Applications open for the Women’s Leadership Institute on Peace and Security

leadership institute

Women’s Leadership Institute on Peace and Security 

20 – 25 January 2015, Istanbul, Turkey


Applications are due on or before 22 November 2014. To apply online, click here. If you experience difficulty with the online method, download the application from CREA’s website ( and e-mail the completed form to Sushma Luthra at or to CREA at Send any queries to Ms Luthra as well.


The Women’s Leadership Institute on Peace and Security is a weeklong course designed to build transformative leadership of activists in fragile and conflict-affected areas. The Institute, a first of its kind will apply a feminist, intersectional and inter movement lens and strategies to strengthen women’s voices in conflict affected situations and transformation to peace.  The Institute will combine reflection on the current political landscape as well as past organising strategies for women’s rights and raising women’s voices in conflict and post conflict settings. The Institute will also reflect on fundamentalisms across the world and their influence on women’s rights and security. Participants will be able to relate some of the experiences and lessons from different movements to their own contexts, countries, and regions.

Course Content
The Institute, by applying a transformative women’s leadership approach, aims to build feminist leadership to create processes of social transformation that address cultures of inequality in fragile and conflict affected contexts. This includes taking a feminist approach to analyse peace building processes and women’s roles therein. While understanding women’s roles, the Institute will analyse women’s conception of security and insecurity, especially in conflict-affected situations.  By taking on a feminist lens the participants will be able to relate their work and their contexts with theoretical underpinnings. The Institute will also facilitate cross learning between participants, create solidarity of women leaders and learn from each other’s experiences.  Some of the course highlights are:

  • Power and Leadership: Concepts and theory
  • Theories of Conflict and the linkage with different contexts
  • Peace: Unpacking conceptually and women’s role in peace processes
  • Security: Unpacking security and women’s conception of security
  • Use of gender and peace-making normative and policy frameworks (such as UNSCR 1325 or the New Deal Framework for Fragile States)
  • Assessing our impact: Approaches and Tools

The Institute will foreground reflection at the personal and institutional level that will both enable and challenge participants to strengthen their leadership skills and strategies to effect real change for women’s rights and social justice. An ongoing mentorship will be provided, which links participants with relevant advisors or networks to support the further development of initiatives after returning to their communities.



To participate you must:

  • Be a woman between 25 and 45 years of age;
  • Have a minimum of 3 years experience working on issues of conflict, post conflict and/or peace process;
  • Be able to demonstrate how you will use what you learn at the Institute in your work and how you will continue to participate in follow-up activities;
  • Have a working knowledge of the English language.

Venue and Dates

The Women’s Leadership Institute on Peace and Security will be held in Istanbul, Turkey during 20 – 25 January 2015.


Travel and Visa

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from the Institute, including obtaining visa.  The organisers will assist with the visa process by providing a letter of invitation and required visa letters.



The organisers will cover travel, tuition, accommodation and meals for the duration of the Institute. Participants will be required to pay a registration fee of US$100.

Participating FacultyActivists and academics from will teach the course using classroom instruction, group work, case studies, simulation exercises and films. Resource persons at the Women’s Leadership Institute on Peace and Security include:Fahima Abdel Hafiz Hashim is a women’s rights defender/activist, researcher, and trainer, serving now as the Director for Salmmah Women’s Resource Centre. She has a Masters Degree in Documentation and Library Sciences, Bayero University Kano, Nigeria. With over 20 years of experience in the area of gender and development, with a special emphasis on women’s rights and sexuality, Fahima has combined research, training, institutional development, and consultancy experience. She has also travelled extensively, and has written and researched widely in the areas of women’s rights and gender equality in Sudan. Fahima is an Advisory Committee member for the Global Campaign to End Rape in Conflict led by the Nobel Women’s Initiative. She has excellent communication and training skills, both in English and Arabic; is highly skilled in fund raising; has a good knowledge of donor agencies, both domestic and international; and is highly skilled in facilitation, mediation, and team development.


Hussainatu J. Abdullah, an independent scholar, is a member of the board of the Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development (ACORD).  She is currently consulting for the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact in Sierra Leone assessing the Social and Gender Constraints to Poverty Reduction and Economic Growth. Dr. Abdullah recently completed a multi-sectoral Gender Review for the World Bank’s 2014-2018 Country Assistance Strategy for Sierra Leone.


John Paul Lederach is a professor of International Peacebuilding and Director, of Peace Accords Matrix.  Widely known for his pioneering work in conflict transformation, Lederach is involved in conciliation work in Colombia, the Philippines, and Nepal, plus countries in East and West Africa. He has helped design and conduct training programs in 25 countries across five continents. In August 2013, Lederach was appointed director of the Peace Accords Matrix, the Kroc Institute’s unique source of comparable data on all comprehensive peace agreements that have been signed since 1989. Lederach is the author of 22 books, including When Blood and Bones Cry Out: Journeys Through the Soundscape of Healing and Reconciliation, (University of Queensland Press, 2010), The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace (Oxford University Press, 2005), The Journey Toward Reconciliation (Herald Press, 1999), Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies (USIP, 1997), and Preparing for Peace: Confliction Transformation Across Cultures (Syracuse University Press, 1995). In 2014 he received an honorary degree from St. Paul University in Ottawa Paul University in Ottawa, after delivering the university’s Glasmacher Lecture: “The Journey into Strategic Peacebuilding.” He received A Distinguished Scholar award at the International Studies Association annual convention in Toron. He also received an honorary degree from the Conrad University Waterloo College  Grebel of Waterloo.


Ma. Victoria “Mavic” Cabrera-Balleza is the International Coordinator of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP, a program partner of the International Civil society Action Network (ICAN), based in the United States. Mavic has facilitated workshops and discussions on UNSCR 1325, 1820 and the supporting resolutions on Women, Peace and Security in a number of countries including Afghanistan, Burundi, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Japan, Liberia, Nepal, Philippines, Serbia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Uganda. She is currently providing support to civil society’s participation in 1325 national action planning in Guatemala, Japan and South Sudan among other countries. She pioneered the Localisation of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 program that is now implemented in 10 countries.  She leads capacity building training on the use of the CEDAW General Recommendation No. 30 on Women in Conflict-Prevention, Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations. Mavic is a member of the Advisory Committee of the 16 Days Campaign on Violence Against Women; a member of the Advisory Council of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women; and a member of the Advisory Council for the Justice for Women Lecture Series at the University of Maine School of Law. She has a master’s degree in Communication Research with cognate on Women’s Studies.


Samuel Kofi Woods II, is presently the Legal Consultant of the Liberia Law Society, a consortium of lawyers and development professionals, which he recently established in Liberia. Woods was imprisoned, banned from employment and travels by the regime of Samuel K. Doe in 1987 for his commitment to academic freedom and social justice as a youth and student leader. In 1991, Woods worked with the Catholic Bishops in Liberia to establish the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, which later became Liberia’s Foremost Human Rights Institution. Woods served as the first Minister of Labor after the election of Liberia’s/Africa’s first female President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2006. In 2009, he was appointed Minister of Public Works.  He has also assisted with the setting up transitional justice process (Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Special Court) in Seirra Leone.  In 2002, he founded Foundation for International Dignity (FIND), a regional organisation to focus on the rights of refugees and displaced communities in the Mano River Region of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.  In 1994 Woods received the Reebok Human Rights Award for work as a Human Rights Lawyer while serving as National Director of the Catholic Justice and Peace commission in Liberia.  In 1999 he received the Benemerenti Award of Merit from Pope John Paul II for service to humanity and in 2004 the Special Court in Freetown, Sierra Leone honored him.


Sreekala MG is a feminist and human rights activist based in New Delhi, India.  She has been involved with several progressive civil society groups and movements in India for nearly two decades. As the former executive director of North East Network, a pioneer women’s organisation in northeastern India, Sreekala has extensively worked on women’s human rights in conflict situations at both local and global levels. She is part of IWRAW -AP’s pool of resource persons on Convention on All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Engaged in research, training and advocacy on women’s human rights, Sreekala is passionate about realisation of international human rights standards of women living in conflict situations.


Srilatha Batliwala is a feminist activist and researcher who is currently Scholar Associate with the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), a leading international women’s rights organisation.  Srilatha has worked for gender equality and women’s empowerment for the last 40 years through grassroots activism, advocacy, research, training, building theory from practice, and capacity building and mentoring of young women activists.  Up to the mid-90s she focused on building movements of poor urban and rural women in India, particularly in the slums of Mumbai and backward districts of Karnataka state.  She then moved into research, advocacy, grant-making and bridging the worlds of theory and practice in several premier international institutions, including: as Civil Society Program Officer in the Ford Foundation, New York; as Civil Society Research Fellow at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organisations, Harvard University; and since 2007, with AWID.  Srilatha has published nearly 50 major articles, research papers and books on women’s empowerment, transnational civil society, women’s movements, feminist leadership, and monitoring and evaluation of women’s rights.  Her most recent publication is a collection of her past twenty years of key writings, “Engaging with Empowerment – An Intellectual and Experiential Journey” (January 2014, New Delhi, Women Unlimited Press).  She is based in Bangalore, India.


CREA is a feminist human rights organisation based in New Delhi, India. It is one of the few international women’s rights organisations based in the global South, led by Southern feminists, which works at the grassroots, national, regional, and international levels. Together with partners from a diverse range of human rights movements and networks, CREA works to advance the rights of women and girls, and the sexual and reproductive freedoms of all people. CREA advocates for positive social change through national and international fora, and provides training and learning opportunities to global activists and leaders through its Institutes. For more details please visit


Cordaid is a Dutch development organisation operating worldwide, fighting poverty and exclusion in fragile states and conflict-affected areas.  Cordaid works closely with a network of 617 partner organisations in 38 countries worldwide including in the Netherlands itself. It has country offices in 11 countries. Cordaid’s program on Women’s Leadership for Peace and Security aims to increase capacities of women’s networks and voice of women at the local level in processes of peace and security. Cordaid assists women to improve their practical situation and that of their communities. This results in improved safety, cooperative relationships and a better access to basic services at the local level. Cordaid mobilises and strengthens local women’s networks in conflict areas, increases their voice and promotes their agenda in national and global arenas, and influences policies to reflect their concerns and needs. For more see

Applications are due on or before 22 November 2014. Application received after the due date will not be considered.


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