Full Name: Khalisa SHAHVERDI
Program you represent: Community Connections Program (2007, Washington DC), International Fellow on Domestic Violence Law (2008, Buffalo, NY).
Work Place: Local Expert for the United Nations Population Fund.
Short Bio:Khalisa SHAHVERDI – a women/human rights and social justice activist in Azerbaijan. As a legal counsel/ trainer/expert she worked at local NGOs for more than 12 years. Basically she specialized on inter-family law, domestic violence, gender and human rights. She was Gender Assessment Consultant for UNDP Azerbaijan and Project Support Officer on Legislation and Policies for the United Nations Population Fund.
She prepared proposals on improvement of the Law “Prevention of Domestic Violence” and “Article 144-1 and other relevant articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan defining the structure of the crime of trafficking in human beings”. Furthermore she organized series of measurements on joining the Republic of Azerbaijan the Council of Europe Convention on “Action against Trafficking in Human Beings” (the Convention ratified: 23 June 2010).
She graduated from Riga Graduate School of Law, LLM in Public International Law and Human Rights with full scholarship of the Open Society Foundation/CSLA 2014-2015.
In 2011-2012, she was teaching a domestic violence and gender studies to third grade classes in Azerbaijan University.
In 2010, KhalisaShahverdi participated in elections as a candidate to the member of the MilliMajlis (parliament) of Republic of Azerbaijan. Despite she was participating in the election for the first time she was the 3rd among 7 candidates.
Why do you want to be a board member?
Being an AAA Board Member would give me a chance to strength and expand my social justice activist in place and to share experience with youth of today. On the other hand, my knowledge and experience will be use in improving young people, including girls, women’s right, particularly for promoting reproductive rights, sexuality and reproductive healthcare practicing in Baku and rural areas of Azerbaijan.
Moreover, I do not only have the experiences necessary in decision-making, but also fit in well with AAA’s vision and have the ability to work quickly and efficiently to keep activities up to task. Other candidates may have some impressive qualifications of their own, but none of them is going to fit in as effectively as I will do. In addition, my cultural background, wider network, ability to take on the responsibilities could be useful for AAA.
In additional, I am confident that my experience in the AAA as a Board Memberwould be extremely exciting, fun, and valuable for both my work and overall general development.
What community events have you already done?
I have provided legal services for victims of war, particularly landmine victims of Azerbaijan. Aside that I have managed rendering legal and psychology services for the victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.
Throughout my career I has been a strong voice for women empowerment in Azerbaijan, so I initiated some projects of my own and also actively participated in a lot of regional programs. To illustrate, I had a role in an establishment of Women Bar Association, Azerbaijan, which is an affiliate of same association in the USA. Through the association and expanded experience (from USA), I was able to develop a project related to women trafficking and domestic violence. The project that was financed by the European Commission for 2 years was able to assist 350 women on legal and psychology, but over 15,000 women were impacted by several activities within the action. Furthermore, I initiated to improvement of legislation and prepared proposals on the Law “Prevention of Domestic Violence” and “Article 144-1 and other relevant articles of Criminal Code of Azerbaijan defining the structure of the crime of trafficking in human beings”. Apart from that, I organized a series of measurements on joining the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Council of Europe Convention on “Action against Trafficking in Human Beings” (the Convention ratified).
The participation at the Exchange Visit organized by Oxfam GB & Afghan Civil Society Organizations for Peace on December 2013 in Kabul, Afghanistan helped me to have to create strong collaboration and network with civil society organizations that work with women rights NGOs in Afghanistan. As a result, I extend my support to Afghan girls and women education via different programs.
What kind of projects would you like AAA to implement with your support during the next 2 years?
Promotion of the reproductive rights and healthcare
Women’s social-economical empowerment
Women’s leadership skills development