Mediators of Spain
María Teresa Fernández
As the first female Deputy Prime Minister in Spanish history, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega has inspired many women to pursue politics and defend the rights of women. Shortly after obtaining her law degree and becoming a judge, she entered politics, where she took on various roles as Secretary of State of Justice, parliamentarian and general secretary of the Socialist Parliamentary Group. Mrs Fernández de la Vega has also been a member of the Civil Society Advisory to UN Women. Currently, she serves as permanent member of the Council of State of Spain and is founder and President of the Mujeres por África Foundation, for the purpose of contributing to the development of Africa through the drive of its women.
María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, première vice-premier ministre de l’histoire espagnole, a inspiré de nombreuses femmes à poursuivre la politique et à défendre les droits des femmes. Peu de temps après avoir obtenu son diplôme en droit et être devenue juge, elle est entrée en politique et a assumé divers rôles tels que secrétaire d’État à la justice, représentant parlementaire et secrétaire générale du groupe parlementaire socialiste. Mme Fernández de la Vega a également été membre du Comité consultatif de la société civile auprès d’ONU Femmes. Actuellement, elle est membre permanente du Conseil d’État espagnol ainsi que fondatrice et présidente de la Fondation Mujeres por África, dans le but de contribuer au développement de l’Afrique à travers le dynamisme de ses femmes.
María Solanas is a researcher and the director of programs in Gender issues and global governance at the Elcano Royal Institute (Real Instituto Elcano), the leading Spanish think-tank on international relations and strategic studies. Senior expert in international relations, with 25 years of experience in political analysis of international scenarios, conflict analysis, research on international affairs, evaluation of public policies and strategic partnership building. Previously, she was Executive Senior Policy Adviser on International Affairs at the Spanish Prime Minister Office (2004-11), and was responsible for Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa, in addition to migration and human rights. She has been Coordinator of the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party Secretariat for International Relations (2003-04), being responsible for European Union, Central and Eastern Europe and former URSS countries (1993-2003). In February 2018, she has been nominated Vicepresident of the UNICEF National Committee in Spain. She has a BA in Sociology & Political Science and a BA in Journalism from the Madrid’s Complutense University.
María Villellas Ariño
María Villellas Ariño is a researcher at the Program for Conflicts and Peacebuilding, School for a Culture of Peace (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona). She teaches at the UAB Postgraduate Diploma in Culture of Peace and other postgraduate programs at several Spanish universities. Her main areas of expertise are: gender analysis of conflicts and peace processes, and the Women, Peace and Security agenda. She has been a consultant for national and international institutions on issues related to peace processes and the Women, Peace and Security agenda, and has provided technical support to several Track II initiatives regarding women’s participation and gender issues. She has participated in several policy making processes such as the consultation process with civil society for the preparation of the II National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security by the Spanish government and the Action Plan: Women and Peacebuilding in Spanish Co-operation, by AECID (Spanish Aid Agency). She is a board member of the Spanish section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). She holds a Master’s Degree in Women, Gender and Citizenship Studies by the Interuniversity Institute for Women and Gender Studies and is a doctoral candidate at the same program. She has written several articles and reports on the analysis of armed conflicts and peacebuilding from a gender perspective, and is the coauthor of the yearbook “Alerta! Report on conflicts, human rights and peacebuilding”. She has worked as a freelance translator, translating from English into Spanish the books Sexual Violence and Armed Conflicts by Jannie L. Leatherman, Women and wars byCarol Cohn (ed.) and Children and Global Conflict by Kim Huynh, Bina D’Costa and Katrina Lee-Koo,and also translating reports for NOREF.