Ending Gender-Based Violence

Date(s) - 04/06/18
11:45 am - 1:30 pm

Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Hosted by
Chicago Council


Ending Gender-Based Violence

Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Lina Khalifeh, Founder of SheFighter, Vital Voices Fellow; Samar Minallah Khan, Founder and Director, Ethnomedia; Alyse Nelson, President and CEO, Vital Voices . Moderated by Niamh King, Vice President, Programs and Strategic Content, Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

At least one in three women worldwide will experience some form of violence during their lifetime, according to the World Health Organization. The toll of gender-based violence has long been hidden from society, as victims suffer alone out of stigma. Yet, courageous women across the globe are breaking this code of silence. From self-defense classes in Jordan to using film to educate and change culturally harmful practices in Pakistan, women-led initiatives are empowering victims to stand up, speak out, and fight back. Working outside of the media spotlight, and confronting powerful cultural taboos, their task is monumental, but these activists and entrepreneurs are the vanguard of a global movement to call #timesup on the scourge of gender-based violence.


Lina Khalifeh

Founder of SheFighter, Vital Voices Fellow

Lina Khalifeh is the founder of SheFighter and is proud to be a troublemaker. She opened the first and only women’s self-defense studio in the Middle East. That was six years ago in Amman. Since then she’s tripled the size of her studio to meet growing demand. SheFighter has reached over 15,000 women globally. They range from age four to 75. Many are Syrian refugees or migrant workers. Others are housewives, teenagers or survivors of sexual assault. They all learn Khalifeh’s mix of self-defense, taekwondo and kickboxing.


Niamh King


Niamh King

Vice President, Programs and Strategic Content, Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Niamh King is the vice president for programs and strategic content at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, where she has worked since March 2007. Under her direction, the Council on Global Affairs’ programs team develops over 200 events annually, and includes the signature annual events the Chicago Forum on Global Cities, the Global Health and Development Symposium, and the Global Food Security Symposium. Prior to joining the Council on Global Affairs, she held positions with Intel, the European Commission, FÁS, and the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. She is a member of the board of directors of The America Ireland Fund Chicago Regional Advisory Board, the Women’s Board of the University of Chicago, the Chicago Project on Security & Threats, and the Japan America Society of Chicago.  King earned a BA in international relations and history from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her MA in development studies from the Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University in The Hague, Netherlands.