The core work of Women in Cities International is performed by a small staff based in Montréal, Canada. The staff is supported by a body of enthusiastic and knowledgeable interns.
As Executive Director of Women in Cities International (WICI), Kathryn oversees the organisations’ functions and leads the development, management and coordination of WICI’s programmes, projects and research. She has a successful history of developing and managing programmes in Canada and internationally and has effectively worked to broaden the understanding of women’s safety by bringing an intersectional approach to her work and by collaborating with different groups of women and girls to explore new related issues (accessibility, essential services, adolescence, etc.). Kathryn has led the development of new and innovative tools for capturing data about women’s and girls’ safety experiences in urban environments and has led training workshops in several countries. She has extensive experience in working with diverse populations in the global North and South including adolescent girls, women with disabilities, indigenous women, elderly women, women living in informal settlements, etc. She has contributed to the development of groundbreaking research reports, including the production of the reports Adolescent Girls’ Views on Safety in Cities (2013) and Gender and Essential Services in Low-Income Communities (2011). She was a co-organizer of the Third International Conference on Women’s Safety. Before joining WICI, Kathryn worked for ICPC on issues of women’s safety, youth at risk and urban safety.
Jennifer Robert-Colomby, Senior Analyst and Project Officer
As Senior Analyst at WICI, Jennifer supports the monitoring and evaluation of community security projects from a gender perspective. Jennifer independently conducts thorough research and literature review, data compilation and analysis on violence against women. Jennifer wrote and presented a report for UN-Habitat’s “Safer Cities” program and case study of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). She maintains consistent communication as liaison between stakeholders, partners and other UN agencies. Jennifer is a graduate of University of Montreal with Masters’ degrees in International Compared Politics and International Relations. She has applied experience in research and analysis of international development, with particular interest in gender equality issues, as well as Latin American politics.
Interns and Volunteers
Arianne got involved at WICI to promote female inclusion and participation in cities, working towards better communities. Arianne studies sociology and women’s studies at McGill. Dina and Arianne are currently working on developing and implementing an awareness campaign called “Right to Campus” on McGill’s downtown campus. The goal is to promote inclusion and safety through creating a more considerate and accommodating environment based in education.”
Dina Al Shawwa
Hi! My name is Dina Al Shawwa and Im a Civil Engineering graduate with a Women’s Studies minor. I got involved at WICI because I thought it was a great opportunity for me to learn more about the ways that civil engineering and feminist studies overlap. I’ve gotten the opportunity to do that by working on projects as a research intern. I’m also working on the development of the Right to Campus Campaign. If you’d like to learn more about Right to Campus visit our website: righttocampus.com.
Lucía joined WICI to help to establish strategic partnerships, and conducting projects with high social impact locally, nationally and internationally. She has a graduate degree in International Relations from the Tec de Monterrey and a Masters on Governance and Public Policy. Lucía has held several positions within the government, international organizations, NGOs and private sector. She is specialized in project management with regards to environment studies and human rights protection and guarantee, with a special focus on gender mainstreaming, since she worked for the United Nations Organization, the Women National Institute in Mexico and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources as a public servant. Lucía has designed and implemented many important initiatives pertaining to indigenous peoples and local communities, mainly with women, on sustainability and empowerment, and helped them bring their unique concerns to the CBD COP-13 held in Cancún, last December 2016.
Hannah volunteers in communications for WICI. She updates the website, writes and sends out the newsletter, and posts on WICI’s social media. Hannah, working with Bethy, co-created, produces, and hosts a podcast for WICI, launched with International Anti Street Harassment Week 2017. Hannah curates and posts content about the projects WICI is currently working on and shares information, articles, and perspectives that are in line with WICI’s mission. Hannah is a fourth year student at McGill University majoring in History and completing a double minor in World Cinemas and Gender, Sexuality, Feminist, and Social Justice studies. Hannah takes a particular interest in media history and the history of feminist movements.
Karlene is a recent graduate of McGill University with a degree in Political Science and Urban Studies. Her areas of research have focused on East Asian foreign policy and urban development through a queer theory lens. She will be pursuing her Master’s degree in Urban Development Planning at the Bartlett School at University College London.
Yala is an urban planning graduate of University of Montreal and now pursuing a Master’s in Civil Engineering. Yala is very interested in informal settlements, and how minorities and disadvantaged groups of people can contribute to the sustainable development of cities. Yala is very passionate about exploring new cities and cultures, specially to get out of their comfort zone.
Mélissa is currently pursuing a PhD in urban studies at INRS. She has a background in urban planning and international development. Her research interests include gender, public spaces, policy transfer and urban planning in the Global South.
Bethy is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Communications Studies with a minor in Film Studies at Concordia University. In her studies as well as her personal life she is passionate about discussing issues of gender equality, and takes a particular interest in efforts to promote intersectionality in the media. As a social media volunteer, she contributes to the communications of WICI and the Right to Campus campaign. Bethy and Hannah partnered to produce and host small talks & city blocks, WICI’s first podcast production.
As a research intern, Miranda will be working with Arianne and Dina on the Right to Campus campaign. Miranda is motivated to expand her understanding of gender and equity dynamics in public spaces, as a student of the Master’s of Urban Planning Degree at McGill University. She has an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Ottawa, and has worked in international development programming at Global Affairs Canada. Miranda aims to integrate her knowledge of global institutions and economic phenomena, with participatory approaches to supporting equitable urban development. In her free time, Miranda is an advanced kickboxer, which fuels her passion for women’s equality in sport.
Maxine has just completed her undergraduate degree at McGill University where she majored in Middle Eastern Studies and English Literature. During her degree she went to study Arabic in Palestine and focused a lot of her research on the role of architecture in preserving the Israeli occupation. She started working with Women in Cities as a researcher on the Right to Campus project and has now stayed on as the Volunteer Coordinator for the WICI team. She also works with Bethy and Hannah to produce and host small talks & city blocks, WICI’s first podcast production.
Nancy graduated from McGill University with a double major in Political Science and International Development. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Political Science with a collaboration in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto. Her research interests focus mainly on the ways in which gender inequality manifests itself in our every day lives, and she is interested in exploring the ways in which urban planning can reduce and remedy issues of unequal access to public space. She is currently volunteering as a research assistant with WICI where she specifically assists with media communications and the development of WICI’s blog.