Kalliope Agapiou Josephides is Jean Monnet Chair Holder at the University of Cyprus, and elected Council Member of the Global Campus of Human Rights, Venice. She served as Chair of the European Institute for Gender Equality, Vilnius, and Vice-President of the European Inter University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation, Venice. She holds a PhD in Political Science from Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne University, and has extensive national, regional, and international experience in Gender Equality, Human Rights, Women, Peace and Security, Constitution-Building, and International Negotiations. She is regular Convener of the Venice School of Human Rights, on Women, Peace and Security and CEDAW, Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights Defenders… She is the lead author for the European Parliament study on Women in Democratic Transitions, lead expert for the gender dimension in the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, and national expert for Cyprus’s National Action Plan for the UN Security Council Resolution 1325. Her vision for women’s role and empowerment in transforming, substantiating and sustaining democracy, preventing conflicts and securing peace and security, motivated her to join the group of founding members of the MWMN, and to co-initiate the establishment of the MWMN/Cyprus Antenna, with a view to strengthen the role of women as drivers of peace and active agents in all areas of life.
Magda Zenon is a peace and human rights activist who brings with her a perspective formed within the contexts of having lived in apartheid South Africa, Greece, and now divided Cyprus. She is an active member of the local civil society with a focus on the integration of a gender perspective in peace processes. She has helped found several civil society organizations, including “Hands Across the Divide”, “the Gender Advisory Team”, and the Cyprus Women’s Lobby and is also a member of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network and the Women Mediators of the Commonwealth network. She has helped organise a variety of events with multicultural women’s and youth groups, including two innovative events whose intention it was to broaden the base of active women on the island. The first was the ‘Pathways towards Sustainable Peace: Building UNSC Res 1325 on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Cyprus’ conference in 2017 that brought together over 50 local women to discuss women, peace and security. The second was the ‘Women in Peacebuilding and Mediation in Cyprus: Where we Are and Where to Next?’ workshop in 2018 that brought together a diverse group of women from throughout the island to assess the status of the women’s peacebuilding movement in Cyprus and analyse obstacles and challenges limiting women’s meaningful participation in formal peace-talks. Finally, she is a great believer in the power of storytelling and for over 6 years has hosted online conversations entitled kaleidHERscope with inspiring women from around the world about peacebuilding, gender-based violence and women’s participation in decision-making.
Maria Hadjipavlou, is a retired Associate Professor from the University of Cyprus. She holds a Ph.D. in Social and Political Change from Boston University, was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University and member of its International Conflict Analysis and Resolution Program. She cofounded the Center on International Conflict Resolution at Columbia University. She published widely on gender related issues, conflict resolution and peacebuilding on which she also coordinated a number of research projects and is often invited to universities and international fora to share her experience. She conducts training in conflict resolution and gender awareness building especially in conflict situations including for UNFPA and has trained women in several countries. She is currently working on a book on 40 years of peace engagement work in Cyprus. Her book Women and Change in Cyprus: Feminisms, Gender and Conflict (I.B.Tauris, 2010) has become a reference book. As an activist, she was a founding member and president of the NGO “Cyprus Peace Center”; of “Hands Across the Divide”; and a co-founder of the Cyprus Academic Dialogue and the “Gender Advisory Team” working exclusively on implementing and integrating UNSC Resolution 1325 in the Cypriot negotiations. In 2015, she was appointed member of the Technical Committee on Gender Equality advising peace negotiators on gender equality provisions. She has been a founding member of the MWMN because she strongly believes that women’s meaningful participation in peace processes and post conflict peace building is not only a democratic right but has also proven to contribute to sustainable peace and gender equality efforts. She has been instrumental in establishing the MWMN/Cyprus Antenna in 2019.
Sophia Papastavrou is a citizen of Canada and Cyprus and spent her formative years in Dominican Republic and Ghana before immigrating to Canada. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. Her dissertation entitled: Women’s Organizations for Peace: Moving Beyond the Rhetoric of the Cyprus Problem was the result of over 7 years of field research in a frozen conflict zone. She has previously worked on consultancies with the OSCE Mission to Croatia, the World Bank, and the United Nations. Sophia held the role of Gender Technical Lead at World Vision International Middle East and Eastern Europe covering fragile states and the Syria Response. Prior to holding this position, she led the Gender Learning Hub, including management of the Gender Based Violence Regional project. Sophia was a speaker at TEDx Nicosia Women in 2015 and recently, worked with women’s civil society to co- create the first White Book of Best Practice on UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in Cyprus. She was selected as part of the She-Experts initiative by the Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (MIGS) aiming to enhance the visibility and impact of women in their professional capacity. She joined the network because of her commitment and passion for women in peace building specifically building gender data and gender assessments to inform gender transformative approaches to meeting the WPS mandate.