Members of the International Board
Kamla Bhasin is an economist and sociologist living in India. She has been working for 40 years to promote networking between civil society organisations on issues related to gender, human rights, peace and sustainable livelihoods. She did this first through the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation for 27 years and now she works with Sangat –a feminist network. 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 written songs for children and for the women’s movement and has written several books for activists on patriarchy, gender, feminism, masculinity and pluralism. Since 2003 Kamla Bhasin has been co-President of PeaceWomen Across the Globe.
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.
Elisabeth Decrey Warner lives in Geneva and is the founder and former Chair of Geneva Call. For more than 25 years she has been committed, at the civil society level, to issues concerning refugees, torture and landmines. Elisabeth Decrey Warner was a member of the Geneva Cantonal Parliament for twelve years and was appointed President in 2000. She is a member of the Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian De-mining. Elisabeth Decrey Warner was one of the 1000 PeaceWomen nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 and has been on the Board of PeaceWomen Across the Globe since 2003.
Sandy Fong has been involved with PeaceWomen Across the Globe since the start of the initiative in 2002. 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 Grant Officer for the Better Cotton Initiative and is engaged with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP).
Margret Kiener Nellen is a member of the Swiss parliament (National Council) and a lawyer. 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.
Kin Chi Lau is professor of comparative literature, critical pedagogy, global culture, local governance and dealing with violence. She lectures at the Department of Cultural Studies at 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 has produced documentary films on women and peace in China. Furthermore, she is planning an Inter-Korea Peace Meeting. Kin Chi Lau has been a member of the International Board of PeaceWomen Across the Globe since 2003 and is coordinator for the WikiPeaceWomen project as well as the regional coordinator for East Asia.
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.
Alejandra Miller Restrepo, the economist and political scientist, lives and works in Popayán, Colombia. She is a researcher and teacher on gender issues at the University of Cauca. Her focus is on the impact on women of the armed conflict in Colombia. Since 2003 she has been Coordinator of the Ruta Pacífica de las Mujeres in the department of Cauca. She has been a member of the PeaceWomen Across the Globe International Board since 2013. Alejanda Miller Restrepo was also 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 will be interviewing the survivors of the armed conflict between the FARC and the Colombian government over the next three years.
For the past 10 years, Cecile Mukarubuga has been mainly involved in the Great Lakes region, where she has carried out national and regional initiatives in community reconciliation, helping to strengthen civil society capacity in conflict transformation. She has developed and implemented projects to fight gender-based violence and has developed projects on peace education for NGOs. From 2006 to 2009, she was UN Women’s Regional Director for Western and Central Africa. Cecile Mukarubuga is the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative in Togo and a member of the Coalition for Peace in Africa (COPA). She has published various books and articles on the subject of peace and conflict transformation. Cecile Mukarubuga has been a member of the International Board of PeaceWomen Across the Globe since 2013.
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 network is opposed to militarism and, in particular, to the presence and impact of US military bases and operations in East Asia and the Pacific. Her main areas of research and activity since 1994 are militarism, armed conflict and violence against women. She is involved with feminist activists in East and Southeast Asia, in English-speaking West Africa and Palestine. She is also a feminist scientific consultant at the Women's Center for Legal Assistance and Counselling in Ramallah. Margo Okazawa-Rey is also a member of the International Advisory Board of Du Re Bang - My Sisters Place - Uijongbu South Korea and the Board of Highlander Research and Education Center of New Market, TN, USA. She is currently a professor at the School of Leadership Studies at the Fielding Graduate University and Professor Emerita at San Francisco State University. Margo Okazawa-Rey has been a member of the International Board of PeaceWomen Across the Globe since 2003.
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.
Susanne Gfeller holds a Bachelor’s degree in Islamic Studies and English from the University of Basel and a Master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies and Gender Studies from the University of Berne. In addition to her studies, she worked for a considerable time as a recording clerk for asylum hearings at the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration. She was also involved in projects with refugees (e.g. in Greece and Lebanon) and she undertook an internship with Geneva Call. Susanne Gfeller first worked as an intern and later as project assistant for PeaceWomen Across the Globe. She is currently working in the West Bank as an observer for the Temporary International Presence in Hebron - a civilian observer mission that contributes in particular to the promotion of peaceful coexistence of Palestinian and Israeli city dwellers. In 2014, she became a member of the PWAG International Board.
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.
Olga Vinogradova's areas of expertise and practice cover all aspects of gender and human rights, including gender-appropriate governance and women, peace and security at the global, regional and national levels. Prior to joining the Gender Politics Cluster of the Swiss Center of Excellence for Human Rights and the Interdisciplinary Center for Gender Research at the University of Bern in 2013, she dealt with human rights issues and international and regional strategies at Head Office and in the field and worked in various countries. She has served as International Policy Officer for Strategic Campaigning, Organisation, Research and Education, and Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia and Middle East and North Africa of International NGOs. She has a degree in Law and Political Science. Olga Vinogradova has been an active member of the Swiss board of PeaceWomen Across the Globe since 2003.