Sophia Papastavrou is a Gender-Based Violence Consultant working with World Vision International MEER (the Middle East and Eastern Europe) and a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto’s Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Social Justice Education. She is currently doing her data collection in Cyprus for her dissertation on “Organizing for Peace: Women and Activism in Cyprus”. This research highlights the complex and multifaceted ways women have organized in a frozen conflict and on an island that has been divided for the past 40 years.
Indeed, Sophia’s study demonstrates the gendered nature of war and conflict by examining the way in which women confront war, the impact that war has on women due to their gender, and the diverse ways that women respond in reconciliation and peace processes. Her study brings the under-analyzed material on the Cyprus’ conflict to the surface of international interventions in post-war reconstruction and offers ways to rethink the dynamic and often messy ways that women’s empowerment and trauma occur.
Sophia has written two opinion pieces related to her research, including Where are the women in the peace process? and The discourse of denial on gender equality. Both op-eds were published by the Cyprus Mail, the island’s English language newspaper, in late 2013. She will also facilitate and present her research on a panel in April as part of the ongoing Where are the Women: Capturing the Gender Dividend in Cyprus for Peace and Beyond project.