Women PeaceMaker Profile
Irina Yanovskaya, of South Ossetia in the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict zone, is a journalist, lawyer, chair of the NGO Journalists for Human Rights, children’s advocate focused on post-conflict healing and peace education for children, as well as the mother of four, grandmother of one and a singer in her church choir. Devoted to resolving the conflict between Ossetians and Georgians that began with the disintegration of the Soviet Union, she is an outspoken critic of media that abuses and distorts public opinion. She was recognized in 2005 among the 1,000 women nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work to help war-traumatized children and women to overcome the horrors they witnessed, and for her efforts to reopen doors in mixed communities of Georgian and Ossetian people torn apart by hate and suspicion. She has given seminars and facilitated discussions among various groups within Ossetian and Georgian civil society, created summer camps for Georgian and Ossetian children and works with War Child International in Holland. A primary emphasis in all of Yanovskaya’s work and extensive writing has been to find ways to open minds to peace and respect, especially those of children and young people who have only lived in conflict and revenge.
Yanovskaya was a Woman PeaceMaker in 2007.