Ambassadors of Shaping Feminist Foreign Policy 2023

We are proud to introduce the ambassadors of the Shaping Feminist Foreign Policy Conference 2023. All come from civil society. These committed activists and changemakers bring in their personal experiences working in various parts of the world by showing us a glimpse of their work during the conference.  They work on a variety of themes but all share a commitment towards women's rights and gender equality. Their stories will be conversation starters and their passion hopefully inspires us all.  

Enlarge image Maria al Abdeh
Image: ©Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken

Maria Al Abdeh - Women Now for Development, Syria

Dr. Maria Al Abdeh is a Researcher and  Executive Director of Women Now For Development, the largest Syrian women's rights organisation operating both inside Syria and abroad. With a unique approach to building women's leadership, the organisation has gained international recognition for its efforts. She has published several research articles on the gender impact of conflict and Syrian women's perspective on peace and justice. She has received several awards and honors for her engagement toward Human and Women rights in Syria.

Enlarge image Laxman Belbase
Image: ©Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken

Laxman Belbase - Co-Director of MenEngage Alliance

Laxman Belbase is Co-Director of MenEngage Alliance, and co-leads overall operations, strategic directions and political advocacy, and support to the regional and country networks of the Alliance worldwide. Laxman has over 20 years of experience in strategic planning, programs, monitoring-evaluation-learning, and advocacy for women’s rights, working with men and boys in gender justice, & child rights. Laxman has worked with and provided technical support to various Human Right I/NGOs, UN Agencies and Governments all over the world. Laxman is a member of the Leadership Council of the Global Women's Institute and a part-time faculty at the Elliott School of International Affairs.

Enlarge image
Image: ©Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken

Anisha Chugh - current Executive Director of Women's Fund Asia

Anisha Chugh is the current Executive Director of Women's Fund Asia: a feminist fund (based out of Sri Lanka and Australia) that supports groups and collectives led by women, girls, trans and intersex people in more than 18 countries in Asia. Anisha currently serves on the Steering Committee of the Fenomenal Funds (The Women's Funds Collaborative Initiative) and represents WFA on the Advisory Board of the Resilience Fund for Women in Global Value Chains, and a member of the Steering Committee of Human Rights Funders Network (HRFN). Anisha also served on the board of FRIDA - The Young Feminist Fund as the Treasurer.

Enlarge image Mike
Image: ©Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken

Mike - Public Relations student at the University of Zambia in Lusaka

Mike is a Public Relations student at the University of Zambia in Lusaka, as well as a radio presenter and activist. He founded a youth-led non-profit organisation, which provides assistance to vulnerable girls in the community, and advocates for the reproductive health rights of adolescent girls and boys. He also volunteers as a Youth Hub Facilitator at SRHR Africa Trust (SAT) Zambia on Break Free project and other SRHR projects within SAT. Mike’s passions include advancing the rights of women, building a more inclusive society, and promoting children's rights and gender equality.

Enlarge image Natalia Karbowska
Image: ©Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken

Natalia Karbowska - co-founder and director on strategic development of the Ukrainian Women’s Fund

Natalia Karbowska has more than 25 years of experience in development work. Since 1997, Natalia has been working in the area of civil society development and women’s rights, first as the Women’s Program Director of the International Renaissance Foundation (Open Society Foundation) in Ukraine, then as the Director of Women’s Economic Empowerment Project at Winrock International and later as Deputy Director of USAID “Healthy women of Ukraine” Program. Natalia is the co-founder and director on strategic development of the Ukrainian Women’s Fund. Under her leadership, the Fund has provided more than € 5,5 million in grants to women’s rights organisations in Ukraine and neighboring countries. 

Enlarge image Raul Martin Hular
Image: ©Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken

Raul Martin Hular Jr. - Filipino queer activist

Raul Martin Hular Jr. is a 25-year-old Filipino queer activist. He is the current Project Manager of Free to be Me Philippines under Yayasan Humanis dan Inovasi Sosial (affiliated with Hivos). In this role, he is working together with local LGBTIQ+ organisations and individuals in contextualizing and localizing Free to be Me values and goals. Raul holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and presently pursuing a Master’s degree of Community Development at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. 

Enlarge image
Image: ©Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken

Sofía Marcía - Urgent Action Fund for Latin America and The Caribbean Programs and Grantmaking Co-Director

Sofía Marcía is a Honduran feminist, anti-racist and anti-capitalist engineer. She walks and learns with the black, indigenous, trans and non-binary people of the Abya Yala through her work in recent years and her activism that she has built with the Garifuna and Lenca people of Honduras. She believes in the radical tenderness and power of women who fight for their rights, so she conspires with them.