Women's Leadership, Peace and Sustainable Livelihoods in the DRC and Region, 1-2 July 2014
Plenary Speakers

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Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy of the Secretary General to the Great Lakes Region and former President of Ireland

Mary Robinson, the first woman President of Ireland (1990-1997), former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002), and founder and President of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative (2002-2010), has spent most of her life as a human rights advocate. Born Mary Bourke in Ballina, County Mayo (1944), the daughter of two physicians, she was educated at the University of Dublin (Trinity College), King’s Inns Dublin and Harvard Law School to which she won a fellowship in 1967. As an academic (Trinity College Law Faculty 1968-90), legislator (Member of the Irish Senate 1969-89) and barrister (Irish Bar 1967-90, Senior Counsel 1980; called to the English Bar 1973) she sought to use law as an instrument for social change, arguing landmark cases before the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court in Luxembourg as well as in the Irish courts. A committed European, she also served on expert European Community and Irish parliamentary committees. In 1988 Mary Robinson and her husband founded the Irish Centre for European Law at Trinity College. Ten years later she was elected Chancellor of the University. The recipient of numerous honours and awards throughout the world including the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama, Mary Robinson is a member of the Elders, former Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders and a member of the Club of Madrid. She serves on several boards including the European Climate Foundation, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, and is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and the American Philosophical Society.

Mary Robinson returned to live in Ireland, following the planned end of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, in December 2010. She now serves as President of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice. In March 2013, she also took up the role of Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General to the Great Lakes region of Africa.

Bineta Diop, Executive Director, Femmes Africa Solidarité

Ms. Bineta Diop is the Founder and Chair of the Executive Board of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS). She led numerous peacebuilding programs, including an initiative on women, peace and security that resulted in the creation of a strong West African women’s movement, the Mano River Women’s Peace Network (MARWOPNET), which was awarded the United Nations General Assembly Prize in Human Rights. Ms. Diop played an instrumental role in achieving gender parity within the African Union Commission in 2003, which culminated in the election of five female Commissioners, and the adoption of the African Charter on Women and Peoples’ Rights (Maputo Protocol), and the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa. Ms. Diop was elected President of the African Union ECOSOCC Gender Cluster. She is involved in various NGO Working Groups that monitor United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. Ms. Diop is member of the Global Agenda Council on Conflict Prevention at the World Economic Forum. In 2011 the TIME magazine named Ms. Diop as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Rose Mutombo Kiese, President, Cadre Permanent de Concertation de la Femme Congolaise (National Network of Congolese Women’s Organisations)

Rose Mutombo Kiese holds a Law degree from the University of Kinshasa. She is President of the Cadre Permanent de Concertation de la Femme Congolaise (CAFCO)/ Permanent Consultative Framework for Congolese Women. CAFCO was created in 2005 as a national platform of women’s associations and civil society networks. It is an umbrella organization based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a national coordinating team and an executive bureau. CAFCO focuses on UNSCR 1325 with the main objective to promote women’s participation in political and peace-building processes.

Melanne Verveer - Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for Women Peace and Security

Ambassador Verveer most recently served as the first US Ambassador for Global women’s issues, a position to which she was nominated byPresident Obama in 2009. She coordinated foreign policy issues and  activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women, traveling to nearly sixty countries. She worked to ensure that women’s participation and  rights are fully integrated into US  foreign policy, and she played a leadership role in the Administration’s development of the US National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.Pr esident Obama also appointed her to serve as the US Representative to the UN Commission on the Status of Women.From 2000-2008, she was the Chair and Co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international NGO that she co-founded to invest in emerging women leaders.  During the Clinton administration, she served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady. She also led the  effort to establish the President’s Interagency Council on Women and was instrumental in the adoption of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. Ambassador Verveer has a B.S. and M.S. from Georgetown University. In 2013, she was the Humanitas Visiting professor at Cambridge University. She is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and the World Bank  Advisory Council on Gender and Development. She holds several honorary degrees and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the US Secretary of State’s Award for Distinguished Service.


Balghis Badri, Professor and Director, Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies (IWGDS), Ahfad University for Women, Sudan.

Dr. Balghis Badri is currently Director of the Regional Institute of Gender, Diversity, Peace and Rights at Ahfad University for Women, Omdurman/Sudan. She holds a PhD in Sociology/Social Anthropology from Hull University/UK. Balghis Badri is a specialist in gender studies; she is the founder of Women, Gender and Development Studies in Sudan in 1979 and initiated the development of post-graduate programmes on Gender and Development, Gender and Peace Studies, Gender, Migration and Multicultural Studies, and Gender and Governance at Ahfad University. Among her most recent research works are “Pathways to the New Constitution in Sudan (2011-2012) ”, Gender and Diversity (2011- 2012), “The Impact of Quota System in Sudan on Enhancing Women´s Political Engagement in Party Politics. 2011-2012”, “Contesting the Sudanese Constitution from a Good Governance and Gender Dimension" (2007/2008) and "Inter-Communal Conflict and Traditional Conflict Resolution Mechanism in Sudan" (2005).

Serena Cruz, Erasmus University, International Institute of Social Studies, Netherlands.

Serena is currently a visiting PhD researcher at the Institute for Social Studies at Erasmus University, while completing her doctoral thesis in the field of International Relations from Florida International University, Miami. The primary bisecting theme through out Serena’s research agendas is vulnerability. Her work in the Democratic Republic of Congo explores vulnerability in the contexts of community, gender based sexual violence, and political economy. Whereas her research in Uganda delves into the vulnerabilities that arise  from the daily practices of HIV/AIDS risk management within slum-based sex work communities. Overall, Serena is committed to research that is ethnographically situated and policy-relevant. Serena is an American feminist academic currently residing in Amsterdam with her partner and newborn son.

Helen  Hintjens, Erasmus University, International Institute of Social Studies, Netherlands.

Dr Hintjens is a Senior Lecturer in Development and Social Justice, and has been central to the development of a specialization in the Masters program on Conflict and Peace Studies, at ISS (the International Institute of Social Studies) in the Hague, part of Erasmus University Rotterdam.  Her background is in International Development, and  specific interests include gender, identities and the political economy of nationalism. Dr  Hintjens researches, publishes and teaches in several fields, including: human rights and social justice; genocide and post-genocide Rwandan politics; conflict and peace in the Great Lakes regions; Media studies especially radio and the visual arts;  Refugees and migrants’ rights in Fortress Europe; surveillance and non-surveillance of health and undocumented people; pro-asylum networks of advocates.  Dr Hintjens goal has always been to find ways to work, research and teach that combine research with advocacy and questions of how to organize democratically.  In addition to conventional teaching, she regularly uses extended on-line simulations for Masters level teaching, for a more intensive form of experiential learning, through the means of scholarly texts and role play.  Social and economic justice are central to her understanding of gender equality and human rights.  Whether in Western Europe or the Africa Great lakes region, rights issues are fundamentally the same, and sources of injustice are inter-connected. 

Annie Matundu Mbambi, president of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) in DR Congo.

Annie Matundu Mbambi is a Gender and Development Consultant and activist on women rights with 18 years experience, especially campaigning for gender mainstreaming and the elimination of all forms of violence against women.  She holds a double Masters degree in Public Finance and Economic Planning from the state University of Antwerp-Belgium. Previously, she served as Manager of the Centre Protestant d’Approvisionnement en Medicaments de l’E .C.C.  Currently, Annie Matundu Mbambi is the representative and Chair Lady of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF-DRC). Her special focus is on gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment and particularly on UNSCR 1325.  She works to promote social entrepreneurship for women and is engaged in establishing small bakeries and cooperative farms for women on the outskirt of Kinshasa, to enable women to generate income generating revenue while receiving some education. Also active with women in politics, Ms. Matundu Mbambi is the Vice –President of Action des Femmes du Bas fleuve, working on gender and climate change, a member of CAFCO, AWID, IANSA GNWP, Peace Women Peace and a Board Executive member of Genre en Action. In addition, she is a former focal point of Civil Society for the Centre of Women’s and Conflict in the Great Lakes region. Her most recent focus is on monitoring indicators of UNSCR 1325; monitoring the Peace and Security Cooperation Framework on DRC and the region, and the New Deal in fragile states, focusing on DRC. She had been selected as a member of the Advisory Committee of UN Women in the DRC                    

Salomé Ntububa, Regional Emergency Manager for Central Africa, Christian Aid, DRC

Salomé Ntububa is a Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) national, from South Kivu. She works as a humanitarian practitioner with 16 year's experience, having worked in both East and West African countries. Currently based in the DRC, she leads Christian Aid’s humanitarian responses in Central Africa also monitoring the political and security situation to anticipate future interventions. Central to this work is the use of local partner NGOs to spearhead Christian Aid’s work. Salomé focuses on building the capacity of local partners, a critical issue in ensuring timely responses backed by transparent systems of accountability along with the integration of emergency work into longer-term developmental programmes. Salomé, in her current position, is also an advocate to donors such as the DFID, the European Union’s Humanitarian Office, Irish Aid, the Disaster Emergency Committee and the supporters of Christian Aid. Salomé is an engineer and a specialist in rural development and crop management as well as trained in emergency management, disaster risk reduction, climate change, child protection, project management  and monitoring and evaluation

Marie O'Reilly, International Peace Institute, New York (IPI)

Marie O'Reilly is the Associate Editor at the International Peace Institute, where she conducts research on inclusive peace processes and women’s roles in conflict mediation, examining the impact of broader participation on the sustainability of peace. She was awarded the Most Honorable Bapsy C. Pavry Marchioness of Winchester Award in Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms for her writing on violence against women.
Marie has also conducted research on the impact of natural resources on peacebuilding in South Sudan for the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations and developed conflict-prevention strategies targeting youth for the United Nations Development Programme in Lebanon. Previously, she worked in management consulting with Accenture, on human rights and video advocacy with Witness, and on European affairs at the Centre for International Studies and Research (CERI) in Paris. Marie holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and an MA in international security and conflict studies from Dublin City University. While earning her BA in European studies, Marie studied at Trinity College Dublin, the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris, and Humboldt University in Berlin.

 Andrea Ó Súilleabháin, International Peace Institute, New York (IPI)

Andrea Ó Súilleabháin is a Policy Analyst at IPI, where her research focuses on peacebuilding and conflict mediation. Among other projects, Andrea coordinates IPI’s initiative on Leveraging Local Knowledge for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding in Africa. She is currently researching the roles of women and civil society in peace processes, toward empirical evidence of the long-term benefits of inclusive mediation. Andrea holds a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law and a B.A. in Political Science and Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. She has worked on strengthening gender equality and women’s political voice since 2006, when she traveled to South Africa to research local responses to gender-based violence and the impact of constitutional gender equality in rural communities. She has conducted research on the gender-based impacts of US counterterrorism policy for the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. She has worked as a legal advocate for refugees with the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Program in New York and Doras Luimní in Limerick, Ireland. In 2008, Andrea was a George J. Mitchell Scholar in Ireland, where her research focused on the resettlement of UN program refugees.

Aili Mari Tripp, Professor, Political Science and Gender & Women's Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Aili Mari Tripp is Professor of Political Science and Gender & Women's Studies. Her research has focused on women and politics in Africa, women’s movements in Africa, transnational feminism, African politics (with particular reference to Uganda and Tanzania), and on the informal economy in Africa. Most recently she authored Museveni's Uganda: Paradoxes of Power in a Hybrid Regime (2010).  She is co-author (with Isabel Casimiro, Joy Kwesiga, and Alice Mungwa) of African Women’s Movements: Transforming Political Landscapes (2009) and author of Women and Politics in Uganda (2000) and Changing the Rules: The Politics of Liberalization and the Urban Informal Economy in Tanzania (1997). She has edited Sub-Saharan Africa: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Women's Issues Worldwide (2003), and co-edited (with Myra Marx Ferree and Christina Ewig) Gender, Violence, and Human Security: Critical Feminist Perspectives (2013), (with Myra Marx Ferree) Global Feminism: Transnational Women's Activism, Organizing, and Human Rights, (with Joy Kwesiga) The Women's Movement in Uganda: History, Challenges and Prospects (2002) as well as (with Marja-Liisa Swantz) What Went Right in Tanzania? People's Responses to Directed Development (1996). She is currently working on a book project on women’s rights in post-conflict countries. Tripp has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Victoria Schuck award of the American Political Science Association for the best book on women and politics. Tripp co-edits a book series with Stanlie James on Women in Africa and the Diaspora for the University of Wisconsin Press. She served as coeditor of the journal Politics & Gender from 2007-2010. She has been president of the African Studies Association and vice president of the American Political Science Association. She has also served on the boards of the American Political Science Association, African Studies Association, National Council for Research on Women, Tanzania Studies Association, University of Wisconsin Press, and numerous other journals and book series. Tripp is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Thomas Turner, Amnesty International USA, DRC Country Specialist (author of Congo)

Dr. Turner is a Country Specialist for the DRC for Amnesty International USA.  He has experience writing expert affidavits and has testified orally several times in asylum cases. He has completed field research in the region, and has taught and worked at its universities.

He has written extensively on the DRC, completing various books and articles focusing on the country, its history, relations and conflict.


Mayesha Alam is the Assistant Director of the Institute and, in this role, manages the Institute's various projects, including the Profiles in Peace oral histories project, major convenings, in-house research, the Hillary R. Clinton Fellowship program, the Summer Graduate Research Fellows program, and the online repository. She is also in charge of operations at the Institute and supports the Executive Director in fundraising and building external relations. Mayesha co-teaches a graduate seminar on Women, Peace and Security with Ambassador Verveer in the School of Foreign Service. She is the author of Women and Transitional Justice: Progress and Persistent Challenges (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Originally from Bangladesh, Mayesha received her M.A. in Conflict Resolution at Georgetown University, during which she specialized on gender mainstreaming in peace building, security and post-conflict reconstruction as well as human rights more broadly. She has previously worked in the U.S. and internationally for The World Bank, the United Nations and a number of NGOs. Mayesha received her B.A. in international relations and biology from Mount Holyoke College.

Dr Róisín Burke is currently a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow, based at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway. She completed a doctorate at the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law, University of Melbourne Law School, titled ‘Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by UN Military Contingents: Moving Beyond the Current Status Quo and Responsibility under International Law' in 2012. A monograph based on the PhD was published recently with Brill/Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. She holds a LLB in Law from the University of Limerick and an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights. She has previously worked as a Teaching Fellow at Melbourne Law School and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Citizenship, Development and Human Rights at Deakin University. She has interned at the UN Office of Legal Counsel, at the ICTY and at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. She has published in the areas of international criminal law, peacekeeping, and state and international organization responsibility, including in the Journal of Conflict and Security Law, the Journal of International Peacekeeping and in Torkel Apshal Publishers’ book Thematic Prosecution of International Sex Crimes.


Sarah Creedon is an LLM candidate at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, Galway, where she is studying international human rights law. She also holds a Bachelor of Civil Law (HONS) from University College Cork. In 2013, she completed a legal internship with Nasc, the Irish Immigrant Support Centre, in Cork City. Her main research interest lies in the area of the prosecution of crimes of sexual violence in international criminal law, specifically through means of vicarious liability. She will pursue doctoral studies at the Irish Centre for Human Rights after completing her LLM.

Egide Dhala is originally from the D.R. Congo and has been living in Ireland since 1998. He is a co-founder of Wezesha.  Egide formerly worked as the Manager of the Centre for the Education and Integration of Migrants (CEIM) with SPIRASI. Since 2010 Egide has been working with AkiDwA in engaging men on addressing gender-based violence. He has also been working with the consultative group drafting Ireland’s second national Action Plan on Resolution 1325, overseen by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Lucia Ennis: (Bio to follow)

Enida Friel is a medical doctor with over 15 years of working experience in humanitarian and development contexts including field experience in Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia and the Balkans. She has two Diplomas - one on Reproductive Health and one on Tropical Medicine from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) as well as a Masters in Public Health from University College Cork. For the past nine years she has been working with Oxfam as well as lecturing in the Dublin-based universities and LSTM. Her current interest is on research and evaluation of development and humanitarian interventions. As part of her job, she provides programme quality supports to Oxfam’s work in Rwanda which includes yearly visits to project sites, meeting with staff and beneficiaries; it is out that experience that this paper was born.

Dr. Niamh Gaynor is a lecturer in the School of Law and Government in Dublin City University where she is currently also Director of the School’s MA programmes in Development Studies and International Relations.  Previously she worked in the community and NGO sector and also lived for 3 years in Benin.  Her research interests span both Africa and Ireland and are centered around the politics of inequality and development, citizen participation and democracy, and evolving forms of governance – both formal and informal.  In collaboration with Trócaire, Niamh is currently (2011-2014) working on a research project on local governance and peace building in the African Great Lakes region. Findings from this research to date have been published in the Review of African Political Economy, Development Policy Review and the Community Development Journal.


Dearbhla Glynn is an accomplished documentary filmmaker, specializing in explorations of conflict and its effects on women and children and has been making documentaries for over 15 years. In the last four years Dearbhla has become more focused on rights-based films. She has made several films in Gaza, Palestine. ‘Gaza - Post Operation Cast Lead’ won the grand prize at the ICCL Human Rights Film award in 2010. Dearbhla also spent time filming in post war Iraq where she made a film on the impact of the use of depleted uranium on children’s health. In 2011 she completed a Masters in Development. More recently Dearbhla has collaborated with NGOs and rights based groups to make awareness-raising films around the issues of social justice and accountability, child protection in conflict and gender issues. Dearbhla is about to return to the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the third time, where she is making an in-depth film on the issue of gender violence and rape used as a weapon of war. This film focuses not only on the survivors of rape but also on the views and perspectives of the perpetrators themselves in an effort to understand how this can happen to a society. In June 2013 Dearbhla won the grand prize at the ICCL Awards for the second time for her short film ‘The Value of Women in DRC’.


Dr. Melanie Hoewer joined the School of Politics and International relations at UCD in 2012. Before that she was teaching in the UCD School of Social Justice and in the Irish School of Ecumenics in TCD and she worked in a EU-Daphne funded project on Gender Violence and LGBT rights and on issues of conflict transformation, human rights and social justice for Amnesty International (Irish Section), the Latin American Solidarity Centre and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (Mexico and Colombia). She is academic adviser to the Consultative Group of the Department of Foreign Affairs on the UNSCR 1325 Action Plan on women, peace and security in Ireland. Melanie's primary areas of research are comparative ethno-national identity, conflict and settlement processes, gender equality and women's rights, Latin American politics and Northern Ireland. Her PhD thesis examined gender and identity in peace and conflict processes in Northern Ireland and Chiapas, Mexico. She has since written on intersecting boundary processes in the ethno-national conflict and settlement processes, gender identity and women's rights in Iran and Ireland, approaches to Gender Based Violence in Ireland and the status of women in Ireland.

Marlene Houngbedji graduated from the University of Paris I-Sorbonne (France) with a degree in Public International Law, received a B.A. in Political Science from Whittier College, CA (academic distinction in the major) then a M.A. in Diplomacy and International Conflict Management from Norwich University, VT, which she received with honors.  She recently attended Harvard Law School and graduated from Tufts University Fletcher School of Law with a LL.M. in International Law (refugee, human rights and humanitarian law). A Beninese-born U.S. Navy veteran who served in Afghanistan with the Civil Engineering Corps, she is fluent in both French and English.  While at the Fletcher School, she focused her research on militarism and gender in the human security paradigm, authoring a thesis on the evolution of the status of victims of wartime sexual violence in international law from 1945 to the present.  Currently working on publications relating to gender in U.S. and French asylum laws and on research projects with the Harvard Humanitarian initiative at Harvard University, she also has a strong interest in peace, nation and state-building strategies in the Great Lakes region.

Marvi Kitenge is a native of DR Congo. She studied International Development Studies in 2013. She is a founding member of the Congolese Women’s Association in Ireland. Marvi is currently working at Threshold, the national housing charity, as an adviser and as an advocate for vulnerable people at risk of becoming homeless.

Jennifer Kline received her law degree at Northeastern University, concentrating her studies on international human rights and women's rights and was admitted to the New York Bar. She got her BA in Peace and Conflict Studies at UC Berkeley, where she focused her studies on the conflict in the DRC. Currently she works at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway as a research assistant. She has also done work with the Due Diligence project, Human Rights Law Network in India, the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre and the International Rescue Committee. 


Jean Bonheur Kongolo Pande is Policy and Advocacy Advisor at Oxfam in Kinshasa, DRC. He earned an M.A. in Armed conflict peace studies at University of Nairobi, Kenya and a Postgraduate Diploma in Ecumenical Social Justice at University of Geneva/Bossey Institute.


Salome Mbugua, CEO of AkiDwA , the Migrant Women’s Network in Ireland. She was involved in the development of Ireland’s National Action Plan on Resolution 1325 and sits on the advisory and monitoring group with the Department of Foreign Affairs. She is preparing to undertake a PhD at Trinity College.


Veronica Mkilanya is a research PhD student examining the impact of gender quotas on the substantive representation of women through a comparative study of the Kenyan and Tanzanian parliaments. After completing her undergraduate degree in economics at the University of Dar-es Salaam, Veronica worked for Plan Tanzania primarily on their gender projects.  She has an MA in International relations from DCU.


Emma Newbury is the Gender and Governance Research officer for Trócaire. She is currently running a three year research project for Trócaire on women’s participation in decision making spaces. The research is taking place in DRC, India and Nicaragua. It draws on participatory methodologies to provide a deeper understanding of how different strategies enable women to participate and what barriers they face that are hard to overcome as well as looking at the effects and benefits of this participation on women themselves.


Helena O’Donnell is a public affairs and communications professional with twelve years’ experience developing strategic communication and advocacy campaigns surrounding public health, mental health, homelessness and poverty issues. Helena studied for a Master’s of Science in Equality Studies and Social Justice with UCD and holds a particular interest in supporting Oxfam Ireland’s work on issues of inequality, gender equality, climate change and tax justice. Helena has previously worked in a communications and public affairs capacity with a variety of Irish NGO’s including Oxfam Ireland, Focus Ireland, Trocaire and the Irish Cancer Society. Most recently she worked with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland to build up their public affairs capacity and won a PRII Award (2011) for securing a commitment to a National Dementia Strategy in the Programme for Government 2011-2016. Helena also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from UCD, a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations (PRII) and a Diploma in Digital Marketing (EIC)


Aoife Prendergast is a Lecturer in the Department of Humanities at the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown, Dublin. Having completed both her undergraduate (BSc, Diploma sa Gaeilge) and postgraduate studies (MA in Health Promotion) at NUI Galway, Aoife has undertaken a diverse breadth of work with a variety of client groups and settings. She has substantial lecturing and training experience in both the UK and Ireland in a variety of roles including National Training Projects Co-ordinator and Community Health Co-ordinator for NHS Peterborough. She has successfully created and managed numerous innovative training and development projects in public health within diverse communities in both the UK and Ireland. In addition, Aoife was selected as a Community Empowerment Champion for her work in the East of England in 2010. A skilled and successful lecturer, her exposure to various cultures and widely divergent groups ensures her comfort level in working with a variety of clients. She has presented extensively internationally in Canada, UK and Ireland. Her abiding belief is that education is a personal and communal process that is the path to the social change needed by communities. Her research interests include participatory learning methodologies and assessment techniques, practice education and active citizenship. She is currently undertaking a Doctorate in Education.


Dr. Niamh Reilly is a Senior Lecturer and co-director of Global Women's Studies at the School of Political Science and Sociology, National University of Ireland, Galway. She has published widely on transnational women's movements, feminist theory and gender and human rights. Her books include:  (with S. Scriver) is Religion, Gender and the Public Sphere (Routledge 2014) and Women's Human Rights: Seeking Gender Justice in a Globalising Age (Polity Press, 2009). Niamh has many years' experience working with UN processes and NGOs internationally and nationally in Ireland. She has served as an independent expert on the Irish government's Department of Foreign Affairs' Standing Committee on Human Rights (1997-1999) and its Consultative Group to draft Ireland's National Action Plan on UN Security Council 1325 (2010-2011). From 2004 to 2005 she served as a gender expert for Amnesty International's Stop Violence against Women (SVAW) Campaign. Before joining NUI Galway in 2007, Niamh was a UK Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster, and a postdoctoral fellow in Women's Studies and Politics at the University of Limerick, Ireland. From 1989 to 1996 Niamh worked with the Center for Women's Global Leadership at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, during which time she was responsible for the Center's international campaigns, including establishing the original annual "16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence" in its initial years and coordination of two popular tribunals on women's human rights at UN conferences in Vienna (1993) and Beijing (1995). Niamh holds a PhD in Politics (Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA),  an MA in Economic Development (University of Wisconsin) and and LLM in Peace Operations, Conflict and Humanitarian Law (NUI Galway).

Dr. Stacey Scriver is a Post-Doctoral Researcher based in the School of Political Science and Sociology and Global Women’s Studies at NUI Galway. Scriver works on issues of sexual and gender-based violence with organisations including Rape Crisis Network Ireland, UNFPA, UN Women, Trocaire and others in Ireland, South-East Asia and Africa. She is co-author of Rape and Justice in Ireland, and has authored numerous journal articles, reports and other publications on related topics. The work presented at this conference derives from a project commissioned and supported by the RCNI and is co-authored with Elaine Mears, Data and Services Information Manager, Cliona Saidlear, Policy and Communications Director, and Fiona Neary, Executive Director of RCNI.


Aine Sperrin is a PhD student at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway. She got her law degree at UCD and a Masters in law at Trinity College. Her PhD research is funded by the Irish Research Council and focuses on independent living in post conflict states. She has done work with Amnesty International USA, Oxfam Ireland, the Irish Human Rights Commission and Rights Watch UK. 


Larissa Stiem recently (June 2014) graduated with a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science (M.Sc.) from Lund University, Sweden. Her master thesis research focuses on gender and forest governance in relation to the climate change mitigation mechanism REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her research was mainly funded by the African Model Forest Network. It was carried out in the Center for International Forestry Research-led COBAM project and in a Woods Hole Research Center-led REDD+ pilot project. This study examines barriers for women to be integrated in communal forest governance and proposes gender-sensitive approaches to the design and implementation of REDD+. Before studying at Lund University Larissa Stiem obtained a bachelor‘s degree in International Business and Management Studies from the Hanze University in Groningen, the Netherlands. She has extensive fieldwork experience in central Africa. Between 2012 and 2014 she worked and researched in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. During three field visits Larissa Stiem has acquired some professional experience in agroforestry, sustainable forest management with multi-stakeholder and community participation, subsistence agriculture, food security and climatic vulnerability of forest-dependant communities’ livelihoods.

Roslyn Warren serves as a research assistant at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS), where she conducts research on women's contributions to peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes region.  In her time at Georgetown, Roslyn has published articles on a range of security and development issues, from designing policy recommendations for protecting critical US soft networks in Iraq and Afghanistan to elevating the fundamental role women and girls play in fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals.  In 2013, she received a GIWPS research fellowship to conduct primary research in Zambia, where she studied the implications of and developed best practices for securing women’s land ownership rights in the developing world.  This fall, she will return to Zambia to continue this work.  Roslyn recently received her M.A. in Security Studies from Georgetown University with a certificate in Refugee Emergencies and Humanitarian Crises.  While a graduate student, she received the inaugural Director's Citizenship Award for her contributions to her peers, her graduate program, and the Georgetown community.  Roslyn obtained her B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated with distinction.