Edit Schlaffer, PhD, is a social scientist, author, and activist. In 2002, she founded Women without Borders, an international research-based organization encouraging women to take the lead in their personal and public lives. Her research and activities focus on women as agents of change and as driving forces to stabilize an insecure world.
Schlaffer has designed a number of ground-breaking projects focusing on building up female self-confidence as the key tool for establishing a female power base in countries that are transitioning from tradition to modernity, such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Rwanda, and India.
In 2008, she founded SAVE (Sisters Against Violent Extremism), the first global women’s anti-terror platform. Headquartered at the Women Without Borders offices in Vienna, Austria, SAVE brings together a broad spectrum of women determined to create a united front against violent extremism. SAVE provides women with the tools for critical debate to challenge extremist thinking and to develop alternative strategies for combating the growth of global terrorism.
Schlaffer has received numerous accolades for her work promoting women in the security arena. Hillary Clinton has twice highlighted SAVE’s contributions to the field; in 2010 she was named as one of Women’s eNews “21 Leaders of the 21st Century;” and in 2011 she was named one of Newsweek’s “150 Movers and Shakers.”
She has received many national prizes, including the Käthe Leichter Austrian State Prize for Gender Equity and Research, the Theodor Körner Prize for Outstanding Research, and the Donauland Book Prize for Excellency in Non-Fiction Writing.
Schlaffer is a regular speaker in diverse settings, including TED talks, the Global Center on Cooperative Security, the Europe-Wide Radicalisation Awareness Network, and several United Nations branches.