Members of the International Board
For almost 50 years, Kamla Bhasin has been building the capacities of activists and networking civil society organisations on issues related to gender, human rights, peace and sustainable livelihoods, internationally, in South Asia and in her native India. After studying economics and sociology, she began working on these issues at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, where she spent 27 years. Since 1998 she has been active with Sangat – a Feminist Network that she currently coordinates. She also conducts workshops and training courses on gender, peace and sustainable development for women’s groups, international and regional NGOs, senior government officials, parliamentarians and various UN agencies. Kamla Bhasin is also the South Asia coordinator of One Billion Rising, a global campaign to stop violence against women. She has authored several books for activists on patriarchy, gender, feminism, masculinity and pluralism as well as songs for children and for the women’s movement. Kamla Bhasin has been co-president of PeaceWomen Across the Globe since 2003.
Vested interests: board member of the following organisations: Jagori Rural Charitable Trust and the NGO Nishtha, Himachal Pradesh, India; SWAYAM, Kolkata India; Action Aid International, New Delhi, India.
As an ethnologist and sociologist, Ruth-Gaby Vermot-Mangold spent many years in Africa as a researcher and expert on development cooperation, she headed the Global Education Agency in Switzerland, where she organised advanced training courses on development issues and peace policy for teachers. In 1988, she set up the Hekate office, which offers courses on gender coaching. From 1995 to 2007, she was a member of the Swiss parliament (National Council) and member of the Council of Europe, reporting on the problems of refugees and displaced people in the South Caucasus. Key aspects of her work include migration and refugee policies, as well as combating domestic violence, human trafficking and the organ trade. Ruth-Gaby Vermot-Mangold is the founder of PeaceWomen Across the Globe and has been Co-President since 2003.
Vested Interests: President Somazzi Foundation, Berne, Switzerland; Foundation Board Member, Geneva Call, Geneva, Switzerland; Foundation Board Member, Freedom and Human Rights Foundation, Berne, Switzerland; President of the Swiss Monitoring Centre for Asylum and Immigration Law, Berne, Switzerland.
Marina Carobbio has been the Social Democratic Party's (SP) representative for the Canton of Ticino on the Council of States since 2019. In November 2018 she was elected President of the National Council and the Federal Assembly for the year 2018-2019. The main issues during the presidential year were the promotion of women in politics and society, national cohesion and the protection of linguistic and cultural minorities. She had been a member of the National Council since 2007. Since 2008 she has been Vice-President of the SP Switzerland. For many years she worked as a family physician in a group practice in Roveredo, Canton of Graubünden, and works as a locum during colleagues’ absences. Both in her profession and in her political work, she promotes family medicine and, as a politician and physician, combines science with civic engagement. For years Marina Carobbio has been committed to a social and just Switzerland and to international solidarity. In her political work her main focus is on the health system, gender equality and development cooperation. She is actively involved in various organisations working in international cooperation.
Vested interests: Member of the Board or Advisory Board of: Tenants' Association Switzerland (vice-president), AMCA, Foundation Friends of AMCA, Foundation Casa Astra, Alpine Initiative (vice-president), Swiss Association of Public Service Personnel VPOD, Johanna Spyri Foundation, Child Cancer Aid Switzerland, FAIRMED, Biblioteca Bibliomedia Svizzera Italiana (Advisory Board), Association Omaggio 2021/Hommage 2021, Helvetas (Advisory Board), palliative ch (president)
Sandy Fong has been involved with PeaceWomen Across the Globe since the start of the initiative in 2003. She served as the PeaceWomen Across the Globe regional coordinator for the Pacific region prior to joining the International Board. She has worked with various NGOs internationally and in Fiji, including setting up the Dialogue Fiji secretariat and briefly as the Programme Manager for the Citizens Constitutional Forum before moving to Switzerland. Sandy Fong is currently working as Grants and Fundraising Coordinator for the Better Cotton Initiative.
Vested Interests: None
Margret Kiener Nellen is a lawyer and former member of the Swiss parliament (National Council, 2003-2019). From 1982 to 1984, she worked as rapporteur in South East Asia for the International Commission of Jurists. The focus of her assignment was the former Philippine military dictatorship. At that time, she was also involved as a lawyer in developing the first social clause for fair labour conditions between Migros in Switzerland and Del Monte in the Philippines. Her political focus is on equal opportunities and women’s rights, improved conditions for employees and social justice for everyone. She is committed to social and ecologically sustainable fiscal policy. As a member of the Swiss parliament, she is a member of the Finance and Legal Committee, the delegation of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and its Committee for Human Rights, as well as the parliamentary delegation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Margret Kiener Nellen has been an active Board member for PeaceWomen Across the Globe since 2010.
Vested Interests: former National Councillor (SP), Bern, Switzerland; partner in law firm Kiener & Nellen, Berne, Switzerland; Member of the syndicom Social Policy Commission, Berne, Switzerland; Foundation Board Member of the tilia Foundation for Long-term Care, Köniz, Switzerland; Foundation Board member of the Swiss Greins Foundation for the Conservation of Alpine Watercourses, Zurich, Switzerland; Member of the Cantonal Conference for the Disabled, Berne, Switzerland; President of the Bolligen Women's Gymnastics Association, Switzerland; Member of the Executive Committee of the Interparliamentary Union, Berne, Switzerland; President of the Berne Sports Association, Berne, Switzerland; Member of the Swiss Women's Football Council; Member of the Diemtigtal Regional Nature Park.
Kin Chi Lau is a professor of comparative literature, critical pedagogy, global culture, local governance, and negotiating violence. She lectures at the Department of Cultural Studies at the Lingnan University in Hong Kong. In addition, she is the co-chair of the Asian Regional Exchange for New Alternatives (ARENA), a network of scholar-activists in Asia; vice-president of the World Forum for Alternatives; and a founding member of the Global University for Sustainability. She has written on modernisation, rural regeneration, resurgent patriarchy, and alternative practices in China, and she has produced documentary films on women and peace in China. Kin Chi Lau has been a member of the International Board of PeaceWomen Across the Globe since 2003 and is the regional coordinator for East Asia.
Vested interests: Board Member of the World Forum on Alternatives, Dakar, Senegal; Board Member of the Global University for Sustainability, Hong Kong, China; Board Member of ARENA, Hong Kong, China.
Christine Menz is a self-employed independent consultant who lives in Switzerland. She has held management positions with various international companies. Christine Menz is a founding member of the 2005 "1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize " initiative and has been a member of the PeaceWomen Across the Globe board since 2003. She has travelled to East Asia several times on behalf of the organisation.
Vested Interests: None
Alejandra Miller Restrepo, an economist and political scientist, lives and works in Bogotà, Colombia. She was elected to the official National Truth Commission of Colombia in November 2017 and is one of five women on the eleven-member panel. The Truth Commission is interviewing survivors of the armed conflict between the FARC and the Colombian government for three years. Alejandra Miller Restrepo is a researcher and teacher of gender issues at the University of Cauca. She focuses on the impact on women of the armed conflict in Colombia. From 2003 to 2015, she was the coordinator in Cauca Department of the PeaceWomen Across the Globe partner organisation, Ruta Pacífica de las Mujeres. She has had a seat on the PeaceWomen Across the Globe International Board since 2013.
Vested Interests: None
Cecile Mukarubuga is a development leader with over 30 years’ experience working for government, the UN and International NGOs. She served as an International Gender Expert at the Office of the President in Togo. Prior to that she was UNFPA Resident Representative in Togo and UNWOMEN Regional Director for West Africa.
Before joining the UN System, she worked in the private sector and for International NGOs across Africa, including Agency for Cooperation and Development (ACORD) and the Africa office of the International Planned parenthood Federation. For more than 10 years, the main focus of her work was on national and regional initiatives on peace building, including community reconciliation, and the psychological and economic reintegration of women survivors of armed conflict. She has published books and articles on peace and conflict transformation. Throughout her career, she provided representation and advocacy services at international and highest government level as well as in resource mobilization, institutional development and management, strategic planning, international programming, and peace building. Cecile Mukarubuga has been a board member of PeaceWomen across the Globe since 2013.
Vested interests: She is a board member of the following organisations: the Green Village Foundation, USA; the Africa Center for Sustainability, Kenya; Solidarity, Health and Development, Belgium; and the online Global University.
Margo Okazawa-Rey is the regional representative of PeaceWomen Across the Globe in the USA. She is one of the co-founders of the International Women's Network Against Militarism. The IWNAM educates about and campaigns against militarism and, in particular, the presence and impacts of US military bases and operations in East Asia and the Pacific. Her main areas of research and activism since 1994 are militarism, armed conflict, and violence against women, understood intersectionally. She is involved with feminist activists in East and Southeast Asia, in English-speaking West Africa, and Palestine. She is a member of the International Advisory Board of Durebang - My Sisters Place – Uijongbu, South Korea, and the board of the Highlander Research and Education Center of New Market, TN, USA. She is the Barbara Lee Distinguished Chair in Women’s Leadership and Professor of Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and of Public Policy at Mills College, Oakland, CA, USA, and Professor Emerita at San Francisco State University. She was also the Feminist Research Consultant at the Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling in Ramallah, Palestine. Margo Okazawa-Rey has been a member of the International Board of PeaceWomen Across the Globe since 2003.
Vested interests: Co-Chair, Board of Directors, Highlander Research and Education Center New Market Tennessee, USA; Member, Board of Directors, Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) Washington, DC, Toronto, Mexico City, Cape Town.
Marina Pikulina studied Central Asian Politics, Economics, History, Culture and Islamic Studies at the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Tashkent State University. She now works in the field of peace and justice. She has been a member of the network for refugees’ rights in Israel since 2013. She has worked with women’s organizations in Afghanistan, and in 1996 initiated fundraising for humanitarian aid for Afghan women and children in Uzbekistan. From 2002 to 2007, Marina Pikulina was the Country Coordinator for Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan for the swisspeace early warning program, FAST International. She served as Director of the non-governmental Analysis Group S-Monitor and now provides educational gender programmes for women in the Makhalla social and welfare fund at the Centre for Research on Islamic Studies in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Marina Pikulina has been a member of the International Board of PeaceWomen Across the Globe since 2005.
Vested Interests: None
Peace work and women’s empowerment have been the theme of theologian Susanne Schneeberger’s work for many years. In Switzerland she has encouraged women from all age groups to engage in open dialogue and local initiatives through organising discussion forums. With the Lutheran Church of Bethlehem, she has been involved in different dialogue projects with women and young people in the occupied territories of Palestine. At present, Susanne Schneeberger is working at the OeME Department (Ecumenism, Migration and Development Work) of the Bern – Jura – Solothurn Reformed Churches. Justice, human rights, participation, poverty reduction, resource distribution and global responsibility are the focal point of her work. Susanne Schneeberger joined the Board of PeaceWomen Across the Globe in 2016.
Vested Interests: Co-President Guatemala Network, Berne, Switzerland; Member of the Management Committee Berner Pensionskasse, Bern, Switzerland.