Introducing Leaders and Learners Addressing Climate Change Through a Feminist Lens
BCCIC is excited to announce our delegation to the 66th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66). CSW is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. Each year, CSW hosts a two-week conference (a session) that brings together representatives of UN Member States, civil society organizations and UN entities. They discuss progress and gaps in the implementation of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the key global policy document on gender equality, and the 23rd special session of the General Assembly held in 2000 (Beijing+5), as well as emerging issues that affect gender equality and the empowerment of women.
CSW66 will take place from 14-25 March 2022, and this year’s priority theme is achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes; Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work will also be reviewed based on agreed conclusions of the sixty-first session.
Indigenous Women and Gender Diverse Peoples' Leadership in Climate Change
Indigenous Peoples have always been the leaders of environmental stewardship. We worked collaboratively with staff from VIDEA that participated in our CSW66 delegation, including Sekwanahcahk (Shelby) Anderson and Skw’akw’as (Sunshine) Dunstan-Moore to produce a powerful Call to Action on Indigenous Women and Gender Diverse Peoples’ Leadership in Climate Action.
This is an opportunity for BCCIC members to participate in the CSW alongside hundreds of fellow Canadians and many tens of thousands of people from around the world, all gathering to celebrate and learn together. Delegates gain knowledge and skills from governments, organizations, and leaders (including our very own delegates and the member organizations they represent) working around the world in the area of gender equality and climate change through formal CSW proceedings, policy contributions, and side events. With a focus on the intersection of gender, climate change and disaster risk, delegates will learn about the disproportionate impacts climate change has on women and gender diverse persons, and the devastating impacts it has on marginalized girls, women and gender diverse people in the Global South.
Further, they will learn how girls, women and gender diverse people have been leading the development of innovative localized strategies for mitigation and adaptation, often in partnership with men and boys, and how important it is to not only include, but prioritize, the perspectives of women and gender diverse people in policy and decision-making related to gender equality, climate action and disaster risk reduction.
Our Advocacy Priorities at CSW66
Throughout our time at CSW66, we listened and learned from powerful women, gender diverse persons and men allies. We also actively used these opportunities to promote several key advocacy messages. We advocated for these key priorities during our participation in the Rapid Response Team for Women and Gender Equality Canada, in which we reviewed the draft political declaration (now the Agreed Conclusions) and methods of work with advocacy priorities in mind.
We invite you to read the priorities that we advocated for at CSW66 here.
Check Out Our CSW66 Blog Series
Bertha Mukonda and Veronica Nyirongo are two delegates from Zambia who have taken the time to reflect on their learning and share their lived experiences.
The world is confronting an international system that is ill-suited to address threats to security, this time with environmental and climate threats taking center stage.
There’s an urgent call to address the nexus of gender and climate change in Latin America & the Caribbean, and to accelerate progress in advancing gender equality.
Our CSW66 delegates, who are leaders in their own communities, honoured International Women’s Day 2022 by sharing memories and thoughts on the amazing women that inspire them in our recent blog post. One of our delegates, Bertha Mukonda produced the poem shared below.
A Message from BCCIC’s Board on Our Delegation:
“The CSW is dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. We believe that in order to achieve these goals, everyone needs a seat at the table. Our delegation will include more than 40 delegates from BCCIC’s members and international partners, and strives for inclusivity and diversity. We are proud to host a diverse slate of delegates, from a variety of backgrounds and lived experiences. Each delegate is one voice with unique perspectives among many others, and participation is intended to be a learning opportunity for all participants”
For media or general inquiries about this delegation, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
Meet our Delegates!
Below you’ll find a list of BCCIC’s delegates to CSW66, in alphabetical order by last name. Click on any of these names to read their bios.
Mahnaz Aliyar is a vibrant activist for women and girls rights, and a champion for gender equality in Afghanistan. She is a volunteer member of Women Leaders of Tomorrow and leads the English language program for the Afghan women in Afghanistan. She will speak about girls’ education, and why the world needs to invest in the young Afghan women for a better future for Afghanistan. Mahnaz is a graduate of the Sayyed-ul-Shohada high school in Afghanistan which was recently attacked by the ISIS group.
Mahnaz Aliyar was featured in an Aljazeera documentary and a lengthy article about her fight for education for girls was written by a Canadian journalist in Aljazeera, Mellissa Fung. She was again featured at Aljazeera after the collapse of the Afghan central government and Taliban takeover. She remains vocal about gender equality and girls’ rights to education.
Sekwanahcahk/Shelby Anderson is an Indigenous person from Northern Alberta. Sekwan is passionate about her community, her environment, and Indigenous ways of knowing. They are currently a Community Climate Justice Coordinator at VIDEA. At work, Sekwan collaborates with others on communications,curriculum creation, and content creation. Shelby enjoys spending time in nature with her family, working in community, and learning traditional plant knowledge. She has Metis and Cree ancestry from Gift lake and Wabasca. Shelby always wants to acknowledge her Nookum, Mary Louise Oar, in everything they do.
Gloria Avilés is a gender specialist based in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, with over 20 years of experience working in diverse projects that promote human rights and justice. Gloria has a degree in Political Science from Stockholm University, specializing in gender issues, women’s rights and development. She has worked as an advisor for National Ministry for Women in Honduras, as well as an independent consultant for UN Women, UNICEF, SICA (the Central American Integration System), national governmental institutions, and local and international NGOs such as Oxfam Quebec, CARE, Plan International, ActionAid, and the Association for the Prevention of Torture.
Gloria has developed public and institutional gender policies and strategies, designed didactic materials (toolbox, manuals, guides, posters, and pamphlets) and facilitated specialized training (certificate courses, webinars and workshops) in diverse sectors. She drafted the National Strategy for Gender and the Environment in Honduras, contributed to a new gender mechanism within the Ministry of Education and integrated gender in a community WASH program. Gloria is currently the Project Director for the Justice Education Society (JES), leading a team that is improving access to justice for girls, women and LGBTQ+ populations in Honduras.
Agness Banda is an IAYI Internship Facilitator at VIDEA, based in Eastern Province, Zambia. She was a 2021 Spur Change Youth Champion, where she learned about global issues. Agness recently graduated with a degree in Primary Teaching. She is passionate about health and wellbeing, gender equality and climate action – she is excited to learn more at CSW66.
Rachel Barr is VIDEA’s Innovation, Inclusion, and Gender Manager – and lives on the traditional lands of the Lekwungen speaking peoples with her dying plants, which she just can’t manage to keep alive. Rachel became part of the VIDEA family in 2015 as an IYIP intern and joined as a staff member in 2018. She is a collaborator on a number of VIDEA programs, including the International Indigenous Youth internships and the Journey from the Heart programming. Rachel feels lucky to work within a local and international context, alongside her friends, colleagues, and partner organizations, who are always teaching her new things about the global issues that connect us all.
Manvi (she/her) has over 12 years of experience as an intersectional community organizer. She co-founded Shake Up The Establishment, a national nonprofit dedicated to climate justice and political advocacy; is a member of the Canadian Coalition for Environment and Climate Justice; is on the steering committee of the ENRICH project; and is co-founder of missINFORMED, a nonprofit dedicated to the health of women and gender-diverse peoples. Alongside lecturing on environmental justice, Manvi is a published health researcher who has worked at Hospital for Sick Children and Universities of Guelph, Waterloo and Dalhousie. Manvi has an Honours BSc in Biomedical Science from University of Guelph and an MSc in Public Health and Health Systems from University of Waterloo. Her MSc research investigated barriers towards climate action within the public health sector. Presently, she is a PhD student at University of British Columbia, alongside Climate Policy Lead at UBC Climate Hub.
Emily Boost is the Co-Founder and Director of Kore Global, a Canadian consulting firm specializing in gender equality and social inclusion research, strategy, monitoring and evaluation, and technical assistance work internationally. Emily has twenty years’ experience working with both the public and private sector designing and delivering organizational strategy and capacity strengthening, women and girls’ rights programmes and portfolios, and gender-focused funds. Her clients cover a broad range including: governments, research institutions, impact-investors, philanthropic organizations, mutli-lateral organizations and INGOs. Prior to relocating to Vancouver last summer with her family, Emily spent the last 17 years in the UK. She holds a MSc in Gender and Development from the London School of Economics.
JR Brass is a Project Officer at VIDEA and a former IAYI intern with VIDEA. He is currently a student at the First Nations University of Canada where he is majoring in Indigenous Studies. JR is passionate about cultural identity and sustainability – he wants to make sure that we never get too greedy for our resources.
Koyali Burman is an accomplished stakeholder engagement and economic development strategist. She has a decade of experience in research, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation both locally and internationally. Originally from India, she holds a Master of Arts in Adult & Higher Education from the University of British Columbia. She holds a leadership position and has spoken about international migration in various platforms and universities in Canada and India. She has held various board of directors and advisory positions in Canada with the most recent ones being Vice President (Board) to Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC and Secretary to United Nations Association in Canada-Vancouver. Over the past 15+ years she conducted extensive research on women and girls from Sub Saharan Africa, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka to help develop relevant skills that will lead to livelihoods. She has developed a Gender-Sensitive Information & Communication Technology Strategy in Open Schooling and presented the strategy in the Pan Commonwealth Conference in Nigeria, Africa in 2014. Koyali in partnership with financial institutions, has helped create a Small Business Hub to empower women entrepreneurs. In 2018, she received the prestigious Pan Asian Recognition Award for her leadership role in supporting Pan Asian communities in British Columbia. As an executive to the United Nations Association in Canada-Vancouver she is passionate about supporting the UNAC-V’s vision on the Sustainable Development Goals to build strong, safe and resilient communities that will be inclusive and innovative for decades to come.
Lili (she/her) is VIDEA’s Manager of Indigenous youth engagement and reconciliation, and she is in the final year of a degree in International Indigenous Studies and Global Development Studies at the University of Calgary. Lili was born and raised on Treaty 6 Territory in Edmonton, Alberta and she is a proud member of the Métis Nation of Alberta. Lili feels privileged to work alongside an incredible global team at VIDEA and collaborate on a number of programs that integrate intersectionality, gender, and climate justice in advocating for those who are most impacted by inequality, oppression, and discrimination.
Sarah Danks has been with VIDEA since 2016 and primarily works on VIDEA’s annual fundraiser, the Global Solidarity Challenge. She lives in Victoria and has a BSc in Psychology with a Minor in Professional Communication from UVic. Sarah is passionate about learning, communications accessibility, human rights, and photography. In her free time, you can find her curled up with a fantasy novel, a cup of tea, and her dog, Callie.
Jennifer Dosanj is the Facilitation and Engagement Officer at VIDEA. She is on the Board of Community Living BC, South Island Community Council as a self-advocate. Jennifer is a passionate self-advocate who believes strongly in the power of kindness and belonging. She is committed to creating safe, inclusive and supportive spaces for everyone. Jennifer is passionate about disability rights, human rights and gender equality.
Skw’akw’as (Sunshine) Dunstan-Moore (She/Her) is a Nlakapamux and Yakima youth who grew in Washington State & Lytton, BC. Sunshine is a Community Climate Justice Coordinator for TLKemchEEn (Lytton). Along with working at VIDEA, Sunshine is also a member of the Youth Advisory Group with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and a Generation Power Intern with Indigenous Clean Energy. Sunshine is passionate about Indigenous and Human Rights, amplifying silenced voices, and spreading awareness on the climate crisis. Some of Sunshine’s interests are photography, filmmaking, painting, and hiking.
Emily Evans is the Senior Inclusion Facilitator at The University of Victoria through STEPS-Forward, the BC Initiative for Inclusive Post-Secondary Education and has been in this role at the University of Victoria for four years. She works to support seven UVic students with a disability label to be included in all aspects of university life. Emily is passionate about creating equitable access to education, creating safe and inclusive spaces, and supporting gender equality initiatives. She is a grateful resident on the traditional territory of the Lkwungen-speaking peoples on whose traditional territory the university stands and the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.
Gurleen Grewal is currently acting as the Project Manager in Canada for World Neighbours Canada’s (WNC) FIT-funded innovative solution: “Empowering Rural Women in Burkina Faso.” She also serves as WNC’s International Development Communications Specialist. In these roles, Gurleen attends to the monitoring and reporting aspects of a research project that investigates the efficacy of a gender-transformative approach to increasing women’s full and equitable economic participation in households and in the livestock smallholder sector in rural Burkina Faso. She has contributed to several forums and research reports on gender and development. Gurleen holds a MA in English from Simon Fraser University where her research interests were in Black Studies, Discourse Analysis, and Gender and Sexuality.
Dr. Zosa De Sas Kropiwnicki-Gruber is the Policy Director and Gender Specialist at the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC), where she is responsible for leading research, policy development and advocacy related to gender equality, social justice and the Sustainable Development Goals. She is also responsible for overseeing and supporting BCCIC’s youth Climate Change Branch (CCB). Informed by her doctorate in International Development Studies (University of Oxford, 2007), Zosa has worked for a wide range of United Nations and international non-governmental organizations and their local partners on policies and projects related to forced migration, child protection, gender equality and women’s empowerment in South East Europe, Central Asia, West Africa and Southern Africa. Zosa is also an Executive Board member of Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WAfghan) and is a member of Digna’s (Canadian Centre of Expertise on the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse) Advisory Committee. Zosa is honoured to be accompanying this incredible delegation to the 66th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, and looks forward to the opportunity to learn from and with other delegates, while promoting intersectional gender-transformative and decolonial, localized solutions to climate change and environmental disasters.
Kate Haworth (she/her) is a Program Coordinator at VIDEA. Kate is from and currently resides on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Wendat and Mississaugas of the Credit. She is grateful for opportunities to listen and learn with folks around the world.
Katelynne is VIDEA’s Manager of Indigenous Governance and Decolonial Policy & Practice, she is located on the traditional territory of the Lkwungen speaking people. Katelynne is of mixed Inuk & Irish ancestry from Kuujjuaq QC, Rankin Inlet NU, she is a Masters student at the University of Victoria researching Indigenous knowledge & governance of land and water in Tanzania. Katelynne is passionate and strives for the decolonization of the international development sector.
Kaylie (she/they) cares deeply about the world and creating a more socially and environmentally just present and future. She is curious how to practice and strive for this in everyday life as well as across broader systems and relationships. Kaylie has worked and volunteered in learner-centered education, environmental justice organizing, communications, research, facilitation, and small-scale agriculture. Recently, Kaylie completed a master’s degree where she focused her research on local encounters and connections with global issues (especially the Anthropocene and climate change). She loves to knit, sing, make art, learn in community, read, and spend time outdoors. Currently, Kaylie works as a research assistant with the BCCIC, volunteers with local environmental justice initiatives, and lives on unceded Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) territories where she is a dedicated life-long un/learner. Kaylie is excited and committed to continue to learn, collaborate, and strive for social and environmental justice with the CSW66 delegation and beyond.
Sarah Keeler is the Advocacy and Engagement Manager at CW4WAfghan, where her work focuses on supporting Canadians as global citizens to mobilize and advocate for the rights of Afghan women and girls, and on global coalition building for advocacy. Sarah is an experienced community and international development specialist with a passion for using her research, storytelling and ethnographic expertise to engage with and amplify the work of diverse groups in their lived experience. As an activist and practitioner she is committed to decolonial and participatory approaches to development, and has supported or managed projects focused on women’s health and economic empowerment, food sovereignty, gender based violence, and refugee mental health among others. Before joining CW4WAfghan, she worked with a variety of NGOs and multilateral agencies as well as community based initiatives in the Middle East, East Africa and Latin America, as well as with non-profits in Canada and the EU.
Magali is Managing Director of Deetken Impact and her work focuses on areas of Business Development, Communications, and Impact Management. She leads business development efforts for current funds under management and co-lead the strategic development of new funds.
She has actively participated in the company’s investment decisions for the past ten years and currently leads the pipeline development for various segments and countries. As a member of the Investment Committee of the Ilu Women’s Empowerment Fund, she ensures the integration of social and environmental impact metrics, risks and opportunities in the investment decision process.
Magali leads the management and implementation of the impact measurement and reporting frameworks for all three funds, ensuring capacity building of both team members and portfolio companies in areas of gender, impact and sustainability best practices.
As a member of the Advisory Council of the Ilu Women’s Empowerment Program, she leads the implementation of a comprehensive effort to advance gender practices in Latin America and the Caribbean.
She has led the communications and branding strategy of the company from the start and continues to focus on amplifying the impact of our investee companies to help grow the impact and gender lens investing ecosystem.
Magali holds a BA in Economics from Mexico’s ITAM and a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of British Columbia.
Hayden has been working in the Forestry sector for roughly 8 years, doing a myriad of different jobs from fire fighting to tree planting. He has gained an array of knowledge and skill when it comes to the growth and restoration of a forest. Hayden currently works with VIDEA as a Climate Action Coordinator and is a student going to school at UNBC for his forestry Degree.
Brianna Parent Long is a Gender and Diversity Program Officer at VIDEA. She is passionate about sexual and reproductive health and rights, PSEA, and sex work advocacy, all reinforced by her studies, volunteer experience at AIDS clinics, being a support worker in mental health housing and being on Digna’s advisory committee. Brianna holds an undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University in Political Science and International Development Studies and a master’s degree at the University of Victoria. Brianna is currently at Carleton University for her PhD in Political Science with an interest in feminist international relations.
Ariel is a Masters Student at the Norman Paterson School for International Affairs who is currently a co-op student with the regional strategic international assistance team of the Asia Pacific Branch of Global Affairs Canada. Last summer, she was a Co-Op student for the International and Intergovernmental team at Women and Gender Equality Canada. Before pursuing a career with the federal government, Ariel worked in international development programming and policy with civil society organizations in Mongolia, India and most recently in Laos. At the onset of the pandemic, Ariel returned to Canada from Laos where she was working with Indigenous women and girls to increase their resiliency in the face of climate change. Ariel is continuing to expand her intersectional gendered analysis expertise via her Master’s research, which is evaluating the gendered implications of drug laws on incarcerated women in Ecuador.
Ariel has also been an activist in her community, championing gender equality as well as greater inclusion for diverse marginalized peoples. For example, last year Ariel was the Co-Present of the NPSIA Student Association, where she advocated for greater inclusion of EDI mandates across the program and championed the creation of EDI student representatives. Previously, Ariel was a Board Member for the BCCIC and participated on their behalf in CSW65, CSW63, Women Deliver 2019, and the HLPF2018.
Bertha Mukonda is an IAYI Internships Facilitator – Team Lead at VIDEA based in Lusaka, Zambia. Bertha, who graduated from the University of Zambia in 2019 with a Bachelor of Education in Special Education, is passionate about creating supportive and inclusive spaces for young people with disabilities. She was a 2020 Spur Change Youth Champion and participated in the Coady International Institute’s Women’s Leadership in Community Development program. Bertha is passionate about gender equality, inclusion and learning more about global issues
Febby Ngwira is an IAYI Internship Facilitator at VIDEA, based in Eastern Province, Zambia. She recently completed a degree in Early Childhood Education and is passionate about gender equality. Febby is grateful for any opportunity to learn with and from women around the world.
Veronica is VIDEA’s international Indigenous youth internship facilitator. Veronica was born in 1997, in Chasefu-Lundazi, eastern province in Zambia. She currently lives in Lusaka the capital city of Zambia. Veronica is a role model to her community because she’s the first female to reach tertiary level education. Veronica holds a diploma in English and Art in secondary teaching and also certificates in life skills, critical thinking and problem solving, entrepreneurship and information communication technology. Veronica is a strong advocate of gender equality, lack of women in leadership, violence against women and girls, against early marriages and also suicide.
Jessica Paisley (she/hers/elle) is currently a 24-year-old law student at the University of Victoria Law School in Victoria, B.C. Canada. Her academic background includes a degree in Gender Race and Social Justice (B.A.) from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
While overcoming various disabilities of her own Jessica has volunteered and/or worked for a wide range of NGOs and committees including: the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre; the International Women’s’ Rights Project; the UBC Gender Race and Social Justice Undergraduate Association; British Columbia International Council for Cooperation and the Canadian Water Research Society.
Her outside interests include skiing, surfing, hiking and yoga.
There is a lot of power within a name. I am named after my mom, and my great grandma: Elizabeth Carol Alexandra Peters and traditional name; Kwikws (sound it out: Kwee-ooo-Kshh) which means small in my language of Ucwalmicwts (Idk how to teach that one in a single note bubble) because my grandma Elizabeth was a very small lady (I was taller than her by the age of 8, which can also be true today but we’re talking 4’7 yenno?) And with these names I am small yet powerful and deeply loving don’t need to take up a lot of space in life to make a difference aye. And I do this work in honour of my ancestors who have come before me, the earth that loves me, and the generations to come after me in hopes I keep the life I love intact for them so they have something to work with and a place to call home Thank you for your time in reading this
Patashi Pimms (she/they) is Nlakampux and Yakama and grew up in Lytton BC. They are a Community Climate Justice Coordinator for TLKemchEEn at VIDEA, a non profit organization based out of what is known as Victoria British Columbia. Patashi is very passionate about amplifying Indigenous Youth voices, Indigenous Sovereignty, and Climate Justice. Her interests include photography, videography, web design, kayaking, and sewing.
Friba Rezayee was born and raised in Afghanistan. She made history by competing in Judo at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens as one of Afghanistan’s first female Olympians. Friba’s participation in the Olympics brought Afghanistan back to the world stage in sports after the fall of the Taliban. She inspired hundreds of other Afghan girls to join different sports. It was a sports revolution for Afghan female athletes. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of British Columbia, Canada.
Friba has been an outspoken and passionate advocate for women and girls’ education, gender equality, human rights, and women’s rights in Afghanistan and worldwide from an early age to present. As a political commentator, she has spoken with various major news sources, such as BBC, CBC, NBC, New York Times, NHK (Japan) and many more. She is currently working as an educator in Vancouver’s public school system. Additionally, Friba is the founder and Executive Director of non-profit organization Women Leaders of Tomorrow. Where, she engages North Americans in political discussion about human rights, peace and conflict.
The WLT has a sub-project named GOAL, which stands for Girls of Afghanistan Lead. The GOAL initiative aims to give Afghan women formal athletic training, coaching and leadership skills. Also, Afghan Women Writers. Website: Afghanwomenwriters.com
Hillary (she/her/hers) is passionate about climate justice and how it intersects with basically everything (and promises to have a podcast to back up all her fun facts). She is a settler on both sides of her family and currently lives and works on lək̓ʷəŋən territory. She has the BEST job working with Indigenous youth and not so secretly hopes to be part of a seaweed farming collective in the future.
Margot Anne Sangster has over twenty-five years of professional experience in international development, public health, labour force development, refugee/immigrant settlement, etc. She earned a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology and an Administrative Management Diploma, completed the Harvard Global Mental Health Trauma and Recovery Certificate, and recently completed an International Development Certificate at the University of British Columbia.
Margot worked in Afghanistan on US AID contracts for two years (i.e. Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled Kabul Employment Centre; Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock Private Sector Development Directorate; etc.) and on two short-term CIDA contracts in the Philippines working with at-risk youth educators. She volunteered with Canadian Crossroads International (CCI) in Kenya. Margot was appointed to the City of Vancouver’s Women’s Advisory Committee 2017 – 2018. Currently she works in mental health and addictions with Vancouver Coastal Health. Previously Margot worked with immigrants and refugees, with a cross-cultural consulting firm, and the New Westminster School District Community Education Department.
Terrance Scott is a member of T’souke nation, raised in Sooke, and works as a Community Climate Justice Coordinator with VIDEA. Terrance is both fascinated and terrified about the future of our planet, and wants to do anything he can to help shape it to be a greener and brighter place for all of us.
Roya Shafai is a member of Afghanistan’s women’s Judo team. She has been an athlete and a full time student of Women Leaders of Tomorrow since 2018. Prior to her accomplishments in Judo, she practiced mixed martial arts, and became a champion and earned the first position in her MMA match.
Moreover, she is a Human Rights and women’s rights activist. She has been advocating for gender equality since she was a child. She remained an athlete and kept fighting for her rights to education and sports even after the Taliban takeover.
The Afghan central government has collapsed in the middle of August 2021, and the Taliban imposed strict Sharia law which forbids Afghan women from going to school and playing sports. But that didn’t stop Roya. She remained vocal about freedom. She is also a candidate for the IOC and IOC Solidarity’s full ride sports scholarship.
She has spoken with western media demanding the international community to pay attention to the women and girls in Afghanistan.
Amanda Shatzko is an award-winning artist, politician, athlete and social scientist. Working at the intersection of creativity and leadership, her research focuses on politicians and the role of creativity in decision-making to address wicked policy problems and impact social change. Amanda also worked in the entertainment and cultural sector, notably as an artist and athlete for media and events, creating artistic programs and projects in over 30 countries. She has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women (WXN), a Top 40 Young Global Cultural Leader (EU), a Top 40 Under 40 in BC (BiV), and globally distinguished as a Top 100 World of Difference Award recipient for women’s economic empowerment (TIAW). In 2018, Amanda was elected as Director of BX/Silver Star and appointed Vice-Chair of the Regional District of North Okanagan. She is also a fellow for FCM’s Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program, working towards reducing effects on her community from floods, wildfires, unsustainable food systems, and GHG emissions.
Amanda advises NGO’s, business leaders, and the government on best practices and policies, in particular working on policies and initiatives to overcome gender and social inequalities. She has a B.F.A from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, an M.A. in Intercultural and International Communication from Royal Roads University, and is currently working on her Ph.D. at UBC. An advocate for more women to have a seat at the decision-making table, she serves as a Senator at UBC, and sits on the board of directors of the BC Alliance for Arts and Culture, United Nations Association in Canada-Vancouver branch, trustee for the Okanagan Regional Library, North Okanagan/Columbia Shuswap Regional Hospital District, and is a fellow of the international Royal Society of Arts (RSA) focusing on social impact and ideas to resolve the challenges of our time. In 2021 she became a co-founding board member for Impact Toolbox – an education social enterprise that provides learning and idea incubation programs, and venture capital to emerging social change leaders from North America and Africa.
Chris Singelengele is VIDEA’s Indigenous Internship Coordinator and is instrumental in supporting the journey of each and every intern who passes through VIDEA. Chris is passionate about climate change and is a strong advocate for the equality of women and girls. Chris joined VIDEA after many years working as a gender rights activist with Women for Change, with a specific focus on supporting gender equality in rural development projects. Chris is a former teacher, head teacher, and youth empowerment professional. He is extraordinarily sympathetic, adaptable and accepting. Chris is a strong advocate for the rights of vulnerable and under-represented youth.
Taleetha Tait is one of VIDEA’s IAYI Project Coordinators, based in Zambia. Taleetha is Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan from Witset BC, born into the Tsayu/Beaver Clan. Taleetha joins VIDEA from the Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association where she was an Indigenous Youth Connections Worker. Taleetha is a former IndigenEYEZ Facilitator with the BC Government Aboriginal Youth Intern Program and former VIDEA IAYI intern.
As a passionate student of justice and diversity, Bailea (she/her) is in her third year completing a BA in Global Development Studies. Bailea is passionate about the progress of gender equality and the empowerment of women. Baileas’ past experience has involved working alongside non-profits in supervisory roles. Primarily supervising the safe housing for vulnerable women in Calgary. She has been involved in various initiatives which promote gender equality in both India and Canada and is eager to continue learning about ways to meaningfully engage in intersectional gender equality. Bailea’s name means “peacekeeper” and she has been honoured to be able to participate in opportunities that are so closely tied to who she is. On her paternal side she is Guyanese and her maternal side is colonial French.
Bailea is currently working as an intern at BCCIC directly under the Policy Director & Gender Specialist. She is assisting in the coordination and organization of BCCIC’s CSW66 delegation and is excited to be working alongside a delegation of such amazing and inspiring individuals.
Lindsey Tipewan is the Engagement and Creative Officer at VIDEA and a former IAYI Intern with Women for Change in Zambia. She was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan and her home community is Witchekan Lake First Nation, Treaty 6. Lindsey enjoys learning – throughout her internship she learned about governance, gender and environment from her friends in Uganda and Zambia, as well as fellow and former interns. Lindsey loves to draw, have fun, hangout with friends and family, and go on road trips.
Anique is a Project Officer at HOPE International Development Agency, where she works collaboratively with some of HOPE’s international partners on projects that integrate gender equality, climate resilience, and sustainable agriculture to support families combating poverty. In addition to holistic and integrated community development projects, her work focuses on agriculture and the environment, which includes participating in the Canadian Food Security Policy Group with Cooperation Canada. Furthermore, Anique is working to improve and integrate monitoring and evaluation methods to deepen understanding of project impacts. As an ECO Canada certified Environmental Professional in training (EPt), specializing in sustainability and education, Anique seeks to continue to build her leadership capacity in the environmental sector.
Anique completed a B.Sc. with honours in Natural Resources Conservation from the University of British Columbia in 2021. During her studies, she examined the environment and climate change through the intersectional lens of poverty and international sustainable development. This lens provided her with an important understanding of how social, economic, gender, and racial inequalities are interlinked with the environment. In the current and historical context of colonization, and patriarchal society, there is a continued need for diverse, intersectional, feminist, and context-specific solutions to create a just, equitable, and sustainable future. During CSW66, Anique is looking forward to hearing from women of diverse backgrounds and working together as women to build our collective voice.
Born in India, raised in UAE, Slovakia, Panama and the US, and now living in Canada, Vib approaches issues and creates solutions with a global and diverse lens. Growing up in all these countries helped her recognize the value of political and economic stability and strength. Vib is passionate about combining policy and economic analysis with programming development and execution to further advocacy and create positive impact on communities. She graduated from UBC Vancouver with a BA in Economics and Political Science last May, and has since been working as a Youth Programs Coordinator at Minerva BC, a nonprofit organization that supports and mentors women and girls as they work to identify their values and recognize and further develop their leadership skills. Vib is eager to support young women leaders as they carve their space and create platforms for their communities. Recently, the Youth Programs team has been designing a new project targeting intergenerational learning, funded by WAGE Canada.
Vib is also a Policy Analyst and Project Manager with the Policy and Research Division at the Climate Change Branch (CCB) at BCCIC, and is currently working on a project with her team that is surveying climate justice and intersectionality education in BC high schools to share with climate education policymakers.
Rosalind Warner has nearly 30 years of experience teaching and researching in the areas of international development, global environmental politics and Canadian international policy. She is the Contributing Editor of two books on Canadian Foreign Policy. As an educator and researcher, she has been motivated to advance environmental, social, and governance objectives in her professional and volunteer work. She is involved in a leadership role in local environmental groups, including the Okanagan Sustainability Leadership Council, the Okanagan Climate Hub, and Citizens’ Climate Lobby Okanagan Chapter. She is also a Research Fellow with the Earth System Governance Research Program, and a Board member of the Canadian Environmental Network and BCCIC. For more please visit rozwarner.com, or follow her on Twitter @rwarner23.
Deena Watson is a proud member of Mistawasis Nêhiyawak located on Treaty 6 territory. She is VIDEA’s Project Officer and a current student at the University of Victoria majoring in Indigenous Studies and Social Justice Studies. Deena is also a former International Aboriginal Youth Intern where she was placed at a non-profit organization in Uganda for four months to gain knowledge on global human rights and promote gender equality. She is a strong advocate for Indigenous women and girls and supports the intersectional theory of Indigenous feminisms that practices decolonization, Indigenous sovereignty, and human rights for Indigenous women and their families.
Originally from the Great Lakes region of Ontario, Tanya is passionate about sustainable development and the intersection of social, environmental, and economic policy. She believes in fostering greater wellbeing by approaching policy from a balanced perspective across these and other areas. As a research analyst with SAEDI Consulting, Tanya contributes to the policy analysis of climate change, water, energy, and agricultural policies in the Caribbean – applying a gender-focused lens. She also supports the development of workshops and training sessions on climate resilience and gender mainstreaming with recent workshops conducted for UN University and the UNFCCC’s series on ‘Gender Responsive Climate Action’.
She has served as a Member of the Board of Directors for the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation since 2021, supporting the work of individuals and organizations furthering the UN Sustainable Development goals, lending a provincial voice to Canada’s sustainable development policies, and participation in international forums.
In 2020 she completed Harvard’s Executive Education course in Moral Leadership in Public Policy and in 2018 she participated in the Climate Leadership Corps training hosted by Al Gore in Mexico City. She has engaged in global dialogues at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development/Rio+20 (2012), The Global Goals Summit (2015), and CSW63 (2018).
Tanya earned her Bachelor’s degree at Queen’s University and Master’s of Science in Philosophy and Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) where she studied a variety of topics including justice and ethics, natural resources law, and game theory. She wrote her dissertation on the just distribution of natural resources and clean drinking water and has since published multiple policy papers and briefs on the broad theme of making sustainable development work for everyone.
Elana graduated from Queen’s with a degree in Global Development and worked as a research assistant for the Politics and International Relations Department working on a Race, BIPOC and Global South perspectives in IR resource bank. The resource bank was launched in the context of growing calls for diversification and decolonization within the discipline. She also has been a research assistant at the Centre for International and Defence Policy working in their gender lab on projects that analyzed topics related to gender and defence studies to highlight barriers to success for women in the armed forces. These research experiences combined with her extensive extracurricular experience throughout undergrad, have bolstered her passion for EDI work and identity politics. Elana is extremely excited for the CSW66 conference and is particularly interested in learning more about how women are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis and what gender empowerment looks like in the context of the climate crisis.
Miranda Yates is VIDEA’s Inclusion Officer, focusing on identifying ways to engage differently-abled youth on global issues. She is also a History and Gender Studies student at the University of Victoria in Victoria, BC. Miranda is invested in Indigenous rights, improving living conditions in Indigenous communities, and raising awareness about injustices. She is excited to learn more about global issues and how we can come together to help these issues. Miranda is an athlete who loves cheerleading, baseball, basketball and wrestling.
We are so excited to work with these incredible delegates throughout the delegation. Their bios speak to the incredible advocates they are. Please note that delegates do not speak on behalf of BCCIC nor do they represent all womxn, men and persons with diverse genders and sexual identities. They each have unique perspectives and voices that have a right to be heard. These voices are some among many others coming to CSW from across British Columbia, Canada and the rest of the world.