Angela Lytle – Executive Director
Angela Lytle is a women’s human rights defender and educator with extensive experience teaching, facilitating workshops and capacity building programs in international settings. Involved in the WHRI since its inception in 2004, Angela has been Executive Director since 2009. Under her leadership, the WHRI expanded to offer international programs, online learning and consultancy, new partnerships, and has enhanced WHRI’s impact in the areas of advocacy and strategic knowledge mobilization. Angela has direct experience with the UN human rights system, having served as a resource person with IWRAW-APs “Global to Local” program for NGO representatives at the CEDAW Committee and working extensively with the UN Working Group on discrimination against women. Angela lived in South Korea where she engaged in educational and activist work with the Korean Women’s Associations United, and organizations supporting survivors of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery. A yoga practitioner and educator focussing on survivors of trauma and women’s wellness, she also engages in research and practice in the area of women’s human rights and Embodied Learning.
Anya Victoria Delgado – Latin America Regional Program Director
Anya Victoria Delgado holds a Law degree from Universidad Panamericana in Mexico, and an LL.M. degree from the University of Notre Dame in the United States. She was Senior Protection Associate at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Project Assistant at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), both in Mexico City. She has been a fellow for the Rapporteurship on the Rights of Women of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights; lead researcher in the Latin American and Caribbean region for the Due Diligence Project and Coordinator of a project to develop a model to eliminate gender violence in indigenous communities, sponsored by the UN Trust Fund to Eliminate Violence against Women. She founded L´um Creadoras to produce the documentary “Suelo Mirar al Cielo” (Borderless Sky). Anya is also an alumni of VVLead Program sponsored by Vital Voices and the Women in Public Service program. Currently Anya is also working as consultant with the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL).
Karmen Ramírez Boscán – Indigenous Rights Program Director
Karmen Ramírez Boscán is a Wayuu indigenous woman from Colombia. She started her career in graphic design. She has worked as an activist and human rights defender in her home region affected by mining activities, with a particular interest in indigenous women’s rights. She founded the indigenous women’s organization Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu in Colombia, which spearheaded the first CEDAW Shadow Report focussed on indigenous women in Colombia. Currently living in Switzerland for safety reasons, she co-founded Lucify.ch to empower migrant women as well as she has worked as a consultant for the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations -institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva. In 2007 she published “Desde el Desierto” a book that denounces the violence of the war in Wayuu territory as well as various articles related with the impacts of mining in biodiversity. In 2013, she was honored by the Global Fund for Women for her work with indigenous women around the world. She is alumna of the Women Human Rights Institute, and initiated the collaborative “CEDAW Indigena” trainings on CEDAW for Indigenous Women. In 2017, her organization Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu was awarded with the National Human Rights Defense Award.
Isabel Dávila – Communications Officer & Program Assistant
Isabel Dávila is from Ecuador, where she attended law school for three years and worked as a paralegal, and now studies law at York University in Toronto. She has worked on cultivating a culture of non-violence, sensitization and environmental practices with the “Escuela de Líderes” since the age of 14. In 2015 she attended the Women’s Human Rights Education Institute for the WHRI Intensive Program. She participated as a researcher and translator with the WHRI research project on “good practices” for the UNWGDAW. She is now pursuing her law degree at York University.
Juliana Coughlin – Communications Officer & Program Assistant
Juliana first started working with the WHRI when interning shortly after returning from working in Nepal and finishing her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Communication. Since then, Juliana has worked in different positions in Canada and abroad often focused in some capacity around human rights. Juliana is currently working to complete her MA in Peace and Conflict studies and is passionate about social change at all levels in society.
Heather Evans – Research & Development
Heather is a queer feminist activist, educator and researcher. Her fascination with social justice movements began while doing research in Argentina on the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo for her undergraduate thesis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She then became involved as an activist and educator with organizations supporting survivors of the Japanese military’s “comfort women” system during her 9 years in South Korea. After finishing her Master’s thesis, which involved critical research on human trafficking discourses and policies in Nepal, she went on to work as the education director for a local human rights organization in Vancouver and as a researcher on several projects through the International Women’s Rights Project. She is now co-coordinator of the global study on “good practices” in eliminating discrimination and empowering women for the WHRI’s contribution to the UN Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and practice, and is a PhD student in Gender, Feminist & Women’s Studies at York University.
Anna Arutshyan is a women’s human rights defender and activist. She has Master’s Degree in Social Science and Area Studies and has expertise in human rights, feminism and peace building. In 2001 she founded a civil society organisation ”Society Without Violence” (SWV) working on women’s rights in Yerevan, Armenia which is one of the leading organisations in the women’s rights field in Caucasus region today. She was the initiator of the coalition ”To Stop Violence Against Women” Armenia, promoted the establishment of “Women In Black”, worldwide known women peace builders’ movement in Armenia and the South Caucasus region, author of Rapid Response Unit (RRU) concept on effective reaction and prevention of domestic violence in Armenia. Anna is co-founder of the Women’s Solidarity Fund, which supports women fighting against gender-based inequality, with a focus on the Caucasus region and Turkey. She is co-convener of the CEDAW for Change Institute at Oxford University.
Walleska Pareja Díaz
Walleska is a lawyer and international consultant on issues related to human rights and Legal Drafting. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in International Human Rights Law at Oxford University. In her country of origin, Ecuador, she worked in the public sector and was a university instructor. Since 2013, her work has focussed on supporting Latin American civil society organizations in their advocacy efforts. Since 2016, she continued this work before the United Nations Human Rights mechanisms in Geneva-Switzerland. Walleska is a WHRI alumna, now working as a WHRI researcher, mentor, and program contributor.
Maria Corina Muskus Toro
Maria Corina is a human rights lawyer and a feminist. Former Romulo Gallegos Fellow in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Currently, she is the Advocacy Officer at the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, an NGO based in Mexico City. She graduated from a Masters Program at American University Washington College of Law, focusing on gender and human rights. Maria Corina has extensive experience working on human rights and gender-related initiatives. She previously supported the mandate of the former U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture as a researcher and legal analyst, and served as a research assistant for American University Washington College of Law’s Impact Litigation Project, conducting research on labor and human right issues. As a lawyer in Venezuela, she assisted with cases before the U.N. Human Rights Committee and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Johanna Villegas is an Ecuadorian human rights lawyer who obtained her law degree summa cum laude from Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), a Master’s in International Relations from FLACSO – Ecuador, and an L.L.M summa cum laude in International Humans Rights Law from University of Notre Dame. She was Professor at the Law School of Universidad San Francisco de Quito as well as Coordinator of its Legal Aid Clinic where she represented cases on a variety of matters including women’s rights, children’s rights and human rights at national and international systems. Also, she has worked as a consultant and researcher for the UN Human Rights Office in Ecuador, for UNICEF, for UNDP, for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and civil society organizations such as CEDHU (Ecuador) and Fundación Construir (Bolivia).
Sujata Thapa Bhattarai
Sujata holds a Masters in Peace Studies with a specialization in Gender and Peacebuilding, from the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica. She has directed and led initiatives on non-violence, peace-building, women and youth empowerment, and post conflict reconstruction projects in South Asia for more than ten years as an active member of womenwagingpeace, and the South Asian Gender Activist Network (SANGAT). She worked as a peacebuilding specialist at Search for Common Ground, supporting partnerships during Nepal’s peace process, and on reintegration of child soldiers in the post-conflict period. Currently she is pursuing her PhD in Planning at the University of Toronto, with a research focus on safe mobility and transportation for women’s empowerment in cities of the Global South. She has organized WHRI activities in Nepal and abroad.