Members of the International Board
An economist and sociologist, Kamla Bhasin lives in India and has been working for 40 years to promote networking between civil society organizations on issues related to sustainable livelihoods and gender. She worked for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization for several decades and currently serves as an advisor to Sangat South Asia. As a freelance consultant, she 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 created songs for the women’s movement. One of her well-known publications is Exploring Masculinity (2003). .
An ethnologist and sociologist, she spent many years in Africa as a researcher and expert on development cooperation. She headed the Global Education Agency in Switzerland and organized advanced training courses on development issues and peace politics for teachers. In 1988, she set up Hekate, a company offering 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, and reported 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 organ trade. Within PeaceWomen Across the Globe, she explores women’s contribution to resolving conflicts.
The executive president and co-founder of Geneva Call lives in Geneva. She has worked for over 25 years with NGOs on issues relating to refugees, torture, disarmament and humanitarian norms. Her work was recognized in 2005 when she was nominated for Switzerland as one of the 1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was a member of the Parliament of the Republic and Canton of Geneva for 12 years and was elected its President in 2000. Currently, she is a member of the advisory board of the Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, as well as of the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining.
The former coordinator of Dialogue Fiji has been part of the PeaceWomen project since 2003 as a member of the Pacific team. She has worked with various organizations in Fiji and internationally including governance, disarmament and dialogue. Her interests are in women’s participation in peace process and in dialogue. In 2013, she graduated from the Rotary Peace Fellowship at the University of Bradford. She is currently working as a coordinator for the Constitution Monitoring Project with the Citizens' Constitutional Forum in Fiji.
is a member of the Swiss parliament (National Council) and a lawyer. She lives in Bolligen, near Bern. From 1982 to 1984, she worked as a correspondent in South East Asia for the International Commission of Jurists as a correspondent in South East Asia. The focus of her assignment was on the former Philippine military dictatorship. At that time, she was also involved as a lawyer in developing the first social clause for fair labor conditions between Migros of Switzerland and Del Monte of 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, and the parliamentary delegation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
A professor of comparative literature, critical pedagogy, global culture, local governance and negotiating violence, Kin Chi Lau lectures at the Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University in Hong Kong. She is co-chair of the Asian Regional Exchange for New Alternatives, a network of scholar-activists in Asia; vice-president of the World Forum for Alternatives; and co-organizer of the South South Forum on Sustainability. She has written on modernization, rural regeneration, resurgent patriarchy, and alternative practices in China. Kin Chi Lau is the PWAG coordinator for projects on sustainable development and livelihood and the regional representative for China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mongolia.
A businesswoman and co-owner of a company, Christine Menz lives in Switzerland and is one of the founders of the campaign, 1,000 women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005. She has traveled several times to East Asia on behalf of PeaceWomen Across the Globe. Christine Menz is a specialist on economic and communications consulting and has worked in leading positions for various international companies.
An economist and political scientist, Alejandra Miller Restrepo lives and works in Popayán, Colombia. She studies and conducts research on gender at the University of Cauca. Her work focuses on the effects of armed conflict on women. Since 2003 she has been a coordinator of the Ruta Pacifica de las Mujeres in the department of Cauca. She joined the International Board in 2013.
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 conciliation and helped to strengthen the capacity of civil society in conflict transformation. She has developed and implemented projects to fight gender-based violence and developed projects on peace education for NGOs. From 2006 to 2009, she was UN Women Regional Director for Western and Central Africa. Cecile is a UNFPA representative in Togo and a member of Coalition for Peace in Africa (COPA). She has published various books and articles on the subject of peace and conflict transformation.
The former director of the Women’s Leadership Institute and Professor of Women’s Studies at Mills College in Oakland is PWAG’s regional representative for the US. Her current work revolves around the interconnections between militarism, war, the globalization of the economy, religious fundamentalism, and violence against women. As co-founder of the International Network of Women against Militarism, she is actively engaged against military violence against women. She works as a consultant on these issues in Ramallah, Palestine. She is currently a professor at the School of Human and Organizational Development at Fielding Graduate University. In 2014, she joined the Board of the Highlander Research and Education Center in Tennessee.
She studied Central Asian Politics, Economy, 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. Since 2013, she has been a member of the network for refugees’ rights in Israel. She has worked with women’s organizations in Afghanistan, and in 1996 initiated a collection for humanitarian aid for Afghan women and children in Uzbekistan. From 2002 to 2007, she 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 provides educational gender programs for women in the Makhalla social and welfare fund at the Center for Research on Islamic Studies in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
She is an economist and was deputy director of the Federal Office for Gender Equality FOGE in Switzerland (1996 – 2011). Key aspects of her work were equal pay, sexual harassment, domestic violence and trafficking. She launched studies on these issues and developed networks and cooperation with different stakeholders. She was member of the Swiss delegation for the 6th European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men in Stockholm, for sessions of the International Labour Conference in Geneva and for the 55th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York (CSW). She also has a long experience of working in NGOs.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Islamic Studies and English Literature from the University of Basel and a Master's degree in Middle Eastern Studies and Gender Studies from the University of Berne. In 2012, Susanne Gfeller did a 7-month internship at PWAG. She has worked several years at the State Secretariat for Migration as a transcript writer for interviews with asylum-seekers and has interned with Geneva Call.
Peace work and empowerment: these are the topics theologian Susanne Schneeberger has worked on since many years. In Switzerland she encouraged women from all age groups to engage in open dialogue and local initiatives by organizing discussion forums. In the Lutheran Church of Bethlehem she was involved in different dialogue projects with women and youths in the occupied territories of Palestine. At present Susanne Schneeberger works at the OeME Department (Ecumenism, Migration and Development Work) of the Reformed Churches Bern – Jura – Solothurn. Justice, human rights, participation, poverty reduction, distribution of resources and global responsibility are focal point of her work.
Olga’s areas of expertise and practice cover all aspects of Gender and Human Rights, including gender-responsive governance, women, peace and security agenda at global, regional and national levels. Before joining Gender Politics cluster of the Swiss Centre for Expertise in Human Rights and Interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies of the University of Bern in 2013, she has served both at headquarters and in the field, covering a variety of human rights issues, international and regional policies and country situations. She has served as international policy officer for strategic campaigns, organising, research and education, as well as regional director for Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia and Middle East and North Africa of the international NGO. Olga was directly involved in strategic planning process and development of series of strategic change initiatives to strengthen the credibility, relevance, focus and alignment of all parts of organisation around human rights objectives at global, regional, sectorial and inter-professional levels. Olga holds degree in Jurisprudence and Political Sciences.