights worldwide, and sustainable, rural and urban development. We also provide support when an emergency or humanitarian crisis occurs in an area where we have strong local networks and partnerships. Our local work on four continents and the alliances we weave globally, pursue equal rights and opportunities for all persons without discrimination, redistribution of wealth, and the implementation of alternative development models. The goal is a model of society in which people, their human development and well-being are the central focus of all decisions and policies.

Alianza por la Solidaridad endorses the initiative and is in favor of a global binding norm on VAW.

Ronagh McQuigg

Northern Ireland, Europe

Ronagh obtained a LL.B. (First Class Honours) in 2002, a LL.M. in Human Rights Law (with Distinction) in 2003, and a Ph.D. in 2008, all from Queen’s University Belfast. Her Ph.D. research analyzed the effectiveness of international human rights law in relation to the issue of domestic violence. She then undertook professional training, and qualified as a solicitor in 2008. She joined the School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast, as a lecturer in 2009. One of her primary research interests lies in examining domestic violence through the lens of human rights law, and she has published widely in this area, including a book entitled International Human Rights Law and Domestic Violence (2011, Routledge).

Marina Pisklákova-Parker

Russia, Europe

Marina Pisklakova-Parker started the first helpline for battered women in 1993, now known as the National Center for the Prevention of Violence, or “ANNA,” which is a network of about 160 organizations across Russia and works to advocate on the issue of violence against women in Russia and other countries. Marina is involved in developing and implementing a system of response to violence against women and works on changing the legislation. She is a co-author of two books: “Marriages in Russia” published in the U.S. and Russia, and “Between Scream and Silence”, published in Russia as well as a number of articles. Marina was honored by Human Rights Watch in 1997 and 1998 and was featured in the book by Kerry Kennedy, “Speak Truth to Power,” as one of fifty human rights defenders. In 2004, she has received an award from Vital Voices Global Partnership. Marina is a member of the Global Council of the Vital Voices Global Partnership. Her story is featured in the play SEVEN as one of seven women changing the situation for women in the world. She is also a member of WAVE Board, the Advisory Board of Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch.

ANNA Center

ANNA Center was founded in 1993. The purpose of the organization was to bring attention to the issue of violence against women as well as to establish the first hotline and services for female survivors of domestic violence in Russia. ANNA has been the leader of the Russian movement against violence against women since 1993 when it was established as the first crisis center in Russia. ANNA introduced violence against women as a pressing social issue and developed new specific terms for describing the phenomenon of violence. Since 1993, 26 thousand women addressed the crisis center for psychological support or legal aid. In April 1997 ANNA lawyers and advocates brought the first domestic violence case to court and won. That set a legal precedent for Russia. ANNA is widely recognized nationally and internationally. The organization has a good reputation both domestically and abroad. Over 150 regional non-governmental and governmental agencies focused on the issues of violence against women are active members of ANNA National Network against Violence.

ANNA fully supports and endorses this work on global binding norm on VAW.

Orit Sulitzeanu

Israel, Europe

Orit Sulitzeanu is the executive director of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel. She has two MA degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem – in Non-Profit management and in Communications. She wrote her master’s thesis on the influence of NGOs on the struggle to eradicate trafficking in women in Israel. For more than 10 years, Orit worked as the spokesperson of the Hebrew University, coordinated and was active in the University Committee on Gender. Before this, Orit worked as the spokesperson for the Israel Women’s Network and led public campaigns for the advancement of women in politics, the struggle against violence against women and economic empowerment of women, which is also part of her work today, as the Association’s executive director. She is a member of the board of a Jerusalem based Womens’ NGO and in the past took part in establishing the first party consisting solely of women who run in the local elections.

Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel

In 1990, with sexual violence in Israeli society on the rise, nine individual Rape Crisis Centers in Israel joined forces to create the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel. The Rape Crisis Centers work at the individual and local levels – providing essential, crisis-oriented assistance to victims of sexual assault and those who are close to them. While the Association, as an umbrella agent for social change, advocates on the national level, with the primary purpose of combating all aspects of sexual violence.

Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel is in favor of a global binding norm on VAW.

Violeta Momcilovic

Serbia, Europe

Mrs. Violeta Momcilovic is Program Manager at the Metamorphosis, Division of Good Governance, Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination in Belgrade. She received her third Master Degree in Gender Studies from the University of Novi Sad, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies – Gender Studies, and successfully defended her Master’s Thesis on the Contemporary Gender Approach to the Global Problem of Women Refugees and Internally Displaced Women: A Comparative Study – Balkan and West African Wars. She also holds an MA in Political Science and BA/MBA in Management and Banking. Violeta has 25 years of professional experience in public and private companies, non-profit sector (NGO) and in scholarly research activities. She was the Project Associate of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Balkan Institute, and worked on broad issues of women, including the forced migrations during the Former Yugoslav Wars, especially on women refugees and IDPs post-traumatic stress. Violeta has working experience from Europe, South Asia and West Africa. She was in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak (2014), where she prepared The Questionnaire for the Ebola Survivors for three most affected countries in agreement and by recommendation of the UN/UNDP Resident Coordinator & Representative in Sierra Leone.

Medea Khmelidze

Georgia, Europe

Medea Khmelidze has worked in the field of SRHR since 2007. Her interests include HIV/AIDS and the rights of marginalized youth. Through the support of ASTRA network and ASTRA Youth Medea gained experience regarding UN working systems and high level advocacy, and tries on daily basis to push much of SRHR mainstreamed agenda, including comprehensive sexuality education and access to youth friendly SRHR services at local level. Medea currently works as Project Manager at Georgian Harm Reduction Network, combining 26 NGO’s in Georgia working with drug users, where she previously worked as Advocacy Officer and Community Mobilizer. She represents the Georgian Union of PLHIV-Real People Real Vision in ASTRA Network and ASTRA Youth, network operating in ECE region for advancing SRH Rights. Medea prioritizes community strengthening and believes that actions taken jointly step by step do make a change.

Albena Koycheva

Bulgaria, Europe

Albena Koycheva has held roles as junior judge, district judge and Chair of the Court. Since 1996, Albena has been a lawyer with the Sofia Bar Association, consulting and litigating cases related to prevention and protection of fundamental human rights’ violations, domestic violence, violence against women and children, reproductive rights, gender based discrimination in workplace, social security schemes, trafficking, and reproductive rights. She has participated in working groups for legislative changes, projects on monitoring and analysis of the implementation of the legislation on protection from violence and non-discrimination in Bulgaria and Croatia, and in the drafting of the shadow reports on the implementation of the UN ICCPR and CEDAW. Albena lectures in training seminars for the judiciary, police and law-enforcement, and practicing experts from various professions on topics related to implementation of the international and regional standards for prevention and protection against violations of human rights, against violence and discrimination. She has edited training material for experts and practitioners – practicing lawyers, judges, police, social workers, etc. on the legal standards of equality, gender equality and protection of human rights, and has been the coordinator of the Women’s Human Rights’ Training Institute since 2012.

Albena Koycheva Legal Practice

Albena Koycheva established her legal practice in 1996 in Sofia, Bulgaria, specialized in civil and commercial law, and has been providing legal services and litigation at national, regional and international level. Since 1999 the practice is focused on legal aid for victims of domestic violence and other forms of gender based violence and discrimination.

Albena Koycheva Legal Practice is in favor of a global treaty on VAW

Sanja Sarnavka

Croatia, Europe

Sanja Sarnavka, MA in Comparative Literature, has been engaged professionally as a human rights activist for the last twenty years. Albeit dealing with all forms of discrimination and human rights violations, her focus has been put primarily on gender equality, while her special interest and expertise lies in advocacy and media. She coordinated founding of the Human Rights House Zagreb, and held a position of the president of the Board for 8 years. For the last ten years she has acted as the president of B.a.B.e. (Be active. Be emancipate.). She is a member of the Advisory Board of the HRH Network, member of the Advisory Panel of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, and a member of the Council for Civilian Oversight of Security and Intelligence Agencies in Croatia. She developed, organised and/or participated in a number of research projects at national and international level – portrayal of women in daily newspapers, gender representation in media, advertising, school textbooks, Global Media Monitoring Project national/regional coordinator, etc. She is the author of several papers and books on the portrayal of women in media, discrimination in Croatia, gender equality, and producer of 14 documentaries.

Margaret Owen

England, Europe

Margaret Owen is a British barrister. For many decades she has focused on human rights, especially women and children’s rights, and particularly on the rights of widows, wives of the disappeared and their dependents in developing and conflict afflicted countries. She graduated from Cambridge took a further degree is social administration from the LSE and was called to the Bar of the Middle Temple. She worked as an Immigration and Asylum lawyer and then headed the Law and Policy department of IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation) which pivoted her addressing into status of women issues. She has been a consultant to WHO, ILO, UN DAW UNIFEM and to the Commonwealth Secretariat. On the death of her husband in 1990 she became aware of the special needs and roles widows and recognised their treatment as one the most neglected of all gender and human rights issues. She also works on a variety of other human rights concerns, for example, the treatment of minorities, such as the Kurds and the Tamils. She has written much on widowhood, and regularly hosts Parallel Events on this issue at the UN CSW She is the founder and Director of Widows for Peace through Democracy that is an umbrella for many widows’ associations in Africa, South Asia, the Middle East and beyond. In 2013 she was awarded the O.B.E for her services to human rights, especially widows’ rights. Margaret lives in London.

Lois A. Herman

Italy, Europe

Lois A. Herman is Founder and Coordinator of WUNRN, The Women’s UN Report Network (www.wunrn.com). WUNRN, based on a UN Study, addresses the human rights, oppression, and empowerment of women and girls all over the globe. The WUNRN ListServe, considered one of the most expansive and active Gender ListServe’s in the world, goes throughout the UN System, and to Governments, Embassies & Missions, Academia, NGO’s, Religions, Associations, Foundations, Media, Private Sector, Civil Society, and more. Lois is a researcher and gender specialist, and has an extensive professional history in corporate management, including international. In the past 2 years, WUNRN has organized over 30 UN Panels on issues of women and girls – Geneva, NYC (CSW & General Assembly) & Rome (FAO). WUNRN Europe is officially registered an ASBL NGO Association in Belgium and the European Union, and with European Parliament Accreditation. In 2015 Lois A. Herman received the Spirit of the United Nations Award for Upholding the Founding Spirit of the UN. She has traveled through much of the world and experienced women’s and girls’ realities, building bridges and creating bonds that make WUNRN endeared to women and girls everywhere. She is also a well-known poet who can capture in verse, the heart and soul of woman. Ms. Herman is a widow and has raised five children, including an adopted foreign orphan.

WUNRN – Women’s UN Report Network

WUNRN, Women’s UN Report Network – http://www.wunrn.com, based on a UN Study, addresses the human rights, oppression, and empowerment of women and girls all over the world, and every day. WUNRN’s programs include the global WUNRN ListServe, considered one of the most expansive and active Gender ListServe’s globally. The WUNRN ListServe goes throughout the UN System, and to Governments, Embassies & Missions, Academia, NGO’s, Religions, Associations, Foundations, Media, Private Sector, Civil Society, and more. The WUNRN Archives of over 13 years, provides a valued historical reference on authentic information on women and girls. WUNRN regularly organizes High Level United Nations Panels on women’s and girls’ issues and rights in at the UN in Geneva (Human Rights Council), NYC (Commission on the Status of Women and General Assembly), and FAO in Rome. The WUNRN ListServe posts United Nations Reports, Resolutions, Research, Publications, and is unique in showing the gender dimensions “up front” for ListServe participants. The Women’s UN Report Network is noted on the CEDAW Committee website. WUNRN is committed to focus on a full spectrum of intersectional women’s issues. WUNRN additionally presents information on the full life cycle of women and girls, multigenerational.

WUNRN-Women’s UN Report Network absolutely, assuredly, supports the Global Treaty, Convention on Violence Against Women.

Sagrario Monedero

Spain, Europe – ADVISORY MEMBER

Sagrario’s degree is in Business Administration and she has postgraduate studies in International Cooperation and diplomas in advocacy and women’s rights. There are two key moments in her life that explain and inspire her dedication to the defense of human rights: first, as a child, when she heard for the first time about the men and the women who came from all corners of the world to fight for the freedom in Spain in the International Brigades during the Spanish civil war. The second one, years later, in a lecture on women´s right. The first one made her understand the meaning of “Solidarity”. The second one made her aware about her condition as a woman and inspired her to fight against gender discrimination. For over ten years she has been involved in feminist and human rights movements. She has worked in various social organizations in Spain, Nicaragua, Peru, Chile and Ireland. From 2009 to 2013 she worked for Solidaridad Internacional in Palestine where she served as Coordinator of Gender and Human Rights in the Middle East. Currently, she is working in Madrid as GBV and SRR Officer.

Carol Mann

France, Europe – ADVISORY MEMBER

I am a social anthropologist, lecturer based in Paris, specialised in Gender and Conflict, started the first seminar on France on Gender and Armed Conflict, at the Sorbonne (Paris I) and the Institut des Sciences Po., President of FEMAID and Women in War, both charitable associations registered in France working on gender problems and peace education in the developing world. I am the author of numerous studies, essays, article, reports, books in French and in English. (see www.academia.edu) and have extensive humanitarian experience in Bosnia, Serbia Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Senegal and Democratic republic of Congo. I run two NGOs FemAid (www.femaid.org) founded in 2000 and Women in War (www.womeninwar.org) founded in 2008, both registered in Paris under the 1901 law for non-profit charities. Women in War is particularly devoted to furthering the study of Gender and Armed conflict and organizes conferences and seminars in war zones.

FEMAID and Women in War are in favor of a global binding norm on VAW.

Mo Hume

Scotland, Europe – ADVISORY MEMBER

Originally from Northern Ireland, Mo Hume is currently a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Glasgow. Her research focuses on how multiple and overlapping forms of violence are perceived by those who live in post-conflict contexts. She has applied the insights from feminist theory and practice for understanding violent processes and women’s responses to these. This involves detailed research on violence against women, as well as a situated exploration of the wider gendered politics of violence. She has carried out extensive fieldwork in Central America, particularly El Salvador where she also spent several years as a development worker in a local women’s organisation. Since 2007, she has been carrying out research into women’s perceptions of violence with an Oxfam America sponsored campaign to prevent gender violence, Entre Vos y Yo: una vida diferente. Her work has been published in academic journals including, as Latin American Perspectives; Womens Studies International Forum and Democratization. Her monograph, The Politics of Violence: Gender, Conflict and Community in El Salvador, was published by Wiley Blackwell in 2009.

Widad Akrawi

Europe – ADVISORY MEMBER

Dr. Widad Akrawi, the Pfeffer Peace Prize Laureate, is a health expert and co-founder of Defend International – NGO devoted to, among other things, the empowerment of women and gender equality. Widad holds a master’s degree and a PhD in international health and epidemiology and has played a leading role in campaigning against gender-based violence and other human rights violations by being involved in lobbying and advocacy activities at the United Nations and other international bodies. She is considered the first young woman of Middle Eastern descent to advocate bans on the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons (SALW) and the use of rape and enslavement as weapons of war.
Among her notable achievements, she has created momentum in favor of a UN resolution on an Arms Trade Treaty, which was adopted in April 2013 to control a trade worth $70 billion annually. In September 2013, she was successful in her efforts to help pass Resolution 2117 Dedicated to Question of SALW, and the UN Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. In recognition of her exceptional commitment to peace and human rights, she has been awarded the 2014 International Pfeffer Peace Award, and the 2013 “Special Prize” for bridging the gap between cultures.

Defend International

Defend International is an independent, voluntary non-governmental organ devoted to defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. It forms a worldwide community of DI Defenders, supporters, stakeholders, friends and subscribers committed to act with objectivity in all matters related to human rights, including women’s rights and gender equality. Our mission is to respond to grave violations of human rights and International Humanitarian Law; monitor the implementation of preventive measures that are designed to end impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes; conduct medical research that may either directly or indirectly improve the health standard of communities; and to promote peace and democracy through cultural relations and diplomacy. Defend International is a partner of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a public-private initiative led by the United Nations foundation to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women and protect the environment by creating a thriving global market for clean cooking solutions.

Defend International endorses an international treaty on violence against women and girls worldwide.