Farhat Asif

Farhat Asif is the founding President of Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies and the Co-Founder Editor of Pakistan’s first multilingual Monthly Magazine 'The Diplomatic Insight'  having theme objective of peace through informed dialogue. She has over 12 years of experience working in academic, research and development sector, and earned MSc in International Relations and MPhil in Defense and Strategic Studies from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. She is researcher, analyst, writer, publisher, media planner and diplomatic relations professional. Her research interests are peace, conflict and development studies. She is author and co-author of several books. Farhat is federal member of Aman-o-Nisa: Pakistan Women’s Coalition Against Extremism and is Pakistan’s representative of Sisters Against Violent Extremism (SAVE), a project by Women Without Borders. 

Judge Najla Ayoubi

Najla Ayoubi is a lawyer and former judge and has extensive experience in judiciary, elections, human rights and women’s empowerment. She is a civil society and human rights activist. She served as a Legal Advisor for the State Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs of Afghanistan, Commissioner at the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan and Commissioner of Joint Electoral Management Body, Constitution making process. She was the Senior State Attorney at the Attorney General Office of Afghanistan, State Attorney of the Parwan province, and Judge at the Parwan Provincial Court. She worked with The Asia Foundation Afghanistan in different capacities. She served as a Board Member of Open Society Afghanistan as well as the Country Director of Open Society Afghanistan (OSF representative office in Afghanistan). She was Board member of AWN and is currently she is a Global Advisory Board Member of Women’s Regional Network (WRN), and Board Member of WANA, AREU and AEPO, and Steering Committee Member of Tawanmandi. Ms. Ayoubi has two MA degrees: one on Law and Politics from State University of Tajikistan and another on Post War Recovery and Development Studies from York University of United Kingdom. She is former Deputy Country Representative of The Asia Foundation, Afghanistan Office. Najla Ayoubi has also been appointed as the 2015 Peacemaker at the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego.

Abha Bhaiya

Abha Bhaiya is one of the founding members of Jagori, a feminist organization set up in 1984 in Delhi.  She has been active in women’s movements in India for more than 30 years.  She has worked on a range of issues including women’s socio, political, and economic rights, the status of single women, women’s right to health bodily integrity and well-being, sex and sexualities, against militarization, fundamentalisms and increasing erosion of civil rights, food securities and livelihoods.  Her major contribution has been in the field of feminist training methodologies and conducting feminist trainings for multiple constituencies and in many different country contexts.  She is the founder-member of Nishtha, a NGO that works on rural health; a member of FREA, a documentation/research center in Mumbai; a member of Ankur, an educational center for women and children in New Delhi; a founder-member of Olakh, a women’s resource center in Gujarat; and also a founder-member of Mahila Samakhya’s national resource group.

Patricia Cooper

Patricia Cooper has over 45 years of private and public sector experience. She served for eight years as a senior executive appointee to advise the Canadian government on the effects of Federal legislation on women and children, while managing two offices in Western Canada. She was a founding member of The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund to achieve equality for women through education and litigation under a new Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. Pat was Executive-Director of the Children’s Museum of Denver, leading a major financial turnaround while redirecting the mission to focus on early childhood education. Pat served 10 years as Director of Pathfinders International, providing reproductive health and rights in over 30 countries.  Pat currently serves on the Board of Capital Sisters International, a micro-finance innovation and the Advisory Board of the Colorado Women’s College at the University of Denver. She serves on the Leadership Board for the Women’s Studies in Religion Program at Harvard University. Pat founded the Women’s Regional Network: Afghanistan, Pakistan and India and has been the sole pro-bono convener since 2010. Pat has been guiding the expansion of this network model among 7 countries in Latin America and now 5 countries in East Africa with a focus on peace and security. Pat also conceived and co-authored the initial concept paper to establish the Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative at the Korbel School for International Relations at DU. This initiative focuses on women’s role in non-violent civil resistance movements. Ms. Cooper has two Masters Degrees in Public Administration and Global Studies and is a Fellow at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.

Nimalka Fernando

Nimalka Fernando of Sri Lanka is a prominent human rights defender, lawyer and activist with over 30 years of peacemaking experience. She is a co-chair of South Asians for Human Rights and the president of the International Movement against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) — an organization dedicated to eliminating discrimination and racism, forging international solidarity among discriminated minorities, and advancing the international human rights system. Nimalka has been a founding member of several organizations, including a network of women’s organizations and activists committed to peacebuilding, known as Mothers and Daughters of Lanka. In 2011 she received the Citizen’s Peace Award from the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka. 

Rita Manchanda

Rita Manchanda is a researcher, writer and human rights advocate, specialising in conflicts and peace building in South Asia with particular attention to vulnerable and marginalised groups --women, minorities and forcibly displaced persons. She has been influential in shaping the regional Women Peace and Security scholarly and policy discourse. For over two decades she has been a participatory action researcher and policy advocate on  role of civil society, especially women’s collectives in negotiating conflict and building peace in South Asia. Her multiple publications: books and articles reflect these concerns as evinced in V volume multi-country field based peace audits: “SAGE Series in Human Rights Audits of Peace Processes", “Women War and Peace in South Asia: Beyond Victimhood to Agency “, and ‘Women and the Politics of Peace: Narratives of Militarisation, Power and Justice”. She has been Executive Director of South Asia Forum for Human Rights and is currently Consulting Research Director at SAFHR. Her policy and practitioner expertise was honed when she was Gender Adviser, Commonwealth Technical Fund , Consultant with UN Women , Centre for Humanitarian Dialogues , and SAFERWORLD . She is an experienced guest lecturer on Peace, Conflict and Gender Studies at Universities in India and overseas. She has been among the founders of the Women’s Regional Network and is committed to thinking and acting regionally. The value of foregrounding the Life Narratives of women in conflict and peacebuilding has been a cornerstone of her work. She is presently a member of the Board from India.  She works with multiple women’s rights, civil society and social justice and peace groups in the region.

Rukhshanda Naz

Rukshanda is the torch-bearer of the struggle for women’s rights in Pakistan in general and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Tribal Areas in particular and continues her efforts to ensure women’s due rights in a male-dominated society in Pakistan. Her vast experience in the development sector and equally important support for press freedom and freedom of expression brought her close to the journalist community and she stood by journalists whenever free press in Pakistan was under attack. She served one of the country’s leading civil society organization for women’s rights, Aurat Foundation, as Resident Director from May 1993-May 2008. She also headed the UN Women in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) from September 2010 to November 2012. Her quest for knowledge does not end with one degree as she obtained her LLM from Coventry University.

Saumya Uma

Saumya Uma currently works as an Associate Professor at O.P. Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India. She teaches and researches at the intersection of gender, human rights and the law.  Dr. Uma has over 25 years’ combined work experience as an academic, law researcher, lawyer, trainer, writer and campaigner.  She has taught at top-ranking law schools in the country, and has served as a research consultant on human rights, with international agencies such as the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP), United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (UNOHCHR) and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). She has a vast experience in engaging with a variety of international and national actors and institutions including universities, non-profit organizations, UN agencies, parlimentarians and bureaucrats from India and abroad, legal fraternity, the police and the judiciary. She has a plethora of publications addressing, in particular, state responsibility towards women and other people at the margins. Dr. Uma’s research and writing focusses on gender based violence and reparative justice, feminist jurisprudence, international criminal justice and its relevance to India, victim and witness protection, justice and accountability for mass crimes, freedom of religion, South Asian women’s movements and feminist envisioning of justice, human rights law and lawyering, access to justice, and social exclusion and marginalization. Apart from being a  Board member of Women’s Regional Network and a core member of the WRN-India chapter, she is a member of the Board of Governors at Indo-Global Social Service Society, a life member of Indian Association of Women’s Studies and member of European Association for South Asian Studies.

Kishwar Sultana

Kishwar Sultana is a peace activist, trainer, researcher, an artist, advisor and founder of several bodies working on women’s rights, improved governance, gender equality and peace and security. In her professional career of 16 years she has managed several projects and programs as a director. Currently, she is working as a Director of an NGO, Insan Foundation Trust whose programs mainly focus on women’s empowerment and youth leadership in peace building. Kishwar is member of the Steering Committee of the Women’s Regional Network (WRN) on Security and Corruption-a network of women peace activists from Pakistan, India and Afghanistan; Women Waging Peace Network; Afghanistan/Pakistan Peace Dialogue Forum, Provincial Board of Governors (BoG), Local Council Association of the Punjab (LCAP), Kishwar has served as a member of the International Working Group on Women, Peace and Security during 2011-2012.  She is also member of the Provincial CEDAW Committee of Civil Society Organizations and Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Alliance (EVAWGA). Kishwar is the author of numerous booklets. She is also an artist and illustrator of children’s books on account of her natural talent. She holds a master’s degree in geography from the University of the Punjab. She is the first female of her family who pushed her way through to college education and then employment.

Zarqa Yaftali

Zarqa is the Head of the Women and Children Legal research Foundation. With WCLRF she has written several Research reports, manuals on women’s rights such as women’s access to justice, early marriages, women’s political participation and violence against women. She is engaged with a number of institutions such as a Founding Member or Board Member such as Afghan Women Coalition Anti-corruption, Afghan Women’s Network and the Civil society Human Rights Network.

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Clare Lockhart

Clare Lockhart is the co-founder and director of the Institute for State Effectiveness. ISE focuses practical approaches to transformation of societies from instability to stability and prosperity, through balancing state, market and civil society dimensions. ISE’s Market Building Program focuses specifically on concepts for regenerating economic growth and creation of job and enterprise opportunities. From 2001 through 2005, Clare was UN Adviser to the Bonn Agreement in Afghanistan and subsequently served as adviser to a number of organizations and governments. Prior to 2001, she managed a program on Institutions at the World Bank. Clare is the co-author of “Fixing Failed States” and writes and lectures on these topics and is a frequent contributor to the media including the BBC, CNN, PBS, Sky News, the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times and Prospect. The World Economic Forum and one of the Top Global Thinkers of 2009 and 2010 selected Ms. Lockhart for the 2011 Forum of Young Global Leaders by Foreign Policy magazine.

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Masouda Kohistani

Massouda Kohistani had complete Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in Maiwand Higher Education University. I have got more than years of research experience, and involved to different project. That AREU envisions an Afghanistan where policy decisions are made on the basis of evidence, open debate, and widespread public awareness in the belief that this will better reflect the priorities of the Afghan people and give rise to more informed policies and programs.

Lima Anwari

Lima Anwari did her bachelor’s degree in Islamic law of Kabul University and obtained her master’s degree from Kardan University in the specialized filed of leadership and management. she is equipped with almost 9 years’ work experience devoted to management, policy development, gender issues, human rights, juvenile justice, training/mentoring and legal affairs with various national (Afghan Women Network) and international organizations (Justice Sector Support Program, UN Women, USAID Promote Project, and International Development Law Organization).

Forozan Rasooli

Ms. Forozan Rasooli is a civil society and peace activist. She is currently working as the Deputy Director at Equality for Peace and Democracy (EPD). She completed her postgraduate studies through UK’s prestigious Chevening scholarship in 2016. Ms. Forozan holds master degree (with merit) in Public Administration from Portsmouth University of United Kingdom. Ms. Rasooli has more than 10 years of working experience on different projects with national and international organizations including United Nations (UN), Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI), International Relief Development (IRD), Deloitte and Bearing point.  Besides, she is the member of USAID Promote: Musharikat’s peace and security coalition, member of advocacy committee on women political participation and member advocacy group for resolving the challenges faced by the civil societies. Ms. Rasooli has expert knowledge in the subjects of women empowerment, good governance, human rights, humanitarian assistance and building peace and security. She has advocated and raised the awareness of women and youth on their rights and tirelessly struggled to increase women, youth and CSO engagement at the community level for improving local service delivery. Besides, she is one of the officially assigned delegate for representing the CSOs at the Geneva Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan.

Nabila Noori

Nabila Noori is working with EQUALITY for Peace and Democracy (EPD) as Program Specialist. Ms. Noori has academic and professional background holding a Master’s degree in Business Administration (Human Resource Management) and she has more than nine years of professional work experience in the field of Management, Human Resources, Public Relation, Advocacy, Program and Evaluation. She has also experience in Sales and Marketing for organizing and conducting the events. She has also done her BA in Business Administration & Economic Faculty at Rana University of Afghanistan in 2013. Recently, she is doing Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) at American University of Afghanistan. Before that, she worked in managerial positions at national and international organizations. Furthermore, Ms. Noori is a well-known women's rights and civil society activist in Afghanistan.

In addition, Ms. Noori is the member of Afghan Women Network, Women Regional Network and member of women committee for Aga Khan National Council in Afghanistan. She has also attended many international conferences in different countries such as Pakistan, India and Tajikistan.

Amina Mayar

Amina Mayar is an Afghan journalist with experience of more than a decade in journalism and civil movements. She has acquired her higher education in Literature from Kabul university and is currently Chief editor of Mursal weekly magazine, news broad caster and Killid Sobh producer and announcer. Ms Mayar has represented Afghanistan in different national and international platforms. She speaks Dari, Pashtu, English, Urdu and Russian.