ICMP DG on #IWD2021: Women’s leadership key to efforts to account for missing persons

By ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger

The Hague, 8 March 2020 – Women are the main drivers in securing human rights in relation to the issue of missing persons who disappeared due to conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized violence, global warming and other causes. Their engagement is often motivated by necessity: as most disappeared persons are men, those who are left to fight the battle for justice, truth and reparations are often women.

Women and women-headed organizations have been key partners for the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) since its foundation 25 years ago.

With the number of persons who go missing around the world rising as a result of global warming, increased levels of migration, internal displacement, conflict and other causes, including the COVID-19 pandemic, effective female leadership is needed more than ever. This leadership is spearheaded by women whose engagement began with a family member disappearing. Their relentless work benefits not only themselves, but all families of missing persons.

To mark International Women’s Day 2021, ICMP invited partners to share their thoughts on good leadership, their achievements and the challenges they face as female leaders.

In this section

Dijana Strujić, President of Association of Families of Killed and Missing Veterans of Bugojno, Bosnia and Herzegovina

On leadership: “A good leader should have qualities such as self-confidence, personal integrity, emotional stability and maturity. One of the most important is emotional competence, which contributes to building relationships, listening and understanding someone else’s position.” On achievements: “I am most proud of the community contributions I have made together with my colleagues. As the […]

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Marcela Granados, activist leader, Colombia

On leadership: “A good leader remembers our ancestors, our guides, our legacies. A good leader always has in mind those who have worked tirelessly for the rights and the search for the disappeared; in this country rights are no longer violated. Good leaders always remember and fight for the goal: a country where one can […]

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Miranda Fabiola Córdova, forensic expert, Mexico

On leadership: “Good leadership inspires the team in the activities and the objectives pursued; a leader motivates productivity and proactivity; the search to improve methods and develop strategies; gives and receives feedback, seeks the improvement of each team member, including herself; identifies and channels the capabilities and emotions of her group in favor of the […]

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Lamia Al Sulaiman – Director of Khatawat, Syria

On leadership: “What makes a leader a good leader is a set of qualities, the first and most important of which is organization. Chaos is the first enemy that any successful person should fear. A good leader must also have the ability to influence and challenge others in addition self-confidence. As for good leadership, it […]

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Kafa Al Bachir – Founder of Lasting Peace, Syria

On leadership: “A successful leader is someone who changes the fate of her environment, her homeland, or her people to break the bonds of slavery and rebel to demand her legal right to live in peace and dignity.” On achievements: “My steadfastness and giving an incentive to the people around me to continue the march […]

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Mona Barakah – CEO of Syrian Women Survivors Association, Turkey

On leadership: A good leader needs: “humility, good communication, self-confidence and humanity.” A good leader should “act intensely, be able to accept criticism and be ready to struggle for survival to achieve the goals.” On achievements: My achievements are “my love for humanity and my confidence in my goal, which is advocating for truth, advocating […]

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