Women without Borders (WwB) is convening its first Sisters Against Violent Extremism (SAVE) network strategy conference in the Austrian capital of Vienna. Thirty-five women from twenty-six countries across the globe attend the three-day SAVE network conference with a view to reassessing current approaches to preventing violent extremism (PVE) and highlighting the need for community-based solutions. A press conference to announce WwB’s SAVE Declaration will follow. This conference brings together victims and survivors of terrorist attacks, relatives of 9/11 attackers, activists, educators, policymakers, and peacebuilding experts.

While combating violent extremism largely has been the preserve of male soldiers, politicians, policymakers, and law enforcement agents, civil society approaches and the potential roles of women in preventing violent extremism (PVE) have tended to be overlooked. Women without Borders (WwB) is thus building up the Sisters Against Violent Extremism (SAVE) network. As the first global female counterextremism platform, the SAVE network seeks to unite women across boundaries and divides, position them as agents of change in their communities, and bring meaningful voices to the attention of high-level policy-shapers and politicians, the world over.

Against this background, WwB is convening its first SAVE network strategy conference in the Austrian capital of Vienna. Bringing together thirty women from across the globe, this three-day conference will reassess current approaches to preventing violent extremism (PVE) and highlight the need for community-based solutions. A press conference to announce WwB’s SAVE Declaration will follow. This conference brings together victims and survivors of terrorist attacks, relatives of 9/11 attackers, activists, educators, policymakers, and peacebuilding experts.

WwB has invited women from around the world to Vienna for a strategy conference in order to engage in dialogue on the importance of mobilising women against violent extremism, and to establish the global initiative SAVE network. This innovative female powerbase will discuss the vital role that women can and should play in countering extremism. With Smart Power and courageous dialogue that transcends borders, the participants—survivors of terrorist attacks; relatives of 9/11, 7/7, and Madrid victims; and community activists from Colombia to Kosovo and Africa to Asia—develop strategies to harness the female talent pool to build a new security architecture. A press conference to announce WwB’s SAVE Declaration will follow.

The conference convenes 35 women from 26 countries in Vienna under the motto ‘Towards a Tomorrow without Terrorism’ and ‘For a Culture of Peace in a Climate of Fear’. The participants are as follows.

Afghanistan
Homira Nassery (Public Health and Gender Specialist, active in peace building initiatives)

Colombia
Ana Teresa Bernal Montanez (Colombia’s Commission on Reparations and Reconciliation; national network of citizens’ initiative for peace and against war)

Egypt
Hoda Badran (Chairperson of the Alliance for Arab Women)

France/Algeria
Sihem Habchi (President of Ni putes ni Soumises; founded by the Minister for Community Affairs Fadela Amara)

France/Morocco
Aicha el Wafi (Mother of an accused 9/11 hijacker; reconciliation activist in the ‘Forgiveness Project’)

Germany
Necla Kelek (sociologist and feminist; leading voice in the German integration debate; of Turkish descent)
Güner Balci (Journalist at ZDF; author of ‘Arabboy’)

Guatemala
Olga Alizia Paz (National Union of Guatemalan Women; psychologist who works with victims of terror and violence)

India
Archana Kapoor (Head of New Delhi based publishing house and editor of the biweekly Hardnews magazine)
Hasinah Kharbhih (Women´s activist and peacemaker; Impulse NGO Network)

Indonesia
Lily Z. Munir (Activist; Founder and Executive Director at Center for Pesantren and Democracy Studies)

Iraq
Rajaa al Khuzai (One of the first among three women appointed as a member of the transitional government; medical doctor and president of the Iraqi Widows Organisation)
Khanum Latif (Activist; Asuda Organisation; founder of a women´s shelter in Sulaymania, Iraq)

Israel
Robi Damelin (Peace activist; Parents Circle Families Forum, PCFF; lost her son to a sniper while he was serving as an IDF soldier)

Kosovo
Igo Rogova (Women´s rights activist; Kosova Women´s Center, Motrat Quiriazi,
Kuwait)
Rula Dashti (Women´s rights activist; politician)

Lebanon
Nawal Mohamed Hassan (Najdeh Association; focus on counter-violence strategies)

Middle East/USA
Manal Omar (Active in peace building initiatives in Iraq and Jordan, based in Washington D.C. and working at United States Institute of Peace, USIP)

Netherlands
Senay Özdemir (Founder at SEN Magazine)
Nahed Selim (Author of ‘Nehmt den Männern den Koran!’)

Northern Ireland
May de Silva (Director at Women into Politics, an NGO working on peacebuilding and reconciliation strategies)

Pakistan
Anis Haroon (activist in the ‘Pakistan India People´s Forum for Peace and Democracy; Founder at ‘Witness to Violence’, a platform for family members of victims of terrorist attacks)

Palestine
Najwa Saadeh (Peace activist; Parents Circle Families Forum, PCFF; lost her twelve-year-old daughter in a terrorist attack)

Philippines
Amina Rasul Bernardo (Muslim Women´s Peace Advocate; Lead Convenor at Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy)

Spain
Beatriz Abril Alegre (Asociación 11m, a leading Spanish initiative working with survivors and victims of the Madrid bombings; lost her brother in the attacks)

Somalia/Kenya
Nahma Ahmed Abdi (Save Somali Women and Children)

Turkey
Ecel Temelkuran (Journalist)

United Kingdom
Rachel North (Survivor of 7/7 attacks in London; mobilising for cross-cultural dialogue)
Shaista Gohir (Director at Muslim Voices UK, Birmingham)
Hema Nursiah (Former member of the radical group Hizb ut-Tahrir for a decade, left the group one year ago)

UK/Pakistan
Salma Abbasi (Chairperson at E-Worldwide Group; leads projects for women in Pakistan; peace activist)

USA
Phyllis Rodriguez (Mother of a 9/11 victim; peace activist campaigning with Aicha el Wafi in the ‘Forgiveness Project’)

USA/Israel/Gaza
Cindy Corrie (Rachel Corrie Foundation; her daughter was killed in Gaza in March 2003)

Yemen
Suad Ata (Chairperson at Women´s Forum for Research and Training)

Austria
Alev Korun (Turkish-Austrian politician in the Austrian Green Party)
Jamila Seftaoui (Senior Advisor for Gender Issues at Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, OSCE)

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