Sandra Iman Pertek

SGBV, faith and forced migration nexus from an intersectional perspective

Supervisors: Jenny Phillimore and Lisa Goodson

Sandra’s research focuses on the relationship between SGBV and faith/religion from an intersectional perspective and how faith-based interventions can be a resource in addressing SGBV in the refugee context. 


MSc Degree University College London, Development Planning Unit (2010- 2012)
Social Development Practice, Merit; Specialisation: Gender in Policy and Planning, Merit     

BA Degree University of Warsaw, The Centre for Europe (2006-2009)
Interdisciplinary European Studies, 1st class honour

Institute of Islamic Counselling, London, UK (2012)
NVQ level 2 in Counselling Skills,Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body

Research Interests

  • Gender and development
  • SGBV in forced migration and humanitarian settings
  • Intersectionality (focused on intersection of gender and religion)
  • Religion and development
  • Gender justice in faith-based development organisations (following MSc thesis)


Sandra Iman Pertek is a social development and gender specialist with more than 10-year experience in international development and education sector in several countries. She is currently a doctoral researcher at University of Birmingham within SEREDA project. Before she served four years as Senior Policy Adviser on Gender at Islamic Relief Worldwide (preceded by two years in the CEO executive team), one of the world’s largest Muslim humanitarian agencies, where she developed the first ever Gender Justice Policy in this setting and transformed the organisational approach to gender through policy implementation.

She led gender mainstreaming strategy into global operations; humanitarian and development programmes and advocacy initiatives. She coordinated pilot GBV projects in several regions funded by institutional donors (e.g. DFID, Sida), provided technical support to offices in Asia, Africa and Middle East, and also coordinated the development of policy on early and forced marriage. She delivered several regional gender and GBV trainings to colleagues across regions. She coordinated partnerships with UN Women, UNFPA and the OIC.

She managed several small-scale research projects in Ethiopia and Jordan. In the international and inter-governmental platforms, she advocates for faith sensitive approach to gender justice. She is a member of several networks for gender, religion and development. She holds an MSc in Social Development Practice from University College London and a BA in European Studies from University of Warsaw.

Professional memberships

NEXUS - International Consultants Network on Religion and Development
European Forum of Muslim Women (Board Member)
Joint Learning Initiatives on Faith and Local Communities  

Conference papers

Phillimore, J., Alidou, L., Pertek S.I., (2018) “Sexual and gender-based violence and refugees: the impacts of and on integration”. Working Paper. SEREDA project. IASFM annual conference 2018


Contact details

Twitter: @SIMPertek