Meet the 2016 Women PeaceMakers Cohort

Monday, October 3, 2016TOPICS: Women Peacemakers

The 2016 Women PeaceMakers, left to right: Fatma Mehdi Hassam (Western Sahara), Jane Anyango (Kenya), Hamsatu Allamin (Nigeria) and Khurshid Bano (Pakistan).The 2016 Women PeaceMakers, left to right: Fatma Mehdi Hassam (Western Sahara), Jane Anyango (Kenya), Hamsatu Allamin (Nigeria) and Khurshid Bano (Pakistan).

Four internationally acclaimed women leaders who want to document, share and build upon their unique peacemaking stories are on the University of San Diego campus for the 14th annual Women PeaceMakers Program.

The 2016 Women PeaceMakers, who are in residence at USD through Nov. 19, are: Hamsatu Allamin (Nigeria), Jane Anyango (Kenya), Khurshid Bano (Pakistan) and Fatma Mehdi Hassam (Western Sahara).

Hosted by the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, at the University of San Diego’s Kroc School of Peace Studies, the Womens PeaceMakers program is a signature and unique program created at USD.

The 2016 Women PeaceMakers share their stories of peacebuilding and defending human rights with a selected group of peace writers. In addition to documenting their stories, the women give presentations on their work at the institute and in the San Diego community. They have opportunities to exchange ideas and approaches to peacemaking and justice, which increases their capacity to participate in conflict resolution, peacebuilding efforts and post-conflict decision making.

There are multiple opportunities to learn more about the 2016 Women PeaceMakers, beginning with a free panel discussion starting at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 5 in the IPJ Peace and Justice Theatre (please RSVP). Individual opportunities to hear their stories are on Oct. 11 (Allamin), Oct. 13 (Hassam), Oct. 18 (Anyango) and Oct. 25 (Bano). Each talk is from 12:15 to 1:45 p.m. in the IPJ’s Peace and Justice Theatre.

Meet the 2016 Women PeaceMakers

Hamsatu Allamin of Nigeria is the regional manager of the North East section of the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme, and is a trusted negotiator and peacemaker between militants, state actors and non-state actors in her country’s conflict-ridden North East region. Her Network of Civil Society Organizations for Peace was one of the key groups credited for launching the Bring Back Our Girls campaign after the kidnapping of 276 Nigerian school girls in 2014.

Jane Anyango of Kenya is a grassroots peacebuilder, who mobilized hundreds of women to reduce Kenya's post-election violence in 2007/8 and prevent further bloodshed in the 2013 elections. She is also founding director of the Polycom Development Project, based in Nairobi’s informal settlement of Kibera, which works to advance the rights and dignity of adolescent girls. 

Khurshid Bano of Pakistan is the founder of the women-led organization Da Hawwa Lur (Daughter of Eve) in the conflict-affected region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. She challenges religious intolerance and violent extremist groups by promoting interfaith peacebuilding and women's rights. The founder of the first women's union in KP, Bano champions women's rights to live and work free from sexual and gender-based harassment, violence and discrimination. 

Fatma Mehdi Hassam of Western Sahara — who has been a refugee in Algeria for nearly 40 years — is the president of the National Union of Saharawi Women and chair of the Women and Gender Cluster of the African Union’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council. Within the refugee community and beyond she has advanced women's political leadership and peace activism for over three decades.

Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies

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