Meet our research fellows

The fellowship programme supports regional women scholars’ research and writing that explores the experience, knowledge and strategies of our local partner organizations and puts them in the context of broader theories, methodologies and/or theology related to EWI’s strategic fields: women’s rights, peace and reconciliation, interfaith and cross-border cooperation. At the end of 2013, EWI awarded eight fellowships for the period of January to June, 2014. The fellows are tasked to do field research with at least one of EWI’s partners and produce a scientific article that will be published online. The fellowship programme is a one-time pilot project funded by the FLOW programme of the Dutch government.

Dr. Zilka Spahić-ŠiljakDr. Zilka Spahić-Šiljak

Download full article: “Women, Religion and Peace Leadership in Bosnia and Herzegovina”

is a research scholar and public intellectual addressing cutting edge issues involving human rights, politics, religion, education and peace-building with more than ten years’ experience in academic teaching and work in governmental and non-governmental sectors. She has also worked as human rights activist promoting women’s human rights, multireligious dialogue and reconciliation for two decades. Since 2012 Zilka has been a post-doctoral researcher at the Women’s Studies in Religion Program of Harvard University, with a particular interest in gender and peacebuilding. Previously, she worked in the Center for Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Studies at the University of Sarajevo where she taught courses on Religious and Gender Studies. She has published numerous articles in English and Bosnian, as author, editor and co-editor, such as: Contesting Female, Feminist and Muslim Identities – Post-socialist Contexts of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo (2012) and Women, Religion and Politics: The Impact of Religious Interpretations of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam on the Status of Women in Public Life and Politics (2010).

Aneta JovkovskaAneta Jovkovska

Download full article: “The contribution and the role of formal and informal education to the building of interreligious and interethnic tolerance among primary school students in the Republic of Macedonia”

(b. 1978) is a teaching assistant at the Orthodox Faculty of Theology in Skopje, Macedonia. In 2001 she graduated from the Faculty of Orthodox Theology “St. Clement of Ohrid” in Skopje. She defended her specialization in Educational Sciences in 2011 and in 2012, she successfully defended her master’s thesis in psychology. Currently she is working on a doctoral thesis: “Education, Spirituality and Value Orientations of Adolescents”. Aneta has written the following papers, a reports and an e-book: “Ethics Education for Religions – Teacher’s Pedagogical Competences and Necessary Qualities” (2013); “Women of faith mentioned in the scriptures” (2013); “Spiritual Education as a Pedagogical Phenomenon” (2012); “Inter-religious dialogue and cooperation in Macedonia” (2009); “The thirty year existence of the modern Orthodox Theological Faculty” (2007). She has also participated in many TV and radio programmes dealing with religious subjects.

Đermana ŠetaĐermana Šeta

Download full article: “Building bridging social capital at a local level: Examples from Central Bosnia”

holds an MA in Religious Studies from the Center for Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Studies, University of Sarajevo, and is currently a doctoral candidate in Sociology of Religion at the Faculty of Political Science at Sarajevo University. She is the Head of the Research Department at the Center for Research and Education “Nahla”, the Head of the Human Rights and Freedom of Faith Commission of the Islamic Community in B&H and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies, Sarajevo. She has (co)authored books, volumes and articles involving issues around religion, women, civil society and human rights. She is the author of Why the Headscarf: B&H Muslim women on their life and work with the headscarf (Zašto marama: B&H muslimanke o životu i radu pod maramom) 2011, CNS & CIPS.

Dijana SubotičkiDijana Subotički

Download full article: “Social activism of female civil organizations does (not) include religious dialogue”

(b. 1983, Kikinda, Serbia) is doing a PhD in gender studies at the ACIMSI Center for Gender Studies, University of Novi Sad, Serbia. She graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad, in 2007 with the topic “A discourse analysis of texts about elderly people in the daily newspaper Danas”. She finished her European Master’s studies at ACIMSI, University of Novi Sad. In 2011 she published her book The Accessibility of Information of Public Importance in Serbian and European Law (JP Official gazette, Cultural Center of Banat); in 2012 she published a piece “In Remembrance of Sinisa Jakonic” (a journalist) and “Life stories of female politicians of Vojvodina”; in 2013 she published “A Silent Majority. Life stories of women politicians.”

Julijana TešijaJulijana Tešija

Download full article: “Interfaith Dialogue is (not) Necessary for Peace The Four-Pillar Model of Dialogue”

(Skopje, R. Macedonia, 1969), married and mother of one, has lived and worked in Osijek, Croatia since 2005. She has her BA in Philosophy from the University of Saints Cyril & Methodius, Skopje (topic: Antropology), her MA in Theology from the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Osijek (topic: Christ and Nonviolence), and certificates in Conflict Resolution from the University of Oslo and Public Relations from the London School of PR. Her professional experience includes: lecturer at the Evangelical Theological Seminary, Osijek (since 2005); researcher at the Balkan Centre for Peace Studies, Skopje (1997-2000), the Peace Research Institute Oslo (1998), and the Forum Centre for Strategic Studies, Skopje (2005.); project leader at the Slagalica Foundation, Osijek (2013 to date), the Centre for Peace, Nonviolence and Human Rights, Osijek (2012); project evaluator at the British Council, Macedonia (2002), Friedrich Neumann Stiftung, Skopje (2003), the Women’s Association Izvor, Osijek (2009-2011), the Local Democracy Agency,  Osijek (2012); political party campaign manager for SDSM in the Macedonian 2004 Parliamentary Elections and LDP in the 2005 Local Elections. Her spheres of interests include: faith and identity, gender equality, Christ and nonviolence, civil activism, politics and PR. She is the author of various texts and the editor of a number of books.

Martina CekovićMartina Ceković

was born 28 April 1989 in Podgorica and is a student of specialised studies at the Faculty of Law in Podgorica. Since 2009, she has been an activist at the organization SOS Telephone for Women and Children, Victims of Violence in Podgorica. She is a member of the team for educating young women’s volunteer groups and assisted in preparing the manual The ABCs of Youth Nonviolence. She is also a facilitator in self-help groups for women who have experienced violence. During her involvement in the NGO sector she has participated in numerous educational training on the topics: advocacy and lobbying, human resource management in NGOs, effective writing for public policy documents, fundraising for NGOs, and managing projects with EU funding. Martina has participated in numerous seminars, conferences and workshops focussed on the protection of women’s rights. She has also had the opportunity to help implement numerous projects improving the position of women victims of violence and the realization of their rights.

Maida HasečićMaida Hasečić

was born 1982 in Sarajevo. During the war she lived with her family in Germany (1992-1998). After returning to Sarajevo she completed secondary school (gymnasium) and studied journalism and is currently working on her master’s degree in religious studies. She has mainly worked as a project coordinator at NGOs and foundations: the World University Service Austria, the Heinrich Boell Foundation, the Inter-Religious Institute in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a German youth foundation called Schueler Helfen Leben. Maida was engaged as a PR person and translator for the NGO ACIPS and the company Würth and is the co-founder and president of an NGO, the Academy for Religious Studies (MARS).

Besa IsmailiBesa Ismaili

holds an MA in English Literature. She works as an English Language instructor at Faculty of Islamic Studies and also lectures Modern English Literature at the University College Dardania. She is focused on issues of women and gender and has conducted several research studies on women in the Kosovo context. She has also been acting as an interpreter with international missions in Kosovo since 2003.

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