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Personal profile

Research Interests

Gender in conflicts and post conflict societies;  the 'Women, Peace and Security' framework; sexual and gender based violence; gender inequality; transitional justice; peace settlements and power sharing; and feminism;


Dr Sahla Aroussi is a feminist researcher at the Centre of Trust Peace and Social Relations. She has a Ph.D. in Politics (2011) and an LLM in Transitional Justice (2007) from the University of Ulster and an MA Human Rights and Democratisation (2004) from the University of Malta/ Utrecht University. Sahla was previously employed as a lecturer at the University of Ulster and a Postdoctoral researcher in the University of Antwerp’s Law and Development research group. She also worked as an intern at the Northern Ireland Commission for Human Rights and the European Parliament. Sahla's regional expertise is focused on Sub Saharan Africa and her research interests are broadly situated in the field of gender and armed conflict particularly: the UN’s agenda on Women, Peace and Security; peace settlements; transitional justice; sexual violence in conflict; and gender inequality. Sahla has received various awards and scholarships including a NATO Science for Peace and Security Advanced Research Workshop grant (2015) and The British Academy Small Grant (2015). Sahla’s key research outputs include peer reviewed academic publications in international journals such as Gender and Politics and the International Journal of Feminist Politics, edited collections, research consultancy work, and a recent book on assessing the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security in peace processes around the world.

Selected Projects:

 2017- 2018         £9970 Coventry University research award. Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and countering violent extremism (CVE) in Tunisia and Kenya. Preliminary study. This project involves fieldwork in Kenya, Tunisia and New York to study how the integration of the WPS with the CVE is working in policy and practice.              

2015 – 2016       €39,915 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Science for Peace and Security Programme Advanced Research Workshop Award. Project Title: National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security. This project involved organising an advanced workshop on ‘National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security’ in Dublin on 11 and 12 May 2016 (See http://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-directories/current-projects/2016/national-action-plans-on-women-peace-and-security/ ) and the publication of a report and an edited volume on this issue. 

2015 – 2017        £9,850 The British Academy/Leverhulme Research Grant. Project title: Perceptions of justice and hierarchies of rape: Rethinking approaches to sexual violence in conflict affected societies from the bottom-up. This project involved fieldwork research in South Kivu with key stakeholders including survivors of rape as a weapon of war and other rapes on their perceptions and experiences of justice. This project was supported by the Justice and Peace Commission, Bukavu and RCN Democratie, Belgium.

2015- 2017          £8,650 Coventry University pump-prime research award. Project title: Responses to wartime sexual violence in the DRC. This project assess the progress made in tackling sexual violence as a weapon of war in the context of the DRC. The fieldwork for this research was conducted in South Kivu and involved conducting interviews with key stakeholders on the prevalence of sexual violence by armed actors in the areas and all the efforts made to combat it.    

2015-2016           UN Women USD 12.000 Research Consultancy, With Dr Ian Somerville (University of Leicester), this consultancy was to conceptualize a Communications Training Course for Gender Equality - Home-based (completed 10 January 2016).

2013 - 2014         6000 Swiss Francs, Research Consultancy commissioned by The International Commission of Jurists, consultancy title: Women and the World’s Judiciaries - identifying the challenges and empowering strategies for change- Africa and the Middle East. This consultancy involved conducting research on women’s participation in the judiciary in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Botswana and Malawi.





Vision Statement

I am a feminist. I was born in Tunisia into a family which encouraged a thirst for knowledge rather than a submission to tradition or dogma. Growing up, I found solace and inspiration in reading feminist work and developed a burning desire for equality, human rights and social justice. I passionately believe that gender equality is key to ending violence and insecurity and building a peaceful, cohesive and just society. Through rigorous, ethical and socially relevant research, I believe that we can make a difference by raising awareness, influencing policy changes and contributing to building a better world.

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Research Output 2011 2018

book review
sexual violence
political economy
sexual violence
Open Access
Congo, Republic of the
Democratic Republic of the Congo
peace process

Introduction: Rethinking National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security

Aroussi, S., 2017, Rethinking National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security. Aroussi, S. (ed.). IOS Press, Vol. 135. p. v 10 p. (Nato Science for Peace and Security).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Open Access

National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security as Tools of Foreign Policy: Reconsidering Gender Security in the West

Aroussi, S., 25 May 2017, Rethinking National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security. Aroussi, S. (ed.). IOS Press, Vol. 135. p. 29-40 12 p. (Nato Science for Peace and Security).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

action plan
foreign policy

Activities 2015 2018

  • 6 Invited talk
  • 2 Participation in conference
  • 1 Participation in workshop, seminar, course

RCUK NewtonFund Global Challenges Research Fund Engagement Meeting Kenya

Sahla Aroussi (Speaker)
31 Jan 20182 Feb 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Women, Peace and Security National Action Plans in the Arab Region: Challenges and Opportunities

Sahla Aroussi (Keynote Speaker)
10 Dec 201711 Dec 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Press / Media

Taking action nationally on the Women, Peace and Security agenda

Sahla Aroussi


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities