UN New York

Soon-Young Yoon - main representative

Soon-Young Yoon holds a PhD in anthropology. She has worked with UNICEF in Southeast Asia and the WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia in Delhi. She is a board member of the Global Advisory Council at the Harvard AIDS Initiative and of the International Foundation for Ewha Woman’s University. She currently works as a consultant for the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative. She is ex-chair of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, New York

Abby Hasselbrink - alternate

Abby Hasselbrink is a Bay Area native and student at Denison University in Granville, OH with majors in Psychology and French. She completed a summer research internship in 2023 with Soon-Young Yoon and Jessica Pierson for the Cities for CEDAW History and Futures Project. During that time, she created an interactive map and timeline of the Cities for CEDAW movement in the United States. She attended the 2023 UN High-Level Political Forum in New York City as a representative of the IAW.

Jessica Pierson - alternate

Jessica Pierson holds an M.A. in Human Rights Studies from Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights. Her graduate thesis research explored abortion as a human right in the United States and the role of CEDAW cities in challenging the Hyde Amendment. As a graduate student, Jessica was as a Research Assistant at the Law, Rights, and Religion Project at Columbia Law School where she worked on initiating local advocacy campaigns to combat religious healthcare refusals. She currently works as the Program Administrator of the Human Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School.

Jill Follows - alternate

Jill Follows holds a JD (law) and MSN (Master of Science in Nursing).  She has worked as a civil trial attorney and represented clients with medical malpractice claims and vaccine injury claims. She served as an UN Observer for the League of Women Voters of the United States and as the co-chair of Action and Advocacy for the League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area, Virginia. She convened and spearheaded the Fairfax Working Group for CEDAW, an initiative that led to the County’s adoption of a Resolution in Support of CEDAW. Jill is a founding director of the Human Rights Special Interest Group.

Manju Kak - alternate

Samyuktha Seth - alternate

Sulekha Prasad - alternate

Dr. Uzma Gul - alternate

Dr. Uzma Gul is a human rights defender, global advocate for SDGs, poetess, story teller, an empath, speaker, young world leader and a healthcare professional – previously attached with World Economic Forum, WHO, ILO, The Commonwealth Youth Council and currently working with United Nations as a Youth Representative – is also a board member at International Alliance for Women. 

Geneva UNOG

HR (Human Rights)

Dr. Sibylle von Heydebrand - main representative

Dr. Sibylle von Heydebrand is a Swiss lawyer. She studied in Geneva and Basel (Switzerland) and received her PhD in Law (Dr. iur.) from the University of Basel. She is a proven expert on voting right and has a long experience as a lecturer. She is especially interested in women’s political participation. In 2016 she was the president of the 50 Years of Women’s Suffrage in the Canton of Basel City anniversary committee (Switzerland). She is a former member of the Jury of the «Emilie Louise Frey Award» for young female scientists. In 2020 she was appointed as financial internal auditor by the United Nations NGO Committee on the Status of Women in Geneva. She is committed to improving the position of women and girls in society and works to enhance the visibility of women’s societal involvement.

Derya Akinci Briand - alternate

Derya Akinci Briand is a lecturer teaching law and business management in a private university in Zurich, Switzerland. She is from Turkey and has been living in Switzerland since 2008. After her law studies in Northern Cyprus, she followed her career with an LL.M degree in International Business Law and European Law and a Master Degree at International Law and Comparative Law at the University of Lausanne, in Switzerland. She is still doing her PhD. She is a multicultural person and speaks several languages such as Turkish, English, French. Besides her moderate capacity in Italian and German, she is also learning Russian and Chinese. She has working experience previously in the United Nations as UNEP and ILO, where she learned well the UN system. She believes women’s rights are very important, she thinks women face difficulties worldwide.

Dr. Laoura Maria Alipranti-Maratou - alternate

Dr. Laoura  Alipranti-Maratou has a PhD in Sociology (University of Paris X -Nanterre). She is an Emeritus Research Director of the “National Centre for Social Research”/EKKE and is actually collaborating as an expert at EKKE’s “Gender Issues Research Laboratory”. She is a Visiting Professor at the Department of Psychology at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens teaching the lesson “Gender relations in contemporary society”. She has also been a Member of “EIGE-European Institute for Gender Equality” Expert Forum designated by the European Parliament (2012-2015). Laoura is Vice-President of the Board of “Greek League of Women’s Rights”.

Sanja Jeraj - alternate

Childhood in a communist country had a diametrical impact on Sanja Jeraj: women are (supposedly) emancipated and the political system is fixed. Migration to Germany opened up new perspectives for her: fixed gender roles and free elections. With her degree in engineering, Sanja stepped into a male domain, but realized that gender-related disadvantages in professional life are the order of the day. Further life experiences in the family area have also clearly shown Sanja that her impression of emancipated women is an illusion. 
Sanja would like to contribute to making women’s situation better worldwide, regardless of age, skin color, origin, sexual orientation and physical/mental/cognitive ability. She sees equality with men as the first goal. A long-term goal is to make the whole world a little bit better.

ILO (International Labour Organization)

Dr. Antonia Lavine - main representative

Dr. Uzma Gul - alternate

WHO/WHA (World Health Organization / World Health Assembly)

Ursula Nakamura

Ursula Nakamura-Stoecklin is a registered nurse and has received further education in health and administration. She has long experience in specialized health care. She was a general director of a residential home for the elderly.
She is advocating for human rights and was Co-President of the Swiss Association for Women’s Rights ADF-SVF Suisse. She is member of the IAW Commission on Health.

Vienna UNOV (Office at Vienna)

Rosy Weiss - main representative

Rosy Weiss is a French interpreter by education and a retired official in Austria’s Ministries for Labour, Social Affairs, Consumer Protection as well as Environment, Youth and Family, where she was responsible for international affairs. Ms. Weiss served as IAW President from 2004 to 2010 and as chairperson of the Vienna NGO Committee on the Status of Women from 2006 to 2009. She was involved in the drafting of reports of Austrian NGOs to CEDAW and the Universal Periodic Review. During Austria’s EU Presidencies she served as liaison between governments and NGOs during the negotiations at the Commission on the Status of Women in 2006 and as chair of the Regional Preparatory Conference (The Hague Forum) for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD+5). She is Member of the IAW Commission on Peace.

Dr. Antonia Lavine - alternate

UNIDO (Industrial Development Organization)

Erica van Engel

Erica van Engel is the founder of Belief in Business, a boutique agency that helps female executives and entrepreneurs to build a conscious (personal) brand while growing their social impact, income, and influence. Erica is a champion for female social entrepreneurs and she loves to discuss how they are making a powerful contribution to sustainable development. She’s an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in general and female leadership in particular.  She encourages women to strive for leading positions because society will only thrive to the fullest when women have a seat at the table where decisions and policies are made. To empower other women as conscious leaders, she draws on her extensive entrepreneurial and leadership background. Erica was a board member of the Chamber of Commerce in her region for 10 years. She holds several supervisory and advisory board positions. 

Nairobi UN Habitat

Miranda Tunica Ruzario


Monique Bouaziz

French Vice President of Association des femmes de l’Europe Méridionale, member of the French Coordination of the European Women’s Lobby and ‘Dialogue between Cultures’ among other Committees.

Danielle Levy

Danielle Levy is a teacher by education and has served as the translator for IAW of documents from English into French for the past two triennia.

Renée Gérard

Renée Gérard is a French citizen who worked for the United Nations on long-term assignments in different countries of Africa and Asia and also on short consultancies for UNFPA and the World Bank in Rwanda Congo. Having been granted a Fulbright scholarship she was able to study at Columbia University and spent three years in New York. Life shaped her as a citizen of the world. As a member of multidisciplinary teams (dominantly male), she became a specialist in education and community development. Her advocacy for gender-sensitive measures called attention to the need to develop specific programmes for women in development. Upon retirement she got involved as an activist  in different women’s associations : in the French association where she was the coordinator for international relations, in the French Coordination for the European Women’s Lobby, in the European Women’s Lobby where she was an administrator and cooperated closely with IAW branch in France  until she finally joined IAW as a member. In recognition of her achievements  for women’s rights the French Government decorated her with Légion d’honneur and the University Women of Europe gave her the Jans Gremmée Award. She is also a defender of environment, adept at  sustainable development and belongs to Platform launched by the French  Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Women’s associations to advise on gender and climate change


FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization)

Dr. Valeria Mangani - main representative

Valeria Mangani is an Italian best-selling author in Nutrition and Women’s Consciousness sectors. She published 10 books for the “Nature&Health” series, by Tecniche Nuove editor in Milan. She also taught the “Quality of Life” master class for postgraduate students in Occupational Medicine at La Sapienza University of Rome. She founded and directs  INNOV8 IN ITALY FUND, an incubator fostering Sustainable Fashion with innovation technologies such as block chain, luxury up-cycling, crispr and brand digitalization; with the mission to create a more sustainable planet, hence disrupting the old polluting systems for the sake of human well-being.

Delfina Panfili - alternate

Bangkok ESCAP

Charmaine Hidayatullah

Charmaine Hidayatullah was a banker by profession and is a zealous social worker, she has done master’s in law and have been a practicing lawyer for even number of years. Additionally, she has served two terms as a member of National Commission on the Status of Women. She also has an honor of being the Honorary Consul of Monaco since 2004. At present Ms. Charmaine is working as President of APWA (All Pakistan Women’s Association), her association with APWA has been over 30 years, and she has been a mission driven leader for the socio-economic development of women, she has also worked as an advocate for the destitute women by handling indigent cases on humanitarian basis. 

Manju Kak