Connor Hayes speaks with Margaret Owen OBE, founder and president of Widows for Peace through Democracy (WPD), about her background as a human rights barrister, her work on the issue of widowhood, the relationship between widowhood and other social issues, her long-standing relationship with the Kurdish women’s movement, and the ideas of Ocalan.

Margaret Owen OBE is a barrister specialising in women’s human rights. She has previously worked as an immigration and asylum lawyer, as head of the Law and Policy division of International Planned Parenthood Federation, and as a consultant to various UN organisations. She founded the first international organisations to address human rights issues in the context of widowhood, and is now the president of WPD, Widows for Peace through Democracy, which is the umbrella for many partner organisations across the world. She is also a founder member of GAPS- UK (Gender Action on Peace and Security). She is a regular participant at the UN Commission on the Status of Women, and has been the consultant on widowhood to the UN. Margaret is also a patron of the Peace in Kurdistan Campaign, and has worked together with the organisation since its founding in 1994.

Connor Hayes is an activist, researcher, and a student of philosophy. He was a member of the 2019 International Peace Delegation to Imrali.

For more information, see the following resources:

WPD website:

WPD Dossier:

This interview is sponsored by the Peace in Kurdistan Campaign and the Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (