2015 Gender Academy

A global event on gender, work and development

16/11/2015 - 27/11/2015 Turin, Italy

Home > Meet the team
Meet the team

The Gender Academy Team  of the ITC-ILO International Labour Standard, Rights at Work and Gender Equality Programme (ILSGEN)

Johanne Lortie is the Gender Academy co-manager. She is in charge of overall pedagogical and  technical design.

Johanne's interest in social justice goes way back. While doing a Master’s degree in sociology in Ottawa, she coordinated the Ontario Public Interest Research Group on environmental and social justice issues.   She then worked as a consultant for many NGOs on gender equality, and as a programme officer for research institutions. Johanne designs and runs training activities that build up ILO constituents’ capacity to deal with gender issues. She runs courses in Turin, in the regions and online. Johanne is also an expert on knowledge sharing facilitation.

Benedetta Magri-Short is the manager of the Gender Academy.

Benedetta has worked at ITCILO as an expert in training and capacity builiding for gender equality in the world of work  for some 20 years.  She has managed many large-scale capacity buiilding projects – at international and EU level - and authored toolkits and training materials on this topic. She has particular experience in gender mainstreaming and RBM in development cooperation, participatory gender audits and non-discrimination and equality at the workplace. Most recently she has been particularly interested in gender issues in scientific research environments. She believes in the power of  participation and collective knowledge generation for social change. A mother of three, she has an academic background in Ethics and Oriental Studies.


Federica Bertolino is responsible for the Gender Academy's Participants' Secretariat. 

A graduate in foreign languages in Italy and Switzerland, she joined the International Training Centre of the ILO in 1992. She speaks English, French, Spanish, Italian. During free time she likes to dance tango!

Claudia Fuggiaschi is responsible for the Gender Academy Resource Persons Secretariat and overall administrative assistance. 

Claudia has a background as an interpreter and translator, and works in English, French, Spanish and Italian. She joined the International Training Centre of the ILO in 1997 where she has gained her broad experience as an administrative assistant in training activities and large scale projects. She is mother of two beautiful children!

Claudia and Federica are supported by a dedicated, multilingual team of classroom and language assistants:

Giulia Bertolino (EN, FR); Giovanna Bottino (FR, EN, SP); Janet Johnson (FR, EN); Laura Pasina (AR, EN, SP).

 Learning advice and web communication

Alida Sangrigoli is the Gender Academy Learning Advisor.

She supports participants in making their choice of elective workshops and the best learning path. She also coordinates the GA documentation centre. A graduate in economics and social policies she joined ILSGEN in 2014, collaborating in managing many training and capacity building programmes.

Beatrice Gechele looks after the Gender Academy external communications, the internal knowledge management and the GA documentation centre

A graduate in translation (IT-EN-SP), she has a background in external communications.

Davide Murdocca is the Gender Academy IT support expert. The Gender Academy is a paperless event so Davide is there to help participants make the best of the IT infrastructure available at the Centre. Davide is an IT engineer and part of the ITC-ILO IT support desk.




Yoseph Aseffa is graduated in Business Management and a Fellow of the Life Management Institute (USA). Yoseph has worked as insurance executive and he has done consulting work for UNCTAD and the World Bank on Insurance for developing countries. He is at present working as Senior Technical Specialist at ILO Regional Office for Africa.

Daniela Bertino is a former official of ITCILO. She has worked for the Centre since 1977, deploying her expertise in training methodology, women in development and social dialogue as a trainer and training manager.

Ruxandra Boros is a consultant, trainer and lecturer in gender and finance. She has a Master’s Degree in Public and Private Management from Yale University and is working towards a PhD on the subject of gender and women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan (EHESS, Paris and The Graduate Institute, Geneva).

Fatima Botmeh is a Gender mainstreaming and organizational building expert with over 10 years of experience as a trainer and coach. Ms. Botmeh is a certified ILO-Participatory Gender Audit Facilitator. She is a gender expert in several national, regional and international organizations.


Elizabeth Jane Casabianca is currently working as a post-doc researcher at the Polytechnic University of Marche (Italy) and collaborates with the UNCTAD Trade, Gender and Development Section, particularly on capacity building projects. She has an academic background in economics, as well as teaching and research experience at the university level.

Until June 2015, Simonetta Cavazza has been the Manager of International Labour Standards, Rights at Work & Gender Equality Programme at The International Training Centre of the ILO. She was team leader of the first two Gender Academies. She has worked on women's empowerment and gender equality issues since 1990.

María José Chamorro works at the International Labour Office, as a gender specialist at the Decent Work Team in San José, covering Central America, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Raphael Crowe is Senior Gender Specialist with the Gender, Equality and Diversity branch of the ILO headquarters in Geneva.

Adrienne Cruz is a gender specialist with the Gender, Equality and Diversity Branch at the International Labour Office based in Geneva. Her responsibilities include coordinating the ILO Action Plan for Gender Equality 2010-15, as well as the global ILO Gender Network.

Ndéye Penda Diouf is General Director of the Teranga Senegal Insurance Company since 2008, working on social protection of workers in informal economy. After her participation to the first Gender Academy of the ITC-ILO in 2013, Penda created the Gender and Development Observatory of Saint Louis (GDOSL) and since 2015 she is the national coordinator of the National Centre of Observation of Gender in Senegal « Beutou Askanwi».


Simel Esim is Head of the Cooperatives Unit of the ILO in Geneva. She was previously Senior Gender Specialist at the ILO Regional Office for Arab States in Beirut. Simel holds a BA in Political Science from Bogazici University in Istanbul, an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University in Bologna and Washington, DC, and PhD in Economics from the American University in Washington, DC.

Sara Falcao Casaca is Professor of Sociology at the University of Lisbon and researcher at the Research Centre in Economic and Organizational Sociology.

Lenni George has been an International facilitator for more than 20 years and worked in more than 40 different countries for the UN, EU and governments. She has worked actively on gender and other types of equality issues since 1987.

Indira Hirway is Director and Professor of Economics, Centre For Development Alternatives, Ahmedabad, India. Ms Hirway hold a Master in Economics from Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University, and a Ph D from Department of Economics, University of Bombay.


Satoko Horiuchi

Anne Laure Humbert, PhD, is a Senior Research Fellow at the Cranfield International Centre for Women Leaders at the School of Management at Cranfield University since July 2015. She has done extensive work in the area of women and/or gender within the economy and society.

Raquel Lagunas is an expert in gender and development with more than 20 years of work experience including with civil society and national stakeholders, as well as bilateral and multilateral organizations, and academia. Raquel currently is serving as UNDP Senior Policy Advisor on Gender Mainstreaming based in New York.

Myrna Lewis is co-founder of the Lewis Method of Deep Democracy, CEO and Head of Professional Services of Deep Democracy International Ltd (UK), responsible for quality control worldwide, innovation and development of Deep Democracy.

Olivier Malcor is an experienced Forum Theatre facilitator with 15 years of global experience. He has used Forum Theatre in Africa, Latin America and Europe to engage women and men in staging and participatory solving of sensitive social problems at personal and community levels.

Jo Morris is Visiting Professor in Practice, London School of Economics and Political Science, Gender Institute and European Commission Social Partner Expert to EIGE.

Heather Northcott is a human rights consultant specialising in international human rights law and its mechanisms, with a specific focus on the rights of women, the rights of children and indigenous rights. Ms Northcott holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex and has worked at the UNOHCHR within the treaty body system and the special procedures.

Mansour Omeira has more than 10 years of experience in research, teaching, and consulting. He has worked with international organizations such as the ILO, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the un Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia.

Mikel Otxotorena Fernandez is a trained sociologist with post-graduated in both international cooperation and gender equality for men and women, which are his two main fields of work. Over the past few years, the focus of his work has been the role played by men for advancing gender equality.

Dean Peacock is co-founder and co-director of the Sonke Gender Justice Network, a South African NGO working across Southern Africa on issues related to gender, HIV and AIDS and human rights. His work and activism over the last twenty years has focused on issues related to men, constructions of masculinities, health and social justice.

Amaia Perez Orozco is the lead moderator of UN Women online moderated course Why We Care about Care. She holds a PhD on International Economics and Development. She is an Expert on Public Equality Policies. She has a broad training experience in formal education programmes and professional ongoing training.

Jane Pillinger is an independent researcher and policy advisor. Her particular areas of expertise include social, equality and employment policies. She advises trade unions, governments and EU institutions on these policy issues. She holds honorary research positions at Leeds University and University College Dublin.


Kirsten-Maria Schapira

Claudia Signoretti is a Forum Theatre facilitator and holds ten years of professional experience in international projects for women’s empowerment, prevention and contrast of gender-based violence and CEDAW implementation.

Andrea Stroppiana has been working since the year 2000 with an NGO active in international development projects in the EU, the middle-East, Latin America and Africa. He has been engaged since 1995 as a freelance consultant and trainer for the European Commission and UN Agencies in the field of PCM, RBM, M&E and participatory decision making. He is a trainer in several master courses in Europe.


Tzehainesh Teklè is Senior Programme Officer at ITCILO. She is in charge of the ITCILO programme on “International Labour Standards for Judges, Lawyers and Legal Educators”. She also designs and manages training courses, trains and conducts research on equality and non-discrimination in the world of work and on non-standard employment relationships. She has a Ph.D. in law from the European University Institute (Florence, Italy).

Julienne Tsangueu-Seppou is from Cameroun in Central Africa. She is Psycologist, audio-phonologist, activist, development consultant and gender audit participatory facilitator. She has a twenty-years experience in international consultation, especially in gender and development.

Reiko Tsushima is a Specialist on Gender Equality and Women Workers’ Rights with the International Labour Organisation, Decent Work Team for South Asia located in New Delhi, India. Her substantive focus is to strengthen national policies to improve the quantity and quality of women’s labour market participation through effective public investment in the social care infrastructure.

Laura Turquet is the Manager of UN Women’s flagship report, Progress of the World’s Women, in the Research and Data section. She is a co-author of the latest edition of the report, Transforming Economies, Realizing Rights. She has worked at UN Women (and its predecessor organization UNIFEM) for over six years, and was the lead author of the 2011 report In Pursuit of Justice.

Maria Elena Valenzuela, sociologist, was for many years ILO regional specialist on gender and employment policies for Latin America. She is currently Chief Technical Adviser of the Global Action Programme on Migrant Domestic Workers at the Labour Migration Branch in ILO Geneva. 

Blerina Vila works as a capacity builder for development, gender equality, and child labour. For the past two decades she has worked on gender equality issues at different levels, including international labour standards on the rights of women and development planning with a rights-based approach.

Claudy Vouhé is a French feminist gender expert and activist. As an expert, she is mainly involved in training practitioners and policy-makers on the integration of gender in public policies and programmes and supporting organisational change towards transformative gender mainstreaming. As an activist, she is a committed volunteer with the first international francophone network on gender, Genre en Action, she co-founded in 2003, and of which she was president between 2009 - 2014.

Georgette Zamble created, in 2011, LEADAFRICAINES, a Regional Network for the promotion of women leadership in francophone West Africa in view of gender equality. Since February 2015, she is in charge of the communication and social inclusion of the World Bank Post-Conflict Assistance project in Ivory Coast, under the supervision of the Prime Minister Office. She is also an expert consultant in influence communication, management, gender and local development for local, national and international institutions.


Simonetta Zarrilli is the chief of the Trade, Gender and Development Section of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the organization's Focal Point for the substantive work on gender.

  Alicia Ziffer