WAVE Board

Marcella Pirrone
(President)

is a feminist lawyer who has worked for over thirty years in Italy and at the international level to promote and advocate for the rights of women, specifically women victims of violence. She works as a family and criminal lawyer, public service commissioner for sexual harassment and discrimination and formerly held roles including co-founder and President of a women’s shelter, co-founder of D.i.Re (the Italian umbrella association for autonomous women’s shelters) and member of its board, and university law professor.

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At the international level, she has participated in several projects, including an active role in WAVE representing Italy for over 20 years and most recently as a member of its Advisory Board. In collaboration with Elena Biaggioni, and on behalf of D.i.Re and several other Italian women’s NGOs, she is coordinating the preparation of the shadow report outlining Italy’s response to Istanbul Convention.

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Baljit Banga

Baljit served as director of London Black Women’s Project (LBWP) from 2007 to 2019. She became the Executive Director at Imkaan in May 2019. In 2019, she also joined the board at WAVE. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from York University and a Masters in Planning and Policy from Heriot Watt now located in the University of Edinburgh. Baljit’s professional life has been involved in and dedicated to policy research and practice specifically gender policy, women’s human rights, and how official state policy can impact upon women’s equal representation, access to resources and opportunity and citizenship rights. She is dedicated to working as an intersectional black feminist. Her work has involved strategic development and sustainability of black and minoritised women’s organisations. Areas of interest focus on intersectionality and black feminism in reimagining public administration and policy-making away from neo-liberal framing and towards a transformative social justice approach.   She is currently completing her Doctorate at the University of Bath at the Institute of Policy Research.

Selime Büyükgöze

Selime Büyükgöze has been a volunteer at Mor Çatı Women’s Shelter Foundation since 2011, which is a feminist organization working in the field of violence against women. She is mostly involved in communication activities, writing statements and monitoring reports for national and international bodies on violence against women in Turkey. She has also been involved in various feminist campaigns and platforms in Turkey and the organization of the annual feminist march. She is one of the members of feminist zine Çatlak Zemin. She holds a PhD in communications and works as a university lecturer.

Dušana Karlovská

is a feminist activist and practicing psychologist. Over the past 17 years, she has been directly supporting women and their children, developing and carrying out trainings, campaigns and advocacy activities on violence against women. She is Program Director of Fenestra – a grassroots feminist organization working with women – survivors of violence, one of the first in Slovakia. She represents the organization in dialogue with different authorities, NGOs and with the Slovak government. She has initiated the establishment of multi-agency cooperation in Kosice, as well as founding of an informal network of women’s NGOs in Slovakia.

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She is the author of several publications and a member of the Gender Equality Committee, an advisory body under the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family in Slovakia, as well as of the Government Council for Crime Prevention. At the international level, she has participated in many international projects. She has been involved in WAVE network since 2005. She has been an Advisory Board member representing Slovakia in the recent years.

She strongly believes that feminist women´s groups, organizations and networks play a key role in changing women and girls´ lives.

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Veronica Teleuca

Currently, Veronica is the coordinator of the National Coalition ”Life without Violence” (Republic of Moldova) comprising of 22 civil society and service provider organizations responsible for running the country-wide advocacy platform on gender-based violence (since 2015). The Coalition is the only national network specialized on GBV in the Republic of Moldova for advocacy initiatives and working on building and advancing the women’s rights movement. Veronica holds a Masters degree in clinic psychology, and her thesis was titled “Gender based violence and particularities of different approaches. Feministic therapeutic approach.”

Veronica is also a lawyer, women’s human rights defender and justice sector expert, with relevant experience and understanding of working with women’s organizations, the format of donor assistance in the GBV area and its impact on women, activists and organizations. She also has extensive experience on working with different public actors, including the opposition, as well as justice sector reforms, development and implementation of relevant policy instruments. Veronica also has experience in providing technical assistance under UN agencies, the Council of Europe, the EU, and other international organization’s assignments in Moldova, Ukraine, Armenia, Kirghizstan and Turkmenistan. Furthermore, Veronica is a holder of the Diploma of Honor of the International Women Rights Training Institute (Bulgaria) and a participant of the International Advanced Training Programme on Gender-Based Violence (Sweden).

Irene Zeilinger

Irene Zeilinger is a sociologist and feminist self-defence trainer with more than 25 years of experience in the field under her belt. She is the founder, former executive director and current international affairs officer at Garance ASBL, a Belgian feminist NGO combating gender-based violence by the means of primary prevention. Irene has taught thousands of women, girls and professionals across Europe on how to prevent violence and protect themselves from it. She is also at the forefront of feminist advocacy against violence in Belgium, has participated in the writing of the shadow report on Belgium’s failure to apply the Istanbul Convention and sits on the advisory board overseeing the implementation of the Belgian francophone action plan to combat violence against women.

At WAVE, Irene represented Belgium in the Advisory Board. She has participated in the creation of the Handbook “How Gender Neutral Policy and Practice is Dismantling Women’s Specialist Support Services and Ways to Counteract It” and is the author of “Let’s Shut Down Antifeminism: The Verbal Self-Defence Guide for Feminists.

Branislava Marvánová Vargová

Is head of the Information and counselling centre ROSA that provides support and counselling for women who experienced violence in their close relationships. ROSA – Centre for women has been established 25 years ago as one of the first women’s NGOs in this field in the Czech Republic.

As for her professional background, she is psychologist, psychotherapist, working with women, who experienced violence, for more that 18 years.

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Since 2016 she has been chairwoman of the Government Committee for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Violence against Women, which prepares national Action Plan to Prevent Domestic and Gender-Based Violence and monitors its implementation.

By combining her activities in direct work with women, victims of violence and at policy-making level, she seeks to promote that the voices and needs of women are always at the heart of all planned and implemented measures on individual as well as structural level.

She has been actively engaged with WAVE since 2004, participated in several WAVE projects (Bridging Gaps, Protect I, Protect II) and have been a trainer at the WAVE training institute.

She is author of several publications and actively involved in international exchange and cooperation.

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Susana Pavlou

Susana started her career at the Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (MIGS) in 2005 and has served as Director of the Institute since 2008. In this capacity, she has coordinated and implemented transnational projects on violence against women including domestic violence, sexual violence and rape, female genital mutilation, and gender-based violence among adolescents.

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Susana has also served as an expert on violence against women for European networks and organisations including the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), and the Council of Europe. She served as an expert in the EWL Observatory on Violence against women for six years and served on the Advisory Board of the WAVE Network. As a senior researcher for the European Institute for Gender Equality, she has worked specifically on administrative data collection on violence against women, gender-based violence among refugee women and, most recently, on risk assessment by police on intimate partner violence.

In Cyprus, Susana is currently President of the Advisory Committee for the Prevention and Combating of Violence in the Family, a coordinating body for the implementation of the law on domestic violence and to promote multi-agency cooperation. In her capacity as expert on violence against women and domestic violence, she has worked closely with the Cyprus Ministry of Justice on mapping the legislative framework of Cyprus and its compliance with the standards of the Council of Europe Convention on Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, as well as in preparing a study on models and tools on risk assessment and risk management of intimate partner violence.

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