18 January 2023
Alexandra Håkansson Schmidt is an international UN Volunteer Programme Analyst for Governance, Peace and Security. She serves with UN Women's Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific and is seen here addressing the cybersecurity workshop. Ploy Phutpheng/UN Women, 2022

Making digital spaces safe for women in Southeast Asia

Alexandra's UN Volunteer assignment is fully funded by the Government of Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)

While the scope of her assignment covers a wide variety of topics relating to peace and security in the Asia Pacific region, Alexandra largely focuses on the implications of cybersecurity threats to the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda.

She also promotes the digital security of young women and persons with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics.

In June 2022, Alexandra co-led the organization and facilitation of a Regional Workshop for Civil Society’s Engagement for Women, Peace and Cybersecurity, which brought together 26 civil society representatives, digital and women’s rights activists, and young cyber defenders. Collectively, they discussed and identified strategic priorities for the adoption of conflict-sensitive and gender-responsive cybersecurity across Southeast Asia.

The workshop ultimately led up to the co-creation of an advocacy brief. In addition, there were numerous recommendations for Governments and non-governmental entities to adopt inclusive cybersecurity policies and practices informed by the WPS agenda.

It has been a dynamic and rewarding process to be a part of analyzing and developing the programmes, which respond to security developments and their gendered implications. These include traditional security issues but also emerging concerns such as cybersecurity and climate security.” -- says Alexandra Håkansson Schmidt, Programme Analyst Governance, Peace and Security, UN Women ROAP, Thailand.

Prior to joining UN Women, Alexandra worked on gender issues, international humanitarian law, reconciliation between national and local governments, and non-governmental organizations, both in her country-of-origin Sweden, and also in Kosovo and in the Philippines.

In April 2021, Alexandra started her UN Volunteer assignment with UN Women in Thailand with the support of Sida.

With her excellent analytical skills and expertise on gender, peace and security, Alexandra has made significant contributions to our regional work on gender-responsive peace efforts. We are grateful for the generous support of United Nations Volunteers programme, Government of Sweden and Sida.” -- Gaelle Demolis Ebassa, Programme Specialist in Governance, Peace, and Security at UN Women ROAP, and Alexandra’s supervisor.

Women, peace and security is a cross-cutting issue. As a UN Volunteer in the field, Alexandra's contribution makes digital spaces safe for women. And through her UN Volunteer service in ROAP, Alexandra hones her technical competencies in programme management, monitoring and evaluation. 

Asia and the Pacific
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