USD Welcomes Women PeaceMakers

Women from Pakistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, South Sudan and India tell their stories of building peace amid war and violence

The 11th group of Women PeaceMakers at the University of San Diego have arrived on campus for a two-month residency at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice.

The Women PeaceMakers Program documents the stories and peacebuilding practices of international women leaders. Each year, four women are paired with four professional writers to record their unique stories of living in conflict and building peace.

The 2013 peacemakers come from areas in the midst of or recovering from violent conflict, and work in a variety of fields:

  • Rehana Hashmi of Pakistan is the founder of the Women Political School Project and Sisters Trust Pakistan, which helps survivors of domestic violence and those breaking free of religious fundamentalism and forced marriages.
  • Sabiha Husic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a psychotherapist and an Islamic theologian, is the director of Medica Zenica which provides psychosocial and medical support to women and children victims of war and sexual violence.
  • Rutuparna Mohanty of India is a human right lawyer and the founder of Maa Ghara (Mothers Home) which provides shelter and rehabilitation for trafficked and sexually exploited women and girls. She also publishes a weekly newspaper written by and for women in India.
  • Philister Baya Lawiri of South Sudan, who was displaced from her home for decades because of civil war, is the chairperson of South Sudan’s Civil Service Commission. Lawiri is one of the founders of Southern Women Solidarity for Peace and Development, which helps women displaced by war.

In addition to several public speaking engagements throughout September and October, the four women will appear at numerous events in the San Diego community, including at the FRED Forum at Scripps Institute for Oceanography from September 17 to 19.

For more information on the women and USD’s Women PeaceMakers Program, please visit us at

For full bios of this year’s Women PeaceMakers, please see:

The women are available for media interviews by calling (619) 260-4659 x4.

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.