My name is Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, I'm Iranian by birth, but have studied, lived and worked in the UK and the US most of my life.
As an activist working at the international level, my goal has been to bridge the divide between the work and experiences of women in conflict areas, and policy makers at the international level. Between 1998 -2000 as senior policy adviser to International Alert, I led the effort to build up NGO support and developed cooperative strategies for working with governments and the UN in support of a UN Security Council resolution on women, peace and security. Between 20002-05 as the director of the policy commission at Women Waging Peace, I ran a research project that documented women's contributions to peace processes - with a particular focus on the issues that the international community prioritises - negotiations, post conflict governance, transitional justice and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) issues.
Meet Sanam on video: in low quality (56k, advisable if you are on dial-up) or high quality (256k). You will need realplayer, which you can download for free here.
My aim was to show the policy community that women are active and effective in precisely the issues that they grapple with. At the same time, I wanted to provide women themselves with information about the work and processes of the international community. To do this, I worked with my colleagues at Waging and with partners at International Alert to develop a toolkit - Inclusive Security, Sustainable Peace: A toolkit for Advocacy and Action. The toolkit covers key issues, chapter by chapter and is being used for training in Colombia, Afghanistan, Rwanda and elsewhere. More recently, I've turned my attention to international institutions - the UN, the World Bank and others - to raise awareness and provide trainings for their staff on 1325 and their responsibilities in implementing it.
I became involved in the field of conflict resolution and transformation in 1996 when I joined International Alert as a researcher and speechwriter for the Secretary General. My interest in the field, particularly in terms of addressing internal conflict, stemmed from the Iran experience. Despite the fact that in Iran we did not have a civil war or experience the physical devastation that can come with internal conflict, we did experience profound and long term social trauma. Over the last 25 years I have witnessed families breaking up, losing touch, being scattered and struggling to come to terms with the effects of the revolution through generations. My motivation for engaging in conflict transformation was to prevent other people around the world from experiencing this type of upheaval.