About | Women without Borders | WwB

Our Story

Women without Borders (WwB), an international nonprofit organisation headquartered in Vienna, was founded by Edit Schlaffer in 2001. WwB focuses on on Female Leadership, Capacity Building, Gender Based Violence, Intercultural Dialogue, and Preventing Violent Extremism. We commit and apply ourselves to …

  • Working from the bottom up and empowering the female leaders of tomorrow at the individual, community, and global levels
  • Supporting and inspiring women in the process of moving from victimhood towards agency
  • Advocating for a future without fear, suppression, and violence against women
  • Introducing and normalising the idea of mothers as the first line of defence against extremism in their homes and communities
  • Bringing the voices of impactful local leaders to the attention of the world

18 Years

We have been bringing local female leadership to the attention of the word since 2001

38 Countries

We have worked across some forty countries and in numerous communities, both urban and remote

80+ Projects

We have translated research into action through eighty projects to date

Philosophy

Women without Borders (WwB) puts research into practice through community-based strategies that combine theory and grassroots fieldwork. Responding to the threat of radicalisation by sensitising women to their roles and responsibilities in building community resilience, WwB initiated the world’s first female PVE platform in 2008: the Sisters Against Violent Extremism (SAVE) network. WwB pioneered and continues to lead the effort of harnessing the potential of Mothers Preventing Violent Extremism (MPVE) through its ‘MotherSchools: Parenting for Peace’ Model. While addressing extremism is a priority among the range of distinct but interrelated WwB capacity building projects, this approach reflects our organisation’s longstanding, broader governing philosophy: translating research into action and empowering women to move from victimhood towards agency, the world over.

Focus Areas

Female Leadership

Empowering the female talent pool of today and tomorrow

Gender Based Violence

Challenging structures and dynamics that enable violence against women

Empowering Dialogue

Uniting generations across boundaries and divides

Capacity Building

Providing knowledge and tools to stengthen community resilience, trust, and confidence

Preventing Violent Extremism

Positioning civil society as the first line of defence

Board

Dr. Edit Schlaffer

Founder and Executive Director

Xenia Hausner

Board Member

Claudia von Monbart

Board Member

Team

Elisabeth Kasbauer

Director of DACH Region Programming

Laura Kropiunigg

Director of Programming and Operations

Dr. Rafael Kropiunigg

Director of Research

Yvonne Reif

Project Manager

Maria Ory

Project Manager

Ursula Schafler

Head of Accounting

Georgina Nitzsche

MotherSchools Trainer

Professor Ulrich Kropiunigg

Senior Research Fellow

Birgit Lauda Art Foundation

Vienna

The Birgit Lauda Art Foundation (B.LA) is Europe’s first nonprofit gallery to support global female empowerment by harnessing art for good. It was founded by Birgit Lauda in 2017 on the principle that all proceeds exclusively go to Women without Borders.

B.LA supports WwB by showcasing new works of international artists in regular intervals through curated exhibitions in their Kunstraum (‘Art Space’) in Vienna. Alongside the exhibition programme, B.LA has created a platform for dialogue and a space for the exchange of ideas by hosting panel discussions, artist talks, performances, and workshops.

The core of B.LA’s mission is to support, and to closely collaboration with, Women without Borders while promoting international contemporary artists, established and upcoming.

Advisory Board

Richard Barrett, CMG OBE

Director at The Global Strategy Network; Senior Advisor at the Soufan Group; Adjunct Professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland

Dr. Iman Bibars

Vice President of Ashoka Global

Dr. May Chidiac

Minister of State for Administrative Reform; President of the Women on The Front Lines Conference; President and Founder of the May Chidiac Foundation

Dr. Christine L Corton

Author

Ben Emmerson, QC

International lawyer; Queen's Counsel; Barrister; British judge on the Residual Mechanism of the ICTs for Rwanda and the Former Yugoslavia

Carla Goldstein, JD

President of Omega Institute and co-founder of the Omega Women’s Leadership Center

Georgia Holmer

Senior Advisor for Anti-terrorism Issues at the OSCE Secretariat

Pat Mitchell

Chair at Women’s Media Center and Sundance Institute Boards

Anita Pratap

Journalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker

Marie Ringler

European Leader of Ashoka, Ashoka Europe Director for Central and Eastern Europe, and Founder Ashoka Austria

Eric Rosand

Director of 'The Prevention Project: Organizing Against Violent Extremism’ in Washington, DC; non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution

Professor Danilo Türk

Third President of the Republic of Slovenia (2007–2012); Professor Emeritus of International Law

H.E. Shadya Karume

Founder and Chair at ZAYEDESA; First Lady of Zanzibar (2000–2010)

Professor Maria Luise Wagner

Professor Emerita of International Development and History at Georgetown University

Thomas Wuchte

Executive Secretary at International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ)

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