About WAVE

WAVE’s mission is to enable all women and their children to live free from violence, particularly through strengthening and sustaining a European network of women’s specialized support and prevention services, experts and survivors; to share expertise and experience to prevent, challenge, address and ultimately end male violence against women and their children, through an intersectional feminist approach.

Find out more about WAVE’s structure on this page:

WAVE Members

The WAVE Network consists of 160 member organisations in 46 European countries (December 2021).

Click on a country to learn more about our members.

Advisory Board

The WAVE Advisory Board supports the WAVE Board in the development, implementation and evaluation of policies and activities, in order to intensify the coordination and planning for the WAVE Network, and to ensure representation from all regions. It consists of one delegate and one co-delegate (substitute) from each country. The Advisory Board further consists of academic and thematic experts nominated by the board for a certain period of time, and are international experts. During bi-annual network meetings the WAVE Advisory Board enables the WAVE Office to work closely with its members.

Board Members

The WAVE Board is comprised of eight members from different countries and is elected by the General Assembly. WAVE’s Board members are responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of the organisation.

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Marcella Pirrone

President

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Marcella Pirrone is a feminist lawyer who has worked for over thirty years in Italy and at the international level to promote and advocate for the rights of women, specifically women victims of violence. She works as a family and criminal lawyer, public service commissioner for sexual harassment and discrimination and formerly held roles including co-founder and President of a women’s shelter, co-founder of D.i.Re (the Italian umbrella association for autonomous women’s shelters) and member of its board, and university law professor.At the international level, she has participated in several projects, including an active role in WAVE representing Italy for over 20 years and most recently as a member of its Advisory Board. In collaboration with Elena Biaggioni, and on behalf of D.i.Re and several other Italian women’s NGOs, she is coordinating the preparation of the shadow report outlining Italy’s response to Istanbul Convention.

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Susana Pavlou

Vice-President

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Susana started her career at the Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (MIGS) in 2005 and has served as Director of the Institute since 2008. In this capacity, she has coordinated and implemented transnational projects on violence against women including domestic violence, sexual violence and rape, female genital mutilation, and gender-based violence among adolescents.

Susana has also served as an expert on violence against women for European networks and organisations including the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), and the Council of Europe. She served as an expert in the EWL Observatory on Violence against women for six years and served on the Advisory Board of the WAVE Network. As a senior researcher for the European Institute for Gender Equality, she has worked specifically on administrative data collection on violence against women, gender-based violence among refugee women and, most recently, on risk assessment by police on intimate partner violence.

In Cyprus, Susana is currently President of the Advisory Committee for the Prevention and Combating of Violence in the Family, a coordinating body for the implementation of the law on domestic violence and to promote multi-agency cooperation. In her capacity as expert on violence against women and domestic violence, she has worked closely with the Cyprus Ministry of Justice on mapping the legislative framework of Cyprus and its compliance with the standards of the Council of Europe Convention on Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, as well as in preparing a study on models and tools on risk assessment and risk management of intimate partner violence.

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Baljit Banga

Board member

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Baljit served as director of London Black Women’s Project (LBWP) from 2007 to 2019. She became the Executive Director at Imkaan in May 2019. In 2019, she also joined the board at WAVE. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from York University and a Masters in Planning and Policy from Heriot Watt now located in the University of Edinburgh. Baljit’s professional life has been involved in and dedicated to policy research and practice specifically gender policy, women’s human rights, and how official state policy can impact upon women’s equal representation, access to resources and opportunity and citizenship rights. She is dedicated to working as an intersectional black feminist. Her work has involved strategic development and sustainability of black and minoritised women’s organisations. Areas of interest focus on intersectionality and black feminism in reimagining public administration and policy-making away from neo-liberal framing and towards a transformative social justice approach.   She is currently completing her Doctorate at the University of Bath at the Institute of Policy Research.

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Selime Büyükgöze

Board member

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Selime Büyükgöze has been a volunteer at Mor Çatı Women’s Shelter Foundation since 2011, which is a feminist organization working in the field of violence against women. She is mostly involved in communication activities, writing statements and monitoring reports for national and international bodies on violence against women in Turkey. She has also been involved in various feminist campaigns and platforms in Turkey and the organization of the annual feminist march. She is one of the members of feminist zine Çatlak Zemin. She holds a PhD in communications and works as a university lecturer.

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Dušana Karlovská

Board member

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is a feminist activist and practicing psychologist. Over the past 17 years, she has been directly supporting women and their children, developing and carrying out trainings, campaigns and advocacy activities on violence against women. She is Program Director of Fenestra – a grassroots feminist organization working with women – survivors of violence, one of the first in Slovakia. She represents the organization in dialogue with different authorities, NGOs and with the Slovak government. She has initiated the establishment of multi-agency cooperation in Kosice, as well as founding of an informal network of women’s NGOs in Slovakia.
She is the author of several publications and a member of the Gender Equality Committee, an advisory body under the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family in Slovakia, as well as of the Government Council for Crime Prevention. At the international level, she has participated in many international projects. She has been involved in WAVE network since 2005. She has been an Advisory Board member representing Slovakia in the recent years.

She strongly believes that feminist women´s groups, organizations and networks play a key role in changing women and girls´ lives.

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Veronica Teleuca

Board member

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Currently, Veronica is the coordinator of the National Coalition ”Life without Violence” (Republic of Moldova) comprising of 22 civil society and service provider organizations responsible for running the country-wide advocacy platform on gender-based violence (since 2015). The Coalition is the only national network specialized on GBV in the Republic of Moldova for advocacy initiatives and working on building and advancing the women’s rights movement. Veronica holds a Masters degree in clinic psychology, and her thesis was titled “Gender based violence and particularities of different approaches. Feministic therapeutic approach.”

Veronica is also a lawyer, women’s human rights defender and justice sector expert, with relevant experience and understanding of working with women’s organizations, the format of donor assistance in the GBV area and its impact on women, activists and organizations. She also has extensive experience on working with different public actors, including the opposition, as well as justice sector reforms, development and implementation of relevant policy instruments. Veronica also has experience in providing technical assistance under UN agencies, the Council of Europe, the EU, and other international organization’s assignments in Moldova, Ukraine, Armenia, Kirghizstan and Turkmenistan. Furthermore, Veronica is a holder of the Diploma of Honor of the International Women Rights Training Institute (Bulgaria) and a participant of the International Advanced Training Programme on Gender-Based Violence (Sweden).

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Branislava Marvánová Vargová

Board member

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Is head of the Information and counselling centre ROSA that provides support and counselling for women who experienced violence in their close relationships. ROSA – Centre for women has been established 25 years ago as one of the first women’s NGOs in this field in the Czech Republic. She is psychologist, psychotherapist, working with women, who experienced violence, for more that 18 years. Since 2016 she has been chairwoman of the Government Committee for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Violence against Women, which prepares national Action Plan to Prevent Domestic and Gender-Based Violence and monitors its implementation. By combining her activities in direct work with women, victims of violence and at policy-making level, she seeks to promote that the voices and needs of women are always at the heart of all planned and implemented measures on individual as well as structural level. She has been actively engaged with WAVE since 2004, participated in several WAVE projects (Bridging Gaps, Protect I, Protect II) and have been a trainer at the WAVE training institute. She is author of several publications and actively involved in international exchange and cooperation.

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Irene Zeilinger

Board member

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Irene Zeilinger is a sociologist and feminist self-defence trainer with more than 25 years of experience in the field under her belt. She is the founder, former executive director and current international affairs officer at Garance ASBL, a Belgian feminist NGO combating gender-based violence by the means of primary prevention. Irene has taught thousands of women, girls and professionals across Europe on how to prevent violence and protect themselves from it. She is also at the forefront of feminist advocacy against violence in Belgium, has participated in the writing of the shadow report on Belgium’s failure to apply the Istanbul Convention and sits on the advisory board overseeing the implementation of the Belgian francophone action plan to combat violence against women.

At WAVE, Irene represented Belgium in the Advisory Board. She has participated in the creation of the Handbook “How Gender Neutral Policy and Practice is Dismantling Women’s Specialist Support Services and Ways to Counteract It” and is the author of “Let’s Shut Down Antifeminism: The Verbal Self-Defence Guide for Feminists.

WAVE Office

Stephanie Futter-Orel

Executive Manager

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Stephanie Futter-Orel is passionate about fighting Violence Against Women and has a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Vienna as well as a Master’s degree in Development Management from the London School of Economics. Austrian by birth, she has lived in London for the past 9 years and worked for over 7 years in women’s specialist organisations dedicated to fighting Violence Against women (frontline roles as well as Senior Management).She was responsible for a wide range of direct support services to women who experienced domestic and/or sexual abuse (DA/SA) including e.g. advice and advocacy, shelters, counselling services, representation of survivors in the criminal justice system, helplines, group programmes, awareness raising about DA/SA in the health care sector, prevention work with young people and specialist support services for women with complex needs, trafficked women and those from minority backgrounds. She has also volunteered for several community projects dedicated to empowering women and young people around the world amongst others in Brazil, India, Bolivia, Portugal, etc. Stephanie joined the WAVE Office in June 2017.

Anca Ciupa

Team Leader

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Anca Ciupa has a Bachelor’s Degree in Law at the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania and a Master’s Degree in European and National Business Law also obtained in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Babes-Bolyai University. Additionally, Anca has obtained a postgraduate diploma in International Relations at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna in June 2014. Before working at WAVE, Anca was a co-author on a research project, “Analysis of the draft law to permit the Rosia Montana mining proposal”, where she was in charge with reviewing environmental legislation, decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and illustrating opinions in the report. Anca is a strong advocate of human rights and passionate about bringing her own contribution in this environment.

Léa Dudouet

Office Administrator & Project Assistant

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Léa Dudouet completed her MPhil in the Reproductive Sociology Research Group at the University of Cambridge. Her thesis focused on the use and experiences fertility-related apps which can be used to avoid pregnancy through qualitative interviews with women based in the UK, in order to understand the role of technology in contraceptive decision-making. Prior to this Léa completed her BSc in Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2018, graduating with First Class Honors. Her studies were geared towards intersecting aspects of sociology, focusing on gender, race and sexuality. She was also the treasurer of the Intersectional Feminist Society for two years and acted as a Consent Champion in her final year where she helped facilitate consent and active by-stander workshops and campaigned to introduce mandatory consent training for all incoming students.

Aside from academia, Léa has been involved with different feminist groups and non-profit organisations both in London as well as in Berlin. In 2018, she interned on a voluntary basis at Frauenkreise, a Berlin-based government-funded feminist project committed to creating a space for intercultural feminist work from an intersectional and antiracist standpoint. Léa has additionally worked at the Berghof Foundation, an independent, non-profit organisation that supports efforts to prevent political and social violence worldwide, and to achieve sustainable peace through conflict transformation.

Maria Knaub

Grant Development & Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator

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Maria Knaub has a Bachelor’s Degree in East Asian Studies and is currently finishing her Master’s in Development Studies at the University of Vienna. She is passionate about feminism, gender equality and social justice. Previously, she has worked in a variety of positions and industries, spanning from algorithm research to editorial offices. She started as the interim Grant Development and Advisory Board Coordinator at the WAVE Network and is now the Grant Development & Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator. During her work at WAVE, she is looking forward to putting her prior experiences into social use for ending gender-based violence.

Beverly Mtui

Communications Coordinator

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Beverly Mtui has a Bachelor’s Degree in Transcultural Communication (German, English & French) and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Development Studies at the University of Vienna. In 2018, she interned with one of our Members “Work With Perpetrators European Network – WWP EN” for half a year and in 2019, she was an intern at Austrian WAVE Member AÖF. From 2018-2020, she volunteered for FOOTPRINT, a NGO based in Vienna which provides free social and legal advice as well as language courses to survivors of violence and/or human trafficking. She supported them as the head of the fundraising team and as board member (treasurer) in her last year with the NGO. Besides being passionate about intersectional feminism and gender equality, she also believes in social equality. In March 2019, she co-founded a local radio programme highlighting Austro-African matters with the aim to empower BIPOC communities in Austria. Until February 2021, she was the Youth Ambassador Coordinator and worked closely with the WAVE Youth Ambassadors in developing as well as implementing actions to highlight the importance of youth inclusion in promoting non-violence and in feminist movements. She is currently the Communications Coordinator and aims to actively contribute to ensuring and strengthening the visibility and presence of the network and its projects, particularly in the digital sphere.

Elena Floriani

Project & Research Coordinator

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Elena Floriani holds a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural mediation and a Master’s degree in Comparative international relations. After study and work experiences in Italy, France, Germany, Tanzania and Austria, she joined the WAVE Office as Communication and Research Officer in May 2019. In the last years, Elena made of her interest in feminism and women’s rights her area of research and work. Following an experience in the field of development cooperation in Tanzania, she decided to focus her Master’s thesis on the legal protection of women’s rights in Africa, conducting a research on the recent developments of the African Union’s human rights system.
After her graduation, Elena interned at WAVE for three months, a great opportunity to get familiar with the fight against VAW from a European perspective. Later on, she started working for one of WAVE’s members, the Domestic violence intervention center of Vienna, in the public affairs office. Elena is now collaborating with the WAVE team on data collection, publication of country reports and communication strategies for WAVE’s projects.

Renate Tomenendal

Accountant

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After her traineeship in the retail trade and several years in this area as a manager, Renate Tomenendal completed a part time training course to become a proofed and graduated balance accountant and personnel accountant. After completing this training, she switched to work as an accountant. After the birth of her son and her maternity leave, Renate resumed her employment in 2014 at WAVE, where she has now been working in the non-profit sector for 7 years. Currently, she is working for the non-profit women’s rights associations AÖF and WAVE. In her very demanding job, she is responsible for accounting, personnel administration, balance sheets, budgeting and reporting. As such, her working day is not only very varied but also entertaining and fulfilling. An important balance to this is her much loved sideline as a highly and fully qualified dance instructor in Vienna and Lower Austria.

Eliana Jimeno

Advocacy & Campaign Coordinator

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Eliana Jimeno received a master’s degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University in Washington D.C., and earned a postgraduate diploma in Public Policy, and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, both in Colombia, her home country. In her 14 years of professional experience, Eliana has worked with community-based organisations, national governments and international NGOs.

Eliana is now the Advocacy & Campaign Coordinator at WAVE. She focuses on grassroots campaigning and advocacy related to policies that impact women rights and ending gender-based violence. Eliana believes in the right of every woman and girl to live a life free from fear and violence. To this end, she holds an intersectional, critical approach, which highlights the need to emancipate from and eliminate the structures that perpetuate harm. She previously advocated for victims of the Colombian conflict on locally led symbolic reparations; and conflict transformation approaches to dealing with violent extremism. In her work, Eliana centres the collective weaving of feminist solidarity, and the political power of everyday actions.

Antoniya Kisheva

Event Coordinator

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Antoniya Kisheva comes from Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, and has her educational background in International Communication and Social Anthropology. She has specialised in marketing and communication in the NGO sector, as well as in event management. In the past 15 years, she has worked and studied in the USA, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany and Sweden, where she has been involved in the organisation of several festivals and volunteered at many more. Since 2012 she has been living in Vienna, Austria, where she gathered frontline experience supporting women affected by human trafficking. In June 2021, she joined WAVE as an Event Coordinator.

Branislava Arađan

Youth Ambassdor Coordinator

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Branislava Arađan has a BA in Law Studies, and graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Novi Sad, Serbia. She started her path as a human rights activist at the age of 16, which has lead her to more than ten years of experience within different NGOs. For the past six years, she gained various leadership skills in Junior Chamber International Serbia, working on projects devoted to achieving SDGs. She also runs her own NGO, UMNI Novi Sad, focused on youth rights and empowerment.  

The impact she exerted over time did not go unnoticed in the local community. That is why she became part of the working group for developing the local action plan for gender equality 2019/2020 for the City of Novi Sad. She gained experience in law writing as a participant in creating the law regarding the abuse of psychoactive substances. Branislava was engaged in the United Nations Association of Serbia project, Dialogue cafe Novi Sad, for the past two years, where she was tackling different fields of human rights as a moderator. Branislava is passionate about working with people, especially youth, through mentoring and implementing workshops and seminars. So far, she performed as an educator about human trafficking, domestic violence, digital safety, human rights in general and project management topics. In 2018 she won the title “Hero of the Day” for her volunteering activities and held motivational speeches for youth on several occasions.

Branislava believes that her strength is her empathy for others. She sees the area of women`s rights as one of the most challenging topics in modern society, to which she aims to contribute with her knowledge and professional experience.

India Stotesbury

Intern

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India Stotesbury recently completed her MA in International Relations at Leiden University, following the track ‘Global Conflict in the Modern Era.’ Her thesis focused on conflict-related sexual violence and the securitisation thereof, using the Yazidi genocide in Iraq as a case study. This led her to discover that she is passionate about learning more about and fighting against this type of violence, which brought her to WAVE in September 2021.

Alongside this, India volunteered at a women’s centre in The Hague, teaching Dutch to a class of women as part of an empowerment programme. After her internship, she hopes to pursue a career in similar feminist fashion.

Polina Lynova

Intern

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Polina Lynova recently received her BA from the LCC International University based in Lithuania. Her field of studies was International Relations and Development, and her diploma had a focus on Gender Mainstreaming development projects in India and Bangladesh. She also participated in an exchange program to the United States. Polina is particularly passionate about intersectional feminism, human rights, women-centered policymaking, political activism, ethical consumerism, postcolonialism, minority-rights advocacy, and peacebuilding.

In 2020, she gave a speech about political activism that was presented on a global TEDx platform. In 2021, she had a chance to work with a Palestine-based peacebuilding NGO called Wi’am, which helped to put her theoretical knowledge into practice. Polina has also started her media project called “Hear Her Out” with the focus of discussing the issues of sexism in post-soviet societies and beyond through retranslating the real stories of women who are recalling events related to gender-based discrimination.