Nikou Salamat is a Research Officer with the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders and co-leads GNWP’s COVID-19 and Women, Peace and Security Database. In this role, she has gained extensive experience with the implementation of women-led peacebuilding efforts in Central Africa, including the Young Women Leaders for Peace program in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As an intersectional feminist, she also advocates for gender-inclusive and sustainable peace at various UN and civil society engagements and policy-making spaces.
As a former Junior Gender Equality Specialist at Global Affairs Canada, she contributed to the implementation of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. She also supported the provision of gender equality guidance to Canada’s international development programs in Africa and the Middle East.
Nikou holds an Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences in Conflict Studies and Human Rights from the University of Ottawa. Her research interests include the role of grassroots women’s organizations in building peace in conflict-affected and post-conflict contexts and advancing women’s rights in post-conflict reconstruction. At the University of Ottawa, she worked on a research study examining gender perspectives on mobilization for political protest in various case studies in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2019, she completed a student research project on conflict early warning systems which was recognized for excellence by the Venture Initiative. As a research assistant, she has also supported a girls’ education NGO in Senegal, La Maison de l’Éducation, on knowledge management and mobilization.
In 2021, Nikou was awarded the Kim Phúc Award for Youth Peace Leadership by the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace for her contributions to peacebuilding efforts.
Nikou is a member of the Canadian Coalition for Youth, Peace and Security (CCYPS). She is fluent in English, French, Farsi (Persian) and is currently learning Spanish.