Dr Sandra Iman Pertek is an interdisciplinary mixed methods researcher, gender and social development specialist with over a decade’s experience in humanitarian, development and migration settings. She is an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, at the Institute for Research Into Superdiversity (IRiS), integrating intersectional and ecological approaches for developing religious engagement with gendered violence in forced displacement. In her PhD, Sandra explored the intersection of religion and the continuum of violence in forced migration in Turkey and Tunisia drawing upon an intersectional and ecological analysis. In her thesis, she conceptualised religion as multidimensional: an intersectional vulnerability factor and a primary coping resource across different stages of forced migration.
She has led a number of studies across the Middle East, Africa and Europe; recently the Ukrainian refugees at risk project in Poland and Ukraine, the Untold Migrant Stories project at the Mediterranean and the Forced Migration, SGBV and COVID-19 study. As SEREDA Research Fellow (Impact and Policy Lead), she has coordinated multi-stakeholder initiatives to strengthen protection in forced displacement and has undertaken a joint technical assignment on sexual and gender-based violence and migration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies (IFRC).
She has consulted governmental, inter- and non-governmental organizations. For the Home Office UK she developed a theory of change (TOC) for integration and TOC guide notes based on the Indicators of Integration framework. For GIZ, she conducted religious and traditional actors mapping in Zambia in relation to prevention of violence against women and girls programme in Southern Africa. For the Islamic Development Bank, she co-developed resources to integrate gender sensitivity into Islamic micro-finance programmes for women. Previously Sandra served as Senior Policy Adviser on Gender (Global Technical Lead) at Islamic Relief Worldwide, where she spearheaded a gender mainstreaming strategy, authoring its Gender Justice Policy and integrating gender into international programmes with faith sensitive approaches. She piloted GBV programmes in Africa and Asia and learning exchange in partnership with institutional donors, including UN agencies and EU.
Sandra is a member of Leadership Council of the SVRI/JLI Faith and GBV Hub, and serves in the UN Women Roster for Eliminating Violence Against Women (EVAW) Spotlight Initiatives. She also supported several local and regional women’s organisations. She holds a PhD in Religion and the Continuum of Violence in Forced Migration from the University of Birmingham an MSc in Social Development Practice from University College London and a BA in European Studies from the University of Warsaw.