ASTRA Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health

Daniela Draghici

Daniela Draghici is a policy and advocacy professional with 20 years of international experience in networking and advocacy training for policy change in Romania, Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, as well as Africa. Daniela is an advocacy trainer certified by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) and Opportunity Associates. She is an expert in training NGO leaders and librarians as advocates, advocacy for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), domestic and sexual violence, and gender issues. She also conducts media advocacy training for young Central and Eastern European lawyers as part of the Women’s Human Rights Training Institute (WHRTI). In her capacity as advocacy officer for the Global Libraries Program in Romania, Daniela succeeded in including public libraries in the national reproductive health strategy as alternative venues to disseminate and debate SRHR-related issues. Daniela serves as an Advisory Board member for the ASTRA Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights on behalf of the Society for Feminist Analyses AnA. She is also a Regional Executive Committee member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation-European Network, on behalf of the Society for Education in Contraception and Sexuality (SECS). She has recently finalized her tenure as Advocacy Officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Global Libraries Biblionet program in Romania and as Coordinator of the International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion run by the International Consortium for Medical Abortion (ICMA). Daniela has a degree in simultaneous interpretation from the University of Bucharest. A Romanian national, Daniela speaks Romanian, English and French.

Medea Khmelidze

Medea has been involved and active in the SRHR field already for 10 years as a programs manager / researcher directed at generating qualitative /quantitative data that determine and strengthen the sexual and reproductive health of people, as well as their ability to claim their sexual and reproductive rights in Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. She has been actively contributing to improving and innovating SRHR policies and practices, with a special focus on empowering young people and key populations already as an ASTRA Youth, and now ASTRA member.

Currently Medea is the national manager for The Global Fund Regional Program “Harm Reduction Works –Fund It!” implemented in Georgia by the Georgian Harm Reduction Network, standing as the member of Country Coordinating mechanism (CCM) Policy and Advocacy Advisory Council (PAAC) for Global Fund to state funding transitioning for HIV programs. She is also the Advocacy Advisor at Georgian Union of PLHIV “Real People Real Vision” which is the member of ASTRA Network. Additionally she stands as SRHR Consultant for Women Fund Georgia. Regionally apart from ASTRA Network, Medea is member of Eurasian Harm Reduction Network and Eurasian Key Populations Health Network.

Medea has been involved in advocacy for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the context of international and regional conferences, meetings and public events; participate as expert, speaker and delegate in various international conferences and events. She actively contributed to organizing trainings and capacity building workshops , preparing open letters and position statements; supporting development of reports, factsheets, brochures, leaflets and other advocacy materials; Supporting development of   monthly bulletin with the latest news and development from the regional and global perspective.

Krystyna Kacpura graduated from University of Warsaw and post graduated from the  Foreign Relations Institute. Engaged in the Federation for Women and Family Planning, she has been active in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights for over 20 years. Author and co-author of many publications, reports  and articles on sexual and reproductive health and rights in Central and Eastern Europe. She has managed the ASTRA Secretariat (Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights) since its establishment in 1999. Member of Sexual Rights Initiative, European Society for Contraception and Reproductive Rights and Program Council of the Congress of Polish Women. Currently she holds the seat of Executive Director of the Federation for Women and Family Planning and ASTRA Network.

Iatamze Verulashvili 

Professor Iatamze Verulashvili has been working as Professor of Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Tbilisi Medical Academy for Post Diploma Education since year 1989.  She is also the founder and Executive Director of the Union Women’s Center, located in Tbilisi, Georgia, since year 1996. Iatamze and her organization have been members of ASTRA since 2002 and was the first organization in Georgia which concentrated on bringing gaps between reproductive health, human rights and women’s issues.

Mrs. Verulashvili is the founding member of the Federation of European Menopause Society (FEMS), European Cervical Cancer Association (ECCA), Coordinating Group expert Sexual Violence Research Initiative, member of AIDS Action Europe and board member of KARAT Coalition.

Since 1968 she has been working on advocacy and raising the awareness of life-style education and sexual and reproductive health and rights among women, adolescents and HIV positive women in Georgia. Providing information on safe abortion, full range of modern contraceptives and HIV prevention is at core of her work that was also directed at youth specially. Women’s Center facilitated a program to implement reproductive health and life-style education at schools and universities. In year 2004 a Youth Group dedicated to this kind of work and based on volunteerism was created at the Center. The youth group aims to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS and STIs and educate young people through peer to peer programs. It also advocates for sexuality educations in schools in various institutions.

Mrs. Verulashvili is active on global as well as a speaker at various conferences and a recognized expert in her field.