Negar Ashtari Abay is a program officer for the Gender Policy and Strategy team in USIP’s Policy, Learning and Strategy Center. In this role, she conducts research, develops tools and facilitates trainings on gender inclusion in peacebuilding. She also serves as a project design specialist providing technical assistance to programs across the Institute on integrating gender analysis in project design, monitoring and evaluation. 

Dr. Abay’s previous experience includes working for the U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs, where she served as the representative for gender equality and the economic justice discourse officer. In this role, she was an active member and an executive committee vice-chair for the U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace and Security. Dr. Abay has also worked on girls’ education with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution, on the role of religion and science in advancing gender equality with the Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity, on women’s rights, public health and preventing violent extremism with the Nigerian development Policy Research Center, and on U.S. gender-based immigration policy and legal services for immigrant women at the Tahirih Justice Center.  

Dr. Abay's research interests encompass understanding how gender dynamics, including constructions of masculinity, shift during and after violent conflict and the role of civil society in advancing gender equality in peacebuilding. She has authored articles on the intersection of gender with religion, environmental security, social change, and education. She holds a doctorate in international education policy with a specialization in gender for which she was granted a Fulbright award to conduct dissertation research in Ethiopia. She also holds a master’s in economic geography from the University of California, Berkeley and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in human geography from Middlebury College.

Publications By Negar

Protecting the Participation of Women Peacebuilders

Protecting the Participation of Women Peacebuilders

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

By: Negar Ashtari Abay, Ph.D.;  Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D.

Worsening violence against women is often a precursor to — and early outcome of — the rise in coups and authoritarianism that have made recent headlines. Not only does protecting women’s participation in public life and decision-making go hand-in-hand with democracy, but the former is actually a precondition for the latter. As we mark International Women’s Day in 2022, we would do well to remember that global efforts to prevent violent conflict and sustain peace are significantly undermined when women are deterred from access to participation and full leadership without fear of reprisals and violence. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

GenderPeace Processes

Peaceful Masculinities: Religion and Psychosocial Support Amid Forced Displacement

Peaceful Masculinities: Religion and Psychosocial Support Amid Forced Displacement

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

By: Negar Ashtari Abay, Ph.D.;  Andrés Martínez;  Carolina Buendia Sarmiento

The number of people displaced globally due to conflict and violence nearly doubled between 2010 and 2020 from 41 million to 78.5 million, the highest number on record. Forced displacement, within and across national borders, exposes persons to stressful events and trauma, making psychosocial support a critical part of successful integration in new communities and societies. Those forcibly displaced include women and girls, men and boys, and gender and sexual minorities.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

GenderReligion

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