Consultant and Senior Gender and Conflict Advisor
Chitra is an SDDirect in-house human rights and peacebuilding specialist, with particular expertise in the arena of gender, women’s rights, peace and security. She has worked in peacebuilding for seven years and on tackling violence against women and girls for twelve years. This work has ranged from directly providing support to those affected, granting women’s rights organisations and influencing policy and practice around these issues.
A dual Indian and British citizen, she holds a LLM in Human Rights, Conflict and Justice from the School of Oriental and African Studies and is currently completing an MSc in Social Research Skills, with specialism in researching social inequality and exclusion, from the University of Ulster.
She is currently the Senior Gender and Conflict Adviser working on the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP). A five-year DFID funded programme, it is aimed at reducing the negative impact of violent conflict on the most vulnerable through supporting government institutions, civil society and activists to manage conflict non-violently. Since 2013, she has been living and working in Nigeria, doing conflict mitigation and peacebuilding work at federal, state and community levels. Her role involves ensuring social inclusion, gender and conflict analysis cuts across all aspects of NSRP research, advocacy and programming. She conducts training on gender and conflict analysis and sensitivity and mainstreaming gender and social inclusion for government officials, non-governmental and community based organisations, researchers and media practitioners. She has been leading NSRP’s thinking on how to mainstream disability into peacebuilding programming and working on issues of masculinities, conflict and violence, leading research teams and linking research with programming design and implementation. She recently led a research study for NSRP and Voices for Change examining how norms around masculinities drive conflict and violence in Nigeria.
Prior to working at SDDirect, Chitra was the Director of Gender Action for Peace and Security, a network of development, human rights, humanitarian and peacebuilding organisations focused on advocacy and campaigning around issues of women’s rights, peace and security. In addition to current work on Nigeria's National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, supporting civil society to monitor implementation and government agencies to ensure the NAP has impact, she has previously worked on NAPs in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and the UK. Although she brings particular experience of working in West Africa, she has also conducted research and worked on programming in Asia, particularly China, and the Great Lakes region of Africa, including for UN Women and International Alert.