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A KAICIID Women's Voices Series Webinar in collaboration with Tanenbaum and women from their Peacemakers in Action Network

Women have been playing a crucial role in global governance since the drafting and signing of the United Nations Charter in 1945. Women and girls represent half of the world’s population and, therefore, also half of its potential. Women bring immense benefits to diplomacy. Their leadership styles, expertise and priorities broaden the scope of issues under consideration and the quality of outcomes. Research shows that when women serve in cabinets and parliaments, they pass laws and policies that are better for ordinary people, the environment and social cohesion. Advancing measures to increase women’s participation in peace and political processes is vital to achieving women’s de facto equality in the context of entrenched discrimination.

In celebration and acknowledgement of the UN International Day of Women in Diplomacy on 24 June 2023, this webinar shall highlight women grassroots peace activists who started by building peace within their own communities and eventually made their way to diplomacy and/or government roles. They are uniquely positioned to understand the local dynamics of the conflicts they seek to transform. Participants on the panel include religiously motivated peace actors.

KAICIID's "Women's Voices" webinar series, addresses crosscutting themes of Women’s Rights and Gender Equality.  Women in Diplomacy is the 2nd of the 2023 three-part series.  An article was published in September last year around the 2022 series.


Ambassador Belen Alfaro
Belén Alfaro Hernandez

Ambassador Belen Alfaro is currently Senior Advisor for Mediation, Preventive Diplomacy and Dialogue in the Cabinet of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Global Affairs in Madrid.  Before taking up her current office, she was Ambassador to the State of Qatar from 2018 to 2022, and Ambassador in Special Mission for the Alliance of Civilizations and for Interreligious Dialogue between 2011-2018.

With over 30 years of experience in the diplomatic services, Belen has been at the forefront of political events and international relations. After graduating in Law at the Complutense University of Madrid, Belen entered the Spanish Diplomatic Service in 1991.  

Her early career saw her in diplomatic postings as Head of Service at the Human Rights Office in Madrid and then Counsellor at the Cabinet of the Vice Minister for the European Union in Brussels. In 1997 she was appointed Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Spain to the European Union in Brussels and in 2002 moved on to Islamabad, taking up office as Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Spain to Pakistan.

Back in Spain, she held office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Senior Counsellor for Foreign Policy with the Middle East and North Africa beforehand. In 2006 she moved to New York as Minister Counsellor for Political Affairs at the Mission of Spain to the United Nations.

Her Excellency the Ambassador Betty Bigombe
Betty Bigombe

Her Excellency the Ambassador Betty Bigombe is currently the Ugandan Ambassador to Malaysia. Prior to this appointment, she was the Ugandan Special Envoy to the peace process in South Sudan.   

Betty Bigombe has been the Senior Director, Fragility, Conflict and Violence at the World Bank and has played a key role in conflict resolution in Africa. She led the peace and humanitarian efforts in northern Uganda, first in the 1990s as Minister of State for Northern Uganda and again as chief mediator to the conflict in the mid-2000s.

She is a recipient of many international awards including Tanenbaum’s Peacemakers in Action Award in 2007 and the Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur in 2016, among many other awards honoring her long-standing commitment to peace and humanitarian affairs throughout her career. Prior to her appointment to the World Bank Group, Bigombe served as State Minister for Water Resources in the Ugandan Cabinet and as a Member of Parliament. 


Joana Gaspar
Joana Gaspar

Joana Gaspar is at present the Coordinator of the Centre for Strategic Studies and Analysis of the Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal.  She started her career in the Portuguese diplomatic service in June 1997, having completed a degree in International Relations at the Institute of Social and Political Sciences in Lisbon and at the Robert Schuman University in Strasbourg. She has a Master’s degree on International relations with a thesis on “The diplomat in the 21st century. Continuities and changes in diplomatic practice in the face of technological evolution – the Portuguese case”.  

Joana teaches “Diplomatic Practice” to 2nd and 3rd year students of Political Science and International Relations of Nova University Lisbon. 

Her earlier posts have included Adviser to the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, Consul-General of Portugal in London , and Head of NATO Unit of the Director General for Foreign Policy.  She is an official of the National Order of Merit of the French Republic. 

Born in Lisbon, she and her two children currently live in Lisbon.


Hind Kabawat
Hind Kabawat

Hind Kabawat is a prominent figure in interfaith peacebuilding and conflict resolution, focusing on Syria. Currently, she serves as the director of interfaith peacebuilding at the Centre for World Religions and Diplomacy, is a member of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) for Syria in Geneva, and is the President and co-founder of Tastakel, an organization dedicated to peace and reconciliation through women’s empowerment and education. In her role as the deputy head of the HNC office, she actively participates in the Syrian peace talks.

Hind Kabawat received the Tanenbaum Peacemakers in Action Award in 2007 and the Public Diplomacy Award from George Mason University in 2009. 


Daniela Chavez
Daniela Chavez

Daniela Chávez has been working as Director of Worship, a religious affairs office of Salta Government, a north province of Argentina, since 2016. She is responsible for advising on religious affairs to members and policy makers from the local government and to be the link between faith-based organizations and local state. One of the main objectives of the office’s work is the design and implementation of public policies aimed at strengthening respect and recognition of religious diversity. Between 2016 and 2021 she coordinated the work with UNCHR, (UN Refugee Agency) in order to guarantee the socio-economic inclusion and protection of refugees and migrants in Salta. Daniela has a degree in international relations from the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires and a Diploma in Religious Diversity, Public Space and Interculturality from Buenos Aires National University.  She is a member of the KAICIID Alumni of the 2019 International Fellows cohort, authoring her book "A Look at Religious Diversity in Salta” as part of her interreligious dialogue initiative as a KAICIID Fellow.

Where Online
Time Europe/Lisbon
Belén Alfaro Hernandez
Betty Bigombe
Joana Gaspar
Hind Kabawat
Language English
Interpretation Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish