Rahel Weldeab Sebhatu is a postcolonial feminist and Pan-Africanist, a political scientist and an independent researcher. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration (minor: Political Science) at the University of Asmara (in Eritrea) and her Master of Science in Global Studies (major: Political Science) at Lund University (in Sweden). She has also taken many advance level courses in gender, postcolonial theory, Middle Eastern studies, and in media and communication.
While pursuing her bachelors, she initiated what would be a ten-year career in international affairs at the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students (NUEYS). Through that experience, she had been part of initiatives related to diaspora issues, gender, peacebuilding, Pan-Africanism, and youth policy. Rahel’s research interests include diaspora studies, postcolonial theory, postcolonial feminism, critical security studies, knowledge production, decoloniality, [youth participation in] peacebuilding, diplomacy, negotiations, transnational activism, and resistance.
In 2009, Rahel was the 2nd place winner of the CIPE International Essay Competition in the category of citizenship in a democratic society. This article, titled “Engaging Youth in Decision-Making: A Path toward Active Youth Citizenship in Eritrea can be found here. This essay has also been cited on Youthpolicy.org, which is an independent think tank and publishing house, working at the junction of youth policy, youth research, youth media and youth work.
Rahel started an academic internship at Lund University’s Department of Political Science in the Fall term of 2016, and then continued to work there for a year more, both as a project/research assistant and an editorial assistant for the academic journal Cooperation and Conflict. Her task as research assistant included selecting and compiling legal documents from the ITCY concerning women witnesses and testimonies, and to build a data base with women’s written and oral narratives from the Bosnian war. As a result the academic internship, Rahel wrote a working paper titled “(En)gendering youth for gender-just peace and transitional justice with UN Resolution 2250”. This working paper can be found here. This working paper was also accepted and featured as one of the thematic papers connected with the UN’s Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security.
Rahel conducted further research on UN Security Council Resolution 2250 for her master’s thesis. The title of the thesis is “(En)gendering and Securitizing Youth with UN Security Council Resolution 2250”. Other academic publications written by Rahel include “Reaching higher: Women liberators and gender” (2017) and “The Digital Mediatization of Feminist Foreign Policy” (published in the print journal “Disrupted: Feminist Foreign Policy” in 2017, only available in print form).
Leadership positions of notable mention that Rahel has held include being a member of the NUEYS Central Council (2005-2013) being the Vice-President of the Pan African Youth Union for the East Africa/Indian Ocean region (December 2011-2014), a member of the International Steering Group for UNOY Peacebuilders (January 2011 – June 2014), and the Vice-President and co-founder of the Association of African Affairs at Lund University.