Meet the 2016 participants:
Muzna works as a Project Coordinator for the Badael Foundation, a non-governmental organization (NGO) committed to the development and strengthening of civil society groups in Syria. Also the Founder and Co-ordinator of Women Refugees not Captives (Lajiaat la Sabaya), Muzna is passionate about ending the practice of forced child marriages in Syria and the region. Examples of her work include undertaking a systematic review of progress on gender mainstreaming following the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action, collecting sex-disaggregated data for effective policy formulation, and the active promotion of non-violence. As an activist in and for Syria, she comes to the Sister-to-Sister Mentorship Program with intimate knowledge of the impacts of conflict and absolute necessity of holding perpetrators of violence to account. Muzna is concerned about a diversity of issues including international development, support for children and youth living in conflict and post-conflict zones, ending violence against refugees, and the realization of women’s rights in Syria and the Middle East. Muzna enjoys yoga, watching films, playing the violin and is fluent in French.
Diana García Salamanca
Diana is an Associate Researcher with CIASE (Corporación de Investigación y Acción Social y Económica). CIASE is committed to the creation of just, equitable and democratic societies in the context of Colombia’s ethnic and cultural diversity, and reality of internal armed conflict. With a perspective rooted in sharp analyses of race, class, gender, sexuality and indigeneity, Diana’s expertise lies in the intersection between feminist methodologies, the arts and human rights. Diana is an advocate of using personal narrative as a foundation to sustainable, and long-lasting peace and has provided advice on the incorporation of a gender lens in the construction of Colombia’s National Museum of Memory. Diana enjoys running, dancing, writing and reading. Her greatest assets are a sense of curiosity and a healthy reservoir of energy.
Maryam ‘Mary’ Shafipour
A prominent journalist and life-long activist in Iran, Mary’s avowed commitment to change in her home country is firmly entrenched in the ideal and practice of peace. She played a key role in the One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality, a movement launched in 2006, which demanded an end to legalized sex discrimination in Iran. With an acute appreciation for the institutional barriers that women face, Mary wishes to learn more about mechanisms to promote human rights at the national and international level. She plans to apply skills and knowledge gained in Ottawa to the Centre for Supporters of Human Rights (CSHR) in Iran. Founded by 2003 Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, CSHR works towards progress in education and awareness of human rights across the Middle East, particularly in Iran. Mary brings to the table an outlook derived from pragmatic optimism for the future.