NEWW-Network of East-West Women
NEWW Fellows

The goal of the NEWW Fellowship Programs is to build the capacity of young women activists, and women's organizations throughout CEE/NIS, to advocate more effectively for women's rights.

NEWW has two fellowship programs, the Legal Fellowship Program and the Economic and Social Policy Fellowship Program.

In February 2003, NEWW will host 1 Legal Fellow from Lithuania and 2 Economic Fellows from Kosova and Serbia.

The next Fellow Alumni meeting will be held in Belgrade, Serbia, March 18th-20th.

Please click on a country to find out more about NEWW Fellows:

Czech Republic

Liudmila Mazur
Brest, Belarus-2000

Liuda is a lawyer and a member of the Belarusian Association of Women Lawyers. Liuda specializes in issues of domestic violence, women's legal rights and the informal labor sector. As a 2000 NEWW Legal Fellow, Liuda worked with WATCH (Women At The Court House) and the Battered Women's Justice Project ( in Minneapolis, MN where she conducted research on state responses to domestic violence. Liuda also helped prepare domestic violence training programs geared towards law enforcement officials in the former Soviet states.

Liuda's follow-on project, Domestic Violence Legal Education Project, focused on raising public awareness on domestic violence issues, conducting legal educational training sessions for over 30 women's NGOs in Belarus to increase their legal knowledge.

Following these trainings, Liuda published a legal manual entitled Domestic Violence in Belarus: the Judicial Response. This manual contains information about legal provisions relevant to domestic abuse cases in Belarus, analyzes the limitations of current Belarusian legislation, recommends changes in the judicial and law enforcement response to domestic violence, and outlines the obligations of Belarusian Government under international human rights law. To date, 2000 copies of this manual have been distributed throughout Belarus. A copy of this manual is available from NEWW.

Currently Liuda works with the Clean Clothes Campaign investigating the informal labor market and working conditions in Belarus.

Diana Kovatcheva
Sofia, Bulgaria-2000

Diana is lawyer from Sofia, Bulgaria and a PhD candidate in the field of human rights at the Bulgarian Academy of Science. As a 2000 NEWW Legal Fellow, Diana interned with Parliamentarians for Global Action where she worked with the Empowerment for Women Program to expand the Program's focus to Eastern Europe.

Diana's follow-on project, the Establishment of a Gender Caucus in the Bulgarian Parliament, succeeded in creating a national forum for the open discussion of gender issues, to increase the number of women in the Bulgarian Parliament and to provide Bulgarian women members of Parliament with the opportunity to raise the visibility of gender issues on the national agenda. This project was implemented in partnership with the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation and continues today.

Subsequent to her work with the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation, Diana was Advisor to the Minster of Justice Bulgaria's ratification of the Rome Statute implementing the International Criminal Court and issues relating to World Bank development. Currently, Diana is the Executive Director of Transparency International, Bulgaria, an organization that seeks to eliminate corruption worldwide. Diana works on projects focusing on the legal, political and social aspects of corruption and the interaction of these variables on the local, national and international levels.

Elka Krasteva
Varna, Bulgaria-2001

Elka is a lawyer at SOS-Families at Risk in Bulgaria where she focuses on domestic violence legal counseling. As a 2001 NEWW Legal Fellow, Elka worked at Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights in the Women's Human Rights Program where she conducted legal research and provided program support for a domestic violence in Romania project and a women's human rights project in Bulgaria. While in Minneapolis, Elka also volunteered with WATCH, an NGO that monitors criminal and civil legal court cases related to violence.

Elka's follow-on project, Domestic Violence and the Bulgarian Courts, combines research on existing legislation related to domestic violence, a court watch training program on domestic violence cases, and the development of new methods for systematizing data on domestic violence cases. The overall objective of Elka's project is to monitor and impact the ways in which domestic violence cases are addressed in court and to raise public awareness on domestic violence

Olivera Simic
Banjaluka, Bosnia-Herzegovina-2001

Olivera is a lawyer with the United Women Association in Bosnia-Herzegovina and specializes in trafficking and violence against women. As a 2001 NEWW Legal Fellow, Olivera worked at Human Rights Watch, Women's Rights Division where she conducted research for a report on trafficking in women in Bosnia-Herzegovina, provided legal research, and drafted an advocacy strategy paper for women's rights in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Olivera's follow-on project, Trafficking of Women in Bosnia-Herzegovina, aims to create a legal network of women lawyers from CEE/NIS to provide legal counseling on the issue of trafficking, to provide legal representation and advocacy for victims of trafficking, and to raise awareness on trafficking of women throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Lenka Simerska (Econ)
Prague, Czech Republic-2002

Lenka holds a M.A. in Political and Economic Sociology from Charles University in Prague. Lenka is also a founding member of the Prague Gender Studies Center, the first independent gender studies center in the Czech Republic, and a member of the Board of the KARAT Coalition. At the Gender Center, Lenka is a program manager on the International Networking Project. In addition to her work at the Gender Center, prior to her NEWW Fellowship Lenka was a researcher in the Department of Gender and Labor Market Research at the Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Sociology. Lenka's issue areas include women in the labor market, international financial institutions and policies of structural adjustment in CEE/NIS.

As a NEWW Economic and Social Policy Fellow, Lenka is working with the Economic and Social Justice Program of the Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) ( and is participating in a course in labor studies at Rutgers University.

Nino Bakakuri
Tbilisi, Georgia-2002

Nino is a 2002 NEWW Legal Fellow and comes to the Fellowship Program from the Georgian Young Lawyers Association. Nino's issue areas include trafficking in women, domestic violence and legal education. During her Fellowship, Nino is working with the International Human Rights Law Group (, Trafficking in Persons Project in Washington, D.C. Nino will also participate in the Georgetown University women's human rights course.

Mirlinda Kusari

Mirlinda will join the NEWW Economic and Social Policy Fellowship Program in 2003. Mirlinda holds a degree in Economics and Business Management from the University of Prishtina. Her main area of interest is women's entrepreneurship development and small business development. Mirlinda established the Women's Business Association in Gjakova, Kosova, and is currently the President of this Organization.

Saule Vidrinskaite
Vilnius, Lithuania-1997

Saule is a lawyer who graduated from the Vilnius University Law Faculty in 1994. As a NEWW Fellow, Saule interned with Human Rights Watch, Women's Rights Division in Washington, DC ( where she worked on human rights fact-finding and reporting, strategy development, and advocacy initiatives on various women's rights issues.

Saule's follow-on project's idea, a Girl's Rights Education Program, aimed at increasing the understanding of how girl's rights in Lithuania were being compromised and require additional public awareness, advocacy and legal protection. The objective of this project was to establish a legal analysis to reach a target group of young girls to promote their legal rights awareness, and to affect positive change toward their increased well-being as future women of Lithuania.

Currently, Saule is an advisor in the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman's Office. Saule also participates in the Open Society Institute EU Accession Monitoring Project, and teaches human rights at the Gender Studies Centre of Vilnius University

Evelina Bulotaite

Evelina will join the NEWW Legal Fellowship Program in 2003. Evelina is a lawyer from Lithuania with a focus on international law. Currently, Evelina works with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania as the Chief Specialist in the Division of Foreign Affairs and European Integration. Evelina is responsible for preparing, monitoring and implementing the Lithuanian EU Accession program on health issues. Evelina's areas of interest include research and advocacy for women's legal rights in the area of reproductive health.

Ekho Baasanjav
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia-2002

Ekho is a 2002 Legal Fellow, and is a program officer with the Lawyers Center Supporting Legal Reform and also volunteers with the Mongolian Women's Fund in Ulaanbaatar. Ekho's work at the Center includes coordinating projects on women's rights, legal publications, and legal trainings on domestic violence.

As a NEWW Legal Fellow, Ekho is working with the Women's Human Rights Program of Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights and is participating in the International Human Rights Law course at the University of Minnesota.

Anna Wilkowska
Gdansk, Poland-2000

Anna is a lawyer with a specialization in international human rights law and holds a master's degree in journalism. Anna is also currently completing her Ph.D in international human rights law. As a 2000 NEWW Legal Fellow, Anna worked with Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, Women's Human Rights Program (

Anna's follow-on project was a continuation of her work with Minnesota Advocates. Together, Anna and Minnesota Advocates researched and drafted a report entitled Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in Poland. The report documents sex discrimination and sexual harassment in the Polish workplace, and examines the response of the Polish Government to sex discrimination with regard to its international, regional, and national legal obligations. As a follow-up to the report, Anna prepared a legal resource book on international, regional, and national standards on sex discrimination.

Currently Anna is a researcher for the NEWW- Polska, working on the project "Gender and Economic Justice in European Accession and Integration." More information on this project and NEWW-Polska can be found at

Sylwia Spurek
Lodz, Poland-2000

Sylwia is a lawyer who focuses on increasing the accessibility of legal services for women and strengthening women's political participation. As a 2000 NEWW Legal Fellow, Sylwia worked with Equality Now ( where she conducted research on discriminatory laws in Poland in areas such as women's work and reproductive rights. Additionally, during her time in the U.S. Sylwia worked part time on the Hillary Clinton Senatorial Campaign as a liaison to the Polish-American community in New York.

Sylwia's follow-on project, Women's Representation in 2001 Parliament Election: Opportunities and Barriers focused on promoting women's political participation. This project was implemented in partnership with the Women's Rights Center in Lodz. Sylwia published her research as a report entitled Women, Parties, Elections which includes interviews with both female and male candidates in the 1997 and 2001 parliamentary elections. This report outlines the barriers to women's political participation at the partly level, and includes a set of recommendations for raising women's visibility as political actors. A copy of this publication is available from NEWW.

Currently, Sylwia works for the Plenipotentiary on Equal Status of Women and Men in the Polish Government as a specialist on cooperation with NGOs. Sylwia is responsible for the cooperation between the Office of Plenipotentiary and NGOs and for society dialogue on equal status.

Barbara Godlewska
Warsaw, Poland-2001

Basia is a lawyer and project coordinator at OSKa, the National Women's Information Center, Poland ( Prior to her NEWW Fellowship, Basia worked with the Federation for Women and Family Planning ( Her key areas of interest include women and the labor market, discrimination, and women's leadership development. As a 2001 NEWW Legal Fellow, Basia worked with the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy ( where she conducted research and wrote briefing papers on the status of women's human rights in Poland and the European Union, specifically focusing on reproductive rights.

Basia's follow-on project is to draft a shadow report for the ICESCR committee. This report will be presented when Poland next comes up for review by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The goal of this report is to document the discrepancies in Polish law and practice in the area of economic and social justice, and to be used as an advocacy tool by women's NGOs in Poland to pressure the government for legislative change and implementation.

Anna Wojciechowska-Nowak
Warsaw, Poland-2002

Anna joins the NEWW Legal Fellowship Program from the Federation for Women and Family Planning and the Center for the Advancement of Women, both in Warsaw. Anna's primary issue areas include women's position in the labor market, social safety nets, childcare and family policy. As a NEWW Fellow, Anna works with the Institute for Women's Policy Research ( in Washington, D.C. and will implement her follow-on project with the Center for the Advancement of Women. During her Fellowship, Anna is also participate in the International Comparative Law on Women's Human Rights course at Georgetown University Law Center.

Roxana Tesiu
Bucharest, Romania-1997

Roxanna is a human rights lawyer who graduated the University of Bucharest Law School in 1996. She has worked on a variety of women's rights issues in Romania including the feminization of poverty, the marginalization of women, sexism in education, gender inequality, domestic violence, and other forms of violence against women.

During her NEWW Fellowship, Roxana worked with the Women's Rights Advocacy Project (WRAP) of the International Human Rights Law Group ( in Washington D.C. In this position, Roxana worked on issues of domestic violence, women in armed conflict and trafficking of persons.

Roxana's follow-on project, Romanian Women's Rights Program, expanded on her work at WRAP, establishing a new women's rights program at the Association for the Protection of Human Rights in Romania-Helsinki, a chapter of the International Helsinki Federation. The focus of her project was to promote the advancement of women's rights through raising awareness in Romania about how to use the existing legal framework to analyze and enforce laws pertaining to women.

Currently Roxana is the Coordinator for the Equal Opportunities for Women and Men Program of the Open Society Foundation, Romania and previously served as the Director of the Network Women's Program at the Foundation.

Livia Aninosanu
Bucharest, Romania-2001

Livia is a lawyer with AnA, Society for Feminist Analysis in Bucharest. Currently, Livia's work focuses on advocating for the use of the International Criminal Court in CEE/NIS, and promoting understanding about the gender equality implications of the Court's statute and regulations. As a 2001 NEWW Legal Fellow, Livia worked at the Women's Caucus for Gender Justice ( where she helped establish links between women's NGOs in CEE/NIS and the Women's Caucus to raise awareness about the International Criminal Court.

Livia's follow-on project, Gender and the International Criminal Court, continues her work with the Women's Caucus and focuses on integrating a gender perspective into the ratification process of the International Criminal Court. Livia's project is raising the visibility of the Court amongst women's NGOs in Romania through the dissemination of educational brochures outlining the basic information for the Rome Statute, the International Criminal Court, and the main provisions concerning women. This Project is also creating a link between Romanian women's NGOs interested in ratification process to advance the status of women in Romania.

Marija Lukic
Belgrade, Serbia-1997

Marija is a lawyer and coordinator at Voice of Difference in Belgrade. As a NEWW Fellow Marija worked at the Harriet Tubman Center in Minneapolis in the Legal Advocacy Program ( Marija specifically focused on the issue of domestic violence and other forms of violence against women, and documented best practices in providing legal services to women victims of domestic violence in the Minneapolis area. At Harriet Tubman, Marija also documented domestic violence cases, provided information on cases to attorneys and judges, and drafted orders of protection for women.

Marija's follow-on project, Domestic Violence in Serbia, is a three-year project working to increase the social and political awareness of the prevalence of domestic violence in Serbia, and todevelop an effective institutional response to provide legal and social redress for victims of domestic violence. Marija implemented this project with the Group for the Promotion of Women's Rights where their research and documentation culminated in the book, Family Violence is Another Thing.

In 2000/01, Marija was a Fellow of the Public Interest Law Initiative for Societies in Transition Law School at Colombia University, USA, and continues to publish articles on domestic violence and gender and equality issues.

Vesna Zivkovic
Nis, Serbia-1999

Vesna is a lawyer who specializes in violence against women, trafficking, and legal services for women in Serbia. As a 1999 NEWW Legal Fellow Vesna worked at Human Rights Watch in the Women's Rights Division ( where she conducted research on refugees in Kosovo and trafficking of women in FR Yugoslavia and Bosnia. In addition, Vesna drafted an article on violence against women in Serbia and the treatment of gender issues within the Serbian legal system.

Vesna's follow-on project established the Nis Women's Rights Center. The Center provides legal counseling, education programs and psychological support for women victims of domestic violence. The Center also works with women to raise awareness of women's human rights and supports the mobilization efforts of women to increase women's status in Serbian society.

Diana Miladinovic
Belgrade, Serbia-2000

Prior to being a NEWW Fellow in 2000, Diana worked as a legal counselor with the Autonomous Women's Center Against Sexual Violence, and was a student at the Center for Women's Studies in Belgrade. Diana's work focuses on domestic violence and women's legal rights education. As NEWW Legal Fellow, Diana worked with Women Empowered Against Violence (WEAVE) in Washington, D.C. where she assisted attorneys on litigation matters including divorce, custody, protection orders, immigration, and also conducted legal research.

Diana's follow-on project, Domestic Violence Training Program, trained 30 women lawyers in Serbia to represent clients in domestic violence cases, provide legal counseling and representation for women victims of domestic violence, and advance the protection of women's rights, specifically in the area of violence against women.

Currently, Diana coordinates Justicia, an independent women's legal counseling center in Belgrade. With funding from NEWW and ABA/CEELI, Justicia provides pro bono legal counseling to women who otherwise could not afford legal services.

Alexsandra Vladisavljevic

Alexsandra will join the NEWW Economic and Social Policy Fellowship Program in 2003. She is currently finishing her work as Country Coordinator of the STAR Network of World Learning. Alexsandra works to promote women's economic empowerment through research, advocacy and technical assistance. Her main areas of interest are women's position in the labor market, women's entrepreneurship and public policy advocacy work.

Henrieta Kollarova
Bratislava, Slovakia-2001

Henrieta is a lawyer from Slovakia whose work focuses on violence against women and the informal labor sector. As a 2001 NEWW Legal Fellow, Henrieta worked at the International Center for Research on Women ( where she conducted research on domestic violence in Slovakia and women's informal employment in Central and Eastern Europe.

Henrieta's follow-on project, Domestic Violence Legal Counseling, is being implemented in partnership with the Alliance for Women in Slovakia, and focuses on raising awareness about domestic violence in Slovakia through training sessions and public education campaigns. This Project specifically targets policy makers who can implement more effective domestic violence related legislation, as well as professionals working in the judicial system to develop more effective responses to domestic violence in Slovakia.

Halyna Fedkovych
Lviv, Ukraine-1999

Halyna is a lawyer at the Western Ukrainian Center "Women's Perspectives" in Lviv, Ukraine ( where she focuses on trafficking in women, domestic violence and sexual harassment. As a 1999 NEWW Legal Fellow, Halyna worked at the Harriet Tubman Center in Minneapolis, MN, working with staff lawyers to provide legal counseling to women victims of domestic violence. Halyna conducted research on family law, participated in family court proceedings relating to domestic violence, and volunteered at a local battered women's shelter counseling victims of domestic violence.

Halyna's follow-on project, Legal Counseling and Education Program, provided direct legal assistance and legal education for women in Lviv. The goal of Halyna's project was to provide women with the necessary resources and knowledge to resolve everyday legal issues. Halyna's program provided legal consultations and legal literacy training workshops for over 500 women.

Currently, Halyna is continuing her work in the field of domestic violence and trafficking at the Western Ukrainian Center as a legal counselor and trainer. In 2002 Halyna completed an IREX Contemporary Issues Fellowship during which she researched the legal response to domestic violence in the United States. Halyna also received a research grant from the World Health Organization to conduct a comparative analysis on sexual violence in Belarus, Poland, Ukraine, Serbia, and Russia and presented her findings to the WHO in Geneva in April 2002.

Olha Harasymiv
Lviv, Ukraine-2000

Olha works with the Western Ukrainian Center "Women's Perspectives" in Lviv, Ukraine ( as a lawyer and trainer. Olha's work focuses on employment, family, social welfare issues, trafficking of women and domestic violence. As a 2000 Legal Fellow, Olha worked with the Women's Rights Division at Human Rights Watch where she monitored human rights violations in the United States, Russia and Kosovo, and conducted research on the status of women in Ukraine. Also during her Fellowship, Olha partnered with the International Women's Rights Action Watch to draft a shadow report for Ukraine to the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights that was presented in at the U.N. in New York in 2001.

Olha's follow-on project, Legal Education and Pro Bono Legal Counseling, provides legal counseling to women in the rural areas of Lviv region. Begun in 2001, this project continues today. Olha's project has increased women's access to free legal services and to the judiciary system by providing legal information and counseling, and encourages rural women to be more active in protecting their. In addition to providing legal services, Olha's project produced a legal manual entitled Everyday Rights, that explains Ukrainian law and procedures. This manual covers important areas of legislation related to protection of human rights and/or having huge impact on women. In 2002 the manual was updated to reflect new legal provisions. To date, over 5,000 copies of the manual have been distributed throughout Ukraine.

Currently Olha is Muskie Fellow, working towards her L.L.M in International Legal Studies at Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.

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