The JLI Faith and GBV Hub Leadership Council is made up of members that work within the faith and violence against women (VAW) and violence against children (VAC) fields and represent different perspectives, experiences, constituencies, and geographical diversity. The Leadership Council provides guidance on the strategic direction of the Faith and GBV Hub, its projects and programmes, to ensure that through this Hub, the SVRI continues to advance research on faith responses for the prevention and response to VAW and VAC in low and middle-income countries.
We are delighted to introduce you to the Hub's first Leadership Council, established in 2021. Leadership Council members serve in their individual capacity and we are grateful for their time and commitment to providing guidance and recommendations to the Hub and our planned activities.
Leadership Council Members
Dr. S.N. Nyeck
Dr. S.N. Nyeck brings to the Leadership Council experience in transnational and transcultural research and advocacy. She is a scholar of the political economy of development, governance and public procurement reform with an interest on social justice and gender responsive schemes; queer ethics and politics in comparative perspectives. Her publications include Sexual Diversity in Africa: Politics, Theory and Citizenship co-edited with Marc Epprecht (McGill-Queens’ University Press, 2013); Public Procurement and Governance Reform in Africa (Palgrave, 2016); Routledge Handbook of Queer Africa Studies (2019) and Queer African(a) Presence: Ethics and Politics of Negotiation (Palgrave-Macmillan) is expected in 2021. Dr. Nyeck is the book review Editor of the Journal of Africana Religions and is currently completing a Doctorate Degree in Practical Theology at Virginia Theological Seminary to expand her research and advocacy to issues related to ethics, intercultural and ecumenical inclusive epistemologies and practices.
Rafael Cazarin (PhD) is a sociologist with a background in ethnographic research and applied sociology. He was academically trained in Portugal and Spain and has been appointed visiting scholar at multiple research centers such as the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Oxford, and Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis. Throughout these years, he also engaged in applied research with governmental and civil society organizations in Portugal, Brazil, South Africa, Togo, and the Congo (DRC). Since 2019, Rafael holds the Juan de la Cierva Research Fellowship granted by the Spanish Ministry of Science and is based at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. In his work, Rafael aims to contribute with evidence for SGBV prevention policy making in the field of gender justice through research on transformative practices in religious contexts.
Sandra Iman Pertek is gender practitioner with over 10 years of experience in international development. She is currently a SEREDA Doctoral Researcher at the University of Birmingham. Her research explores the intersection of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and religion in forced migration. She has been working on several research projects, currently leading a project “Untold Stories: Voices of Forced Migrants and Survivors of Modern Slavery on the Mediterranean”, and previously the Forced Migration, SGBV and COVID-19 study. She consulted governmental and non-governmental organizations including Home Office UK, GIZ and Islamic Development Bank, and previously served as Senior Policy Adviser on Gender at Islamic Relief Worldwide, where she spearheaded a gender mainstreaming strategy, authoring its Gender Justice Policy and integrating gender into international programmes with faith sensitive approaches. She serves in the UN Women Roster – Eliminating Violence Against Women Spotlight Initiatives, and used to serve as a Chair and Board Member at the European Forum of Muslim Women in Brussels. She is a founder of a social interest consultancy – EQUISTY and a grassroots women’s organisation – Women of Faith – in London. She holds an MSc in Social Development Practice from University College London and a BA in European Studies from the University of Warsaw.
Sabine Nkusi is the Gender and Protection Unit lead at Tearfund and coordinates Tearfund's work on Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FGM/C) programmes at global level. She has been a gender justice advocate for over 10 years, with experience in leading projects addressing Sexual and Gender Based Violence(SGBV). From 2014 to 2018, she coordinated the Secretariat for the We Will Speak Out coalition(WWSO), a global coaliton of faith based organisations and individuals committed to ending sexual violence. Sabine is passionate about women and girls and the potential role of faith in ending violence against women and girls.
Elisabet le Roux
Dr Elisabet le Roux is Research Director of the Unit for Religion and Development Research at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She has over the past twelve years secured funding and delivered a range of evaluation and formative research projects in 22 countries across four continents, with a particular focus on gender equality, gender-based violence, women’s participation, and a critical lens on the important roles of religion and culture.
Olivia J Wilkinson
Olivia’s research focuses on the humanitarian and development sectors. She is interested in the values shaping these sectors and am currently researching localization and cross-organizational collaboration. She often look at these topics through the lens of secular and religious dynamics. She works with a largely sociological lens, yet in an interdisciplinary style that has brought me knowledge and experience with a wide range of topics over the years from social and behaviour change communication, to gender studies, refugee response, global health, education in emergencies, and climate change. Currently, Olivia is the Director of Research for the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities. In this position, she has collaborated with many of the international multilateral and bilateral organizations, NGOs, university partners, and foundations (for example, UNICEF, UNHCR, WBG, WHO, UNFPA, GIZ, USAID, World Vision, Islamic Relief, ACT Alliance, Oxfam, RedR, Tearfund, Institute of Development Studies, Harvard Divinity School, Leeds University, University College London, Gates Foundation, Hilton Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation, Templeton Religions Trust). She has collaborated with national and local organizations, such as E-CARE and Duyog Marawi in the Philippines, among others. She holds a PhD and Master’s in humanitarian action from Trinity College Dublin and Université catholique de Louvain respectively. Her undergraduate degree in Theology and Religious Studies is from the University of Cambridge. She has had visiting affiliations with the University of the Philippines Diliman and Columbia University.
Liz is a health specialist with over 20 years’ research and policy-making experience on health systems, mental health, violence against women and violence against children. Having worked in several countries, in both government and research positions, Liz has a deep understanding of the policy process and the use of research to inform policy and practice. For example, in South Africa, Liz worked for the Department of Health at both provincial and national levels in epidemiology and health information systems. In Australia, she worked in mental health for the Western Australian state government. Since 2006, Liz has managed the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) and recently with the support of multiple partners, launched SVRI as an independent NGO. The SVRI, with more than 6600 members, is one of the largest networks in the field of research on violence against women and violence against children. The SVRI produces leading publications and materials, strengthens research capacity, provides research grants and technical assistance for research on violence against women in low and middle-income countries, and hosts the key global biannual event in the field – the SVRI Forum. Liz is committed to research and policy-making that is feminist, ethical, equitable, and partnership-based. Further, through the SVRI and our partners, we are reversing the global imbalance in research capacity and resources to ensure research on violence against women and violence against children in low and middle-income countries is led by researchers in low and middle-income countries, and knowledge production is driven by research priorities and needs of the global South.
Morma is a Social Worker by training and holds a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Johannesburg. She worked as a social worker for the Department of Social Development and as an intern social worker at Non-Government Organisations such as Johannesburg Parent and Child Counselling Centre and Theodorah Ndaba Victim Support Centre. Her research interests include gender studies, and the prevention of Gender Based Violence in rural South Africa.