The JLI /SVRI Faith and GBV Hub Leadership Council is made up of members that work within the faith and violence against women (VAW) and violence against children (VAC) fields and represent different perspectives, experiences, constituencies, and geographical diversity. The Leadership Council provides guidance on the strategic direction of the Faith and GBV Hub, its projects and programmes, to ensure that through this Hub, the JLI and SVRI continues to advance research on faith responses for the prevention and response to VAW and VAC in low and middle-income countries.

We are delighted to introduce you to the Hub’s first Leadership Council, established in 2021. Leadership Council members serve in their individual capacity and we are grateful for their time and commitment to providing guidance and recommendations to the Hub and our planned activities.

Join the JLI/SVRI Faith and GBV Hub

Dr. S.N. Nyeck

Dr. S.N. Nyeck brings to the Leadership Council experience in transnational and transcultural research and advocacy. She is a scholar of the political economy of development, governance and public procurement reform with an interest on social justice and gender responsive schemes; queer ethics and politics in comparative perspectives. Her publications include Sexual Diversity in Africa: Politics, Theory and Citizenship co-edited with Marc Epprecht (McGill-Queens’ University Press, 2013); Public Procurement and Governance Reform in Africa (Palgrave, 2016); Routledge Handbook of Queer Africa Studies (2019) and Queer African(a) Presence: Ethics and Politics of Negotiation (Palgrave-Macmillan) is expected in 2021. Dr. Nyeck is the book review Editor of the Journal of Africana Religions and is currently completing a Doctorate Degree in Practical Theology at Virginia Theological Seminary to expand her research and advocacy to issues related to ethics, intercultural and ecumenical inclusive epistemologies and practices.


Rafael Cazarin

Rafael Cazarin (PhD) is a sociologist with a background in ethnographic research and applied sociology. He was academically trained in Portugal and Spain and has been appointed visiting scholar at multiple research centers such as the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Oxford, and Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis. Throughout these years, he also engaged in applied research with governmental and civil society organizations in Portugal, Brazil, South Africa, Togo, and the Congo (DRC). Since 2019, Rafael holds the Juan de la Cierva Research Fellowship granted by the Spanish Ministry of Science and is based at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. In his work, Rafael aims to contribute with evidence for SGBV prevention policy making in the field of gender justice through research on transformative practices in religious contexts.


Sandra Pertek

Sandra Iman Pertek is gender practitioner with over 10 years of experience in international development. She is currently a SEREDA Doctoral Researcher at the University of Birmingham. Her research explores the intersection of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and religion in forced migration. She has been working on several research projects, currently leading a project “Untold Stories: Voices of Forced Migrants and Survivors of Modern Slavery on the Mediterranean”, and previously the Forced Migration, SGBV and COVID-19 study. She consulted governmental and non-governmental organizations including Home Office UK, GIZ and Islamic Development Bank, and previously served as Senior Policy Adviser on Gender at Islamic Relief Worldwide, where she spearheaded a gender mainstreaming strategy, authoring its Gender Justice Policy and integrating gender into international programmes with faith sensitive approaches. She serves in the UN Women Roster – Eliminating Violence Against Women Spotlight Initiatives, and used to serve as a Chair and Board Member at the European Forum of Muslim Women in Brussels. She is a founder of a social interest consultancy – EQUISTY and a grassroots women’s organisation – Women of Faith – in London. She holds an MSc in Social Development Practice from University College London and a BA in European Studies from the University of Warsaw.


Prabu Deepan

Prabu Deepan is the head of Tearfund’s global Thematic Support Team, based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He is the architect of Tearfund’s evidence-based Transforming Masculinities intervention, a faith-based approach on gender equality, and positive masculinities which is being implemented in 12 countries, including adaptations focusing on family planning.


Elisabet le Roux

Dr Elisabet le Roux is Research Director of the Unit for Religion and Development Research at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She has over the past twelve years secured funding and delivered a range of evaluation and formative research projects in 22 countries across four continents, with a particular focus on gender equality, gender-based violence, women’s participation, and a critical lens on the important roles of religion and culture.


Kirsten Laursen Muth

Kirsten is JLI’s Chief Executive Officer. Kirsten’s previous positions include Special Advisor for Leadership Development and Senior Director for International Programs at Episcopal Relief & Development; Deputy Director of Programs at Church World Service; and Deputy Director of Training and Communication Education at Helen Keller International. She has collaborated with multiple UN agencies and has worked with government, non-profit, education, and faith organizations in more than 40 countries. Kirsten holds a Bachelor of Science, Foreign Service from Georgetown University, a Master’s Degree in Social Anthropology and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has also studied textile design at Parson’s School of Design and the School of Visual Arts, and design fabrics. She and her spouse, Mike, live in upstate New York in an antique house with three pets and numerous wild visitors.


Angelica Pino

Angelica Pino is a feminist lawyer with extensive experience in gender-based violence and gender equality. She started her work in the human rights field in Chile in the 80s, while the country was under General Pinochet’s dictatorship. As a Law student, she worked in NGOs conducting human rights awareness and training in disadvantaged communities, and at the same time became involved in the feminist movement. She worked as a lawyer in women’s rights NGOs providing counselling and legal advice to women survivors of gender-based violence, as well as conducting training and research on women and the law. After the democratisation of the country, Angelica joined the Ministry of Justice to work in a Legal Aid Project, where she coordinated mobile Legal Information Centres in townships. Angelica moved to South Africa in 1994, where she has worked in several women’s rights organisations and initiatives managing programmes on feminist networks and on gender-based violence, including: Lolapress international feminist magazine; Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, Gender Links and Sonke Gender Justice. At Sonke, she contributed to the field of engaging men and boys for gender equality by bringing a feminist perspective to the community-based programmes, as well as the trainings and research conducted in partnership with academic institutions, both at national and regional levels. Angelica also worked for the Heinrich Boell Foundation Southern Africa office managing the Gender Programme. She holds an LLB from the University of Chile and an LLM from the University of the Witwatersrand. Angelica believes that violence against women cuts across class, cultures and continents. Through the SVRI and partners, she hopes to contribute to gender justice by facilitating the access to resources and building the capacity of gender-based violence researchers from the Global South, as well as stimulating networking among researchers and activists.



Morma Moremi

Morma is a Social Worker by training and holds a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Johannesburg. She worked as a social worker for the Department of Social Development and as an intern social worker at Non-Government Organisations such as Johannesburg Parent and Child Counselling Centre and Theodorah Ndaba Victim Support Centre. Her research interests include gender studies, and the prevention of Gender Based Violence in rural South Africa.


Lizle Loots

Lizle has over 12 years’ experience in the development sector working on violence against women and girls. She has been on the SVRI Forum organising committee since 2009. Lizle has research experience on violence against women and children in the justice sector under the South African Medical Research Council, and has led research studies in South Sudan and Myanmar. She has extensive experience in supporting research and capacity building activities internationally, supporting regional exchange and learning, as well as grant-making for improved adolescent and youth SRHR services. She holds two Psychology degrees and a Masters degree in Sociology from the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

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