Felogene is a passionate young feminist activist with over seven years of experience in advancing gender equality through grassroots and online activism, research and capacity building of young women activists. Her roots in feminist movement building were planted at the University of Nairobi where she served as the Women Students Chairperson across the 7 campuses. In 2011, she was awarded Young Woman Achiever by the students association. Prior to joining AWID, she served as the Advocacy Programme Associate at African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET).
Felogene has authored the “Feminist Leadership and Development Curriculum for Adolescent Girls” and co-authored the, “Report on the Status of Ratification on the Rights of women in Africa.” She is a member of the African Youth Taskforce on Post 2015 and a Girls Globe blogger. Felogene is currently finalizing a Masters degree in Public Policy and Administration. She will be working for AWID from her home in Nairobi.
Alejandra is a passionate Uruguayan feminist activist. Before joining AWID she worked for ActionAid as the Women’s Rights coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean. Alejandra also worked with REPEM for more than 10 years where she gained vast experience in women’s rights, education and development advocacy. An educator by training, Alejandra is currently working on her Masters in Education at the Catholic University of Uruguay. Most recently she has become a mother to lovely Guillermina.
Amalia is Mexican-Nicaraguan, and has been based in Brazil since 1995. She holds a Phd in Communication and Culture, and is an Ashoka Fellow, and Synergos Senior Fellow. Amalia is Co-founder and General Coordinator of ELAS-Social Investment Fund, the first independent women’s fund in Brazil. Chair and Co-Founder of the Board of Fondo de Acción Urgente Latinoamerica. Board Member of Baobá Fund for Racial Equity. Co-founder of the International Network of Women's Funds.
Professor for 20 years at the Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales – UNAM. Co- Founder of the Women’s Studies Center at the Faculty of Psychology-UNAM. Feminist scholar and Women’s Rights activist since 1975, her Phd thesis was a cartography of the Latin American feminist movement and it’s communicative action: “Midia and Feminist Cartograpgies: communicative strategies and micropolitics”, UFRJ. In Mexico she has collaborated with some newspapers including Universal, La Jornada and Uno Más Uno. Amalia has published various articles and academic reviews about gender and communications, intersexuality, the feminist movement in Latin-America, philanthropy, social investment in women, as well as women’s rights and entrepreneurship.
Amina is a Nigerian feminist artivist whose work focuses on feminist philanthropy and creative arts for advocacy. She holds a BA in Political Science & Women’s Studies from McGill University (Distinction) and an MSc in Gender, Development and Globalization from the London School of Economics.
Prior to her role as founding member and general coordinator of FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund, Amina worked in the women’s rights grant-making program at the Sigrid Rausing Trust in London. She has facilitated learning programs on women’s rights, resource mobilization, and youth leadership. Amina brings to her activism a passion for music, art, travel, photography, fashion and poetry.
Angelika is an Armenian who was born and raised in Uzbekistan. After obtaining a Finance Diploma and a Bachelor's of Arts in English and Russian Languages, Angelika earned a Master's of Science in International Development at Oklahoma State University in the U.S. Her work and activism experience in Uzbekistan includes coaching debate to high school and university students in her hometown of Samarkand, interning with the Commercial Service of the United States Embassy in Uzbekistan, and volunteering with non-governmental local women's organizations to improve reproductive health and rights of women.
Prior to joining AWID, Angelika worked for the Global Fund for Women. Her latest position in the Global Fund was Program Director for Europe and CIS grantmaking portfolio. Angelika has advisory status with several donor agencies in the ECIS region and is on the Steering Committee of the Grantmakers East Forum, the Affinity group of European Foundation Center. Angelika also served on the Board of the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) in the U.S and is active in the Armenian Diaspora in the United States.
Open Society Foundations/Labrys
Anna Kirey is a senior program officer working on trans and intersex health and rights at Open Society foundations. Anna has been a researcher at Human Rights Watch focusing on LGBT issues in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. She is also a founding member of Labrys, one of Central Asia’s largest LGBT organizations founded in 2004 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Kirey, who was born in Russia and grew up in Ukraine, attended Bishkek’s American University and has since attended a graduate program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and another at the University for Peace in Ciudad Colon, Costa Rica.
Amnesty International - Brazil
Atila Roque is a social and environmental justice advocate and one of the founders of the World Social Forum. He is the Executive Director of Amnesty International, Brazil and, until 2011, was Executive Director of INESC (Institute for Economic and Social Studies), one of Brazil's best-known NGOs.
In addition to his long-time involvement with many social movements, NGOs, and communities, Atila has coordinated a program on public policies and globalization at the Brazilian Institute of Economic and Social Analyses, served as Director of the Brazilian Association of NGOs, and, as Executive Director of Action Aid USA in the 2000s, initiated an intensive effort to link with grassroots constituencies in the US. He has been a member of the International Coordinating Committee of Social Watch and on the Coordinating Committee of the Brazilian Network on Trade and Regional Integration (Rebrip), and is a trustee for, among others, the Brazil Human Rights Fund and the Center for Studies on Public Security and Citizenship (Brazil).
Atila has a Bachelor's Degree in History, a Master’s Degree in Political Science, and a strong belief in “the power of feminism to disturb the collective and to reveal deeply rooted authoritarianism.”
Awa Fall Diop
Awa is a Pan-Africanist feminist activist, deeply involved in the global movement for social justice. Her commitments are also affirmed in the progressive trade union movement where she holds key areas of responsibilities. In the national, regional and global movement for women's rights, she is a member at different levels, in many national (ORGENS, RSJ, etc.), regional (IAPD, etc.) and international organizations (AWID, Genre en Action, etc.). Awa is also an Ashoka innovator in social entrepreneurship, (change maker) for the introduction of equal gender relationship in the education system in Senegal; Mama Cash counselor volunteer for francophone Africa and a Voluntary advice-giver for several West African LGBTI groups.
As a consultant, Awa specialises in Advanced Participatory Methods - (APM), in rights based approaches, is an expert in experience capitalization process, communication for change, feminist research and conception of educational curriculum or andragogic methods. She has used these skills in her activist and professional commitment for the advancement of women’s rights and LGBTI communities’ rights.
Center for Women’s Global Leadership
Charlotte Bunch, Founding Director and Senior Scholar of the Center for Women's Global Leadership, Rutgers University, has been an activist, writer and organizer in feminist and human rights movements for over four decades.
A Distinguished Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies, Bunch was previously a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in DC and a founder of Washington DC Women’s Liberation, The Furies and Quest: A Feminist Quarterly. She has served on the Board of Directors of many organizations and is currently on the board of the Advisory Committee for the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch and the Global Civil Society Advisory Group for UN Women. She has written numerous influential essays, edited nine anthologies and authored Passionate Politics: Feminist Theory in Action and Demanding Accountability: The Global Campaign and Vienna Tribunal for Women's Human Rights. She is the recipient of several women’s and human rights awards including induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the White House Eleanor Roosevelt Award, and being one of the 1000 women nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Cledeneuza Maria Bizerra Oliveira
MIQCB (Movimento Interestadual das Quebradeiras do Coco Babaçu)
Cledeneuza Maria Bizerra Oliveira was born in Marabá in 1957 and grew up in São Domingos do Araguaia where she raised her family and studied under the former education system.
In the 1970s, Cledenueza began to participate in trade union meetings, and subsequently became associated with the land organizations. She was a delegate of the Sindicato de trabalhadores rural no P.A Paulo Fonteles- Cuxiú (the Paulo Fonteles – Cuxiú settlement project rural workers union). She was given a plot of land in 1983, where she worked not only for the trade union, but also as a teacher until 1999. Cledenueza later went back to the city to coordinate the municipality’s school workers union. Around this same period she was a participant in the Movimento das quebradeiras de coco babaçu, or MIQCB (Babaçu women coconut breakers movement). In 1998, she became the coordinator of the MIQCB- PARÁ, as the MIQCB’s regional coordinator and general treasurer until the year 2000. In 2001, Cledenueza was elected president of the interstate women babaçu coconut breakers cooperative. She is currently in her second term and seeks to achieve the goals of the organization.
Dina Dublon is a director of Accenture, and PepsiCo and is on the supervisory board of Deutsche Bank. She was on the board of directors of Microsoft until 2014 and a senior lecturer at Harvard Business school during 2011/12. She was on the board of the Global Fund for Women and co-chair of the board of the Women's Refugee Commission. Ms. Dublon was, until the end of 2004, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for JPMorgan Chase. She joined the company as a trainee on the trading floor in 1981 and over her career there was integral to the negotiation and integration of the mergers of Chemical Bank with Manufacturers Hanover, Chase, JPMorgan, and Bank One.
She was on the Fortune list of the 50 most powerful women in business for several years and has been honored by many organizations as a “Woman Who Makes A Difference.” She is an active advocate for women’s issues ranging from professional women to issues facing refugee women. Ms. Dublon was born in Brazil, she holds a Bachelors degree in economics and mathematics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a Masters degree from the business school at Carnegie Mellon University. She has two adult children.
Ms. Shaheed is the Executive Director of Shirkat Gah-Women’s Resource Centre in Pakistan. Recipient of several national and international human rights awards, Farida Shaheed, a sociologist, has promoted women’s rights for more than 25 years as a essential pre-requisite for protecting all rights and fundamental freedoms. Campaigning from the local to the international levels for more just policies and laws, she has consistently also worked at the grassroots to ensure women enjoy rights and have the capability to be empowered rights-holders.
Her work with women is complemented by initiatives aiming to reshape communities to be supportive of women’s agency and to promote the rights of all marginalized sectors, in particular peasants, religious and ethnic minorities. She has researched and published extensively on the interface of women’s rights, culture, religion and State responsibilities. Shaheed has contributed to the formulation of key policies on women in Pakistan and to international agenda-setting on women, in particular in the United Nations. She was formerly the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Hakima Abbas is a political scientist, policy analyst and activist. She has been active in struggles for social justice on issues of self-determination, race, class, gender and sexuality for over fifteen years. Her professional work in civil society and the United Nations system as a trainer, strategist and researcher has focused on strengthening and supporting movements for change in Africa and the Middle East. Hakima is the editor and author of various publications, is on the editorial collective of The Feminist Wire and is a contributor to Al Jazeera online. She currently serves as a board member to Greenpeace Africa, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Eastern Africa and the African Sex Worker Alliance.
CESR (Center for Economic and Social Rights)
Ignacio Saiz is executive director of the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), an international NGO that works to promote human rights in the sphere of economic, social and development policy. Prior to joining CESR in 2006. he was director of policy at the international secretariat of Amnesty International, where his he oversaw Amnesty's first program of work on economic, social and cultural rights, and helped to expanding the organization´s policies in the area of sexual and reproductive rights.
He has also served as deputy director of the Americas Program of Amnesty International, with responsibility for the organization´s work in Mexico and Central America. Ignacio has also worked as a freelance human rights consultant for several other organizations in areas relating to sexuality and human rights, the prevention of torture and post-conflict accountability. Ignacio holds an LLM in international human rights law with distinction from the University of Essex.
Jurema Werneck is a Medical Doctor and Technical Coordinator at Criola. She holds a Master of Production Engineering from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University - UFRJ - 2000) and a PhD in Communication and Culture (UFRJ - 2007). She has expertise in the following areas: public policies for gender and race equity, anti-racism, Afro-Brazilian women, Afro-Brazilian culture, and health care for Afro-Brazilians.
Kay Thi Win
Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers
Kay Thi Win is Regional Coordinator for the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW). Prior to joining APNSW, she worked as a Senior Program Manager of Targeted Outreach Program (TOP) in Population Services International (PSI) Myanmar for 9 years. She was also chair-person of APNSW for over two years and has over 12 years of experience playing a leading role in the establishment of comprehensive nationwide HIV prevention, care and support services for male, female and transgender sex workers in Asia and Pacific. Kay Thi is also the founder and technical adviser of Aye Myanmar Association - AMA, a Sex Worker lead organization working on health, advocacy and right to health of sex workers across the country in Myanmar. She provides volunteer services to Global Network of Sex Workers project (NSWP), is a Working Group Member of Global Fund advocates network – GFAN and a Working Group Member of Unzip.
Kay Thi has worked extensively with HIV stakeholders including Government, non-government and civil society organizations, policy planners and decision makers in HIV and health sectors, key-populations at risk and donor agencies. She has a proven track record in engagement and mobilization of populations at risk, fundraising and grants management for HIV projects and programs.
Women’s Resource Center, Armenia
Lara Aharonian was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1972 and immigrated to Montreal, Canada during the Lebanese civil war in 1990s where she studied Psycho-education and Comparative feminist Literature. She has been living in Armenia for the past 11 years. She founded the Women’s Resource Center in Yerevan in 2003 with her feminist friends to empower women in the region and challenge the patriarchal norms in Armenian society. In 2008, she created the first crisis center for survivors of sexual assault in Armenia to break the silence and shame around gender-based violence. Until today, with other activists, she advocates for the rights of women experiencing domestic violence and supports them in finding justice.
Since 2007, she has conducted an outreach project to work with women living in the conflict region of Nagorno-Karabakh, where she founded the sister branch of the Women’s Center, involving women in the peace processes of the region. She is one of the directors of the documentary film “Finding Zabel Yesayan” on the life and work of the Armenian female writer and social activist of the early 20th century. She presently lives in Yerevan and is involved in the development of different regional networks in South Caucasus, including the Young Women’s Network of South Caucasus and the South Caucasus Women’s Congress.
Lisa McGowan is the Senior Specialist for Gender Equality at the Solidarity Center (SC), an international worker rights organization that works with unions, rights-based NGOs and community groups in over 60 countries to further worker rights and social and economic justice. McGowan leads the Solidarity Center’s strategic objective to incorporate women’s labor rights and gender equality throughout its programs, as core components of labor rights and economic justice. Since joining the SC in 1999, McGowan has also promoted women’s empowerment and labor rights in her role as Senior Program Officer and Acting Director of both the Global and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
In over 25 years of experience, McGowan has: published labor, macroeconomic and gender-based critiques of structural adjustment policies; conducted extensive fieldwork to support grassroots development programs in collaboration with local peasant and community groups in Haiti; directed a network of over 200 U.S. organizations advocating for people-centered global economic policy; designed participatory agricultural extension programs for rural women workers in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo); and developed and conducted global economy, women’s empowerment, gender equality and labor rights training and popular education in numerous countries around the world, including Serbia, Haiti, Mexico, Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, South Africa, and Indonesia.
Lydia is a Costa Rican/Mexican feminist activist based in Mexico City. She has been Executive Director of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) since 2007, and was the manager of AWID’s ‘Where is the Money for Women’s Rights?’ and ‘Building Feminist Movements and Organizations Strategic Initiatives’ from 2003-2006. Lydia is a sociologist by training and co-founder and advisor of ELIGE - Youth Network for Reproductive and Sexual Rights (Mexico). She was a member of the International Council for Human Rights Policy (2004 -2011). She recently completed her term as a member of the Board of Directors for the Global Fund for Women.
She is a graduate of the Human Rights Advocacy Training Program at the Center for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University, New York City, U.S.A. Lydia has extensive experience in advocacy and training on women's human rights, particularly in sexual rights and reproductive rights, financing for gender equality, women’s rights organizing, and ending violence against women.
Women International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
Madeleine Rees is Secretary General of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). She worked as a lawyer specialising in discrimination law and brought ground breaking cases to the European Court of Human Rights and The European Court in Luxembourg. In 1998 she began working as the chief of the OHCHR in Bosnia - Herzegovina. From 2006 to 2010 she was the head of the gender unit for the OHCHR.
Mallika Dutt is the founder and president of Breakthrough, a global human rights organization that seeks to make violence and discrimination against women unacceptable. Breakthrough uses an innovative mix of popular culture, multimedia, and community engagement to transform gender norms and has reached millions through it's cutting-edge campaigns. Prior to founding Breakthrough, Mallika served as Program Officer for Human Rights and Social Justice at the Ford Foundation’s New Delhi Office. She also acted as Associate Director of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University, working at the forefront of the global movement for recognizing women’s rights as human rights. Mallika serves on numerous boards and committees, including Planned Parenthood Federation of American, the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Social Media, and Neo Philanthropy.
Maria Jose (Zeca) Rosado
Catolicas pelo Direito a Decidir – Brazil
Maria José is a professor at the PUC - Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (the Catholic university of São Paulo), where she leads the Gender, Religion and Politics research group (Gênero, Religião e Política, or GREPO). A sociologist with a PhD from the EHESS and a researcher at the CNPq (Brazilian national research center), she has developed research on the issue of gender and religion, with special interest in Catholicism, the subject of many of her publications.
Maria José is also the founder and general director of the Católicas pelo Direito de Decidir (Catholic women for the right to decide) in Brazil. In 2004, she was nominated, along with 51 other Brazilian women, for the Nobel Peace Prize by the Associação Mil Mulheres para a Paz (a thousand women for peace association). In 1997, she received the Ashoka prize as a social entrepreneur. She is a member of the 100 United Nations Global Experts group (2011). María José has received awards for her publications, such as “Honorable Mention in Gender Issues” for her book entitled Feminist Intercultural Theology: Latina Explorations for a Just World, Orbis Book, in 2008. In 2014, the Compêndio de Ciência da Religião (science of religion collection) won the Jabuti Prize, coming in third place in the field of human sciences. María José coordinated the collection’s “science of religion” section.
Mariama Williams, Ph.D. is a Senior Fellow with the South Centre, Geneva, Switzerland. She is also a director of the Institute of Law and Economics (ILE), Jamaica. Dr. Williams is the author of Climate Change Finance—Coming out of the Margins (2015); Trading Stories: Experiences with Gender and Trade (co-edited with Marilyn Carr, 2010), co-author, Gender and Trade Action Guide: A Training Resource (2007), author, Gender Issues in the Multilateral Trading System (2003. Her current research areas are the debt & financial crisis, climate change & climate change financing.
Williams has extensive experience in the areas of sovereign debt crises, international trade policy and macroeconomics and economic development. Dr. Williams is also a member of the International Working Group on Gender, Macroeconomics and International Trade (IWG-GEM), a former member of the Steering Committee and Co-research Coordinator, Political Economy of Globalization (Trade) for Development Alternative with Women for a New Era (DAWN, 2003-2008), past Research Coordinator with the International Gender and Trade Network (IGTN, 2000-2008) and served on the Advisory Committee of Progress of the World’s Women, a biennial report published by UNIFEM 2000 and past member of the board of the Association for Women’s Rights and Development (AWID, 2002-2004). She is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, Sweden and a member of the International Planning Committee, AWID (2012 and 2016).
Marusia López Cruz
Just Associates (JASS)
Marusia López Cruz is a Mexican/Chilean feminist. She holds a Bachelor's in Ethnography from the Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia (National School of Anthropology and History) and has a Master's in Gender and Development from the University of Barcelona. Marusia is JASS Mesoamerica’s ex-Regional Director and currently a Regional Advisor in charge of the integral protection of Women Human Rights Defenders in Mesoamerica and worldwide. Her work focuses on the systematization and exchange of experiences and knowledge. She represents JASS in the Mesoamerican Initiative for Women Human Rights Defenders (IM-Defensoras) and monitors other JASS activities in the Mesoamerican region.
Marusia is a member of the International Network of Advisors of the Global Fund for Women. Within Mexico, she was part of the Consorcio para el Diálogo Parlamentario y la Equidad (Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity). Marusia began her work with community organizations by promoting the rights and holistic development rural women. She coordinated Elige, Red de Jóvenes por los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos (Choose - Youth Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights) between 2001 and 2005. She was a member of the Advisory Council for the Law to Encourage Activities Undertaken by Civil Society Organizations (Ley de Fomento a las Actividades Realizadas por Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil), from 2006 to 2008.
In 2013 she received the Women Have Wings Award and in 2012 received the Omecihuatl Medal from the Instituto de las Mujeres del Gobierno (Women's Institute of Government) of the City of Mexico, for her work as a human rights defender. In 2005 she won the recognition of the Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer (Mexican Society for Women's Rights AC) - Seeds-: “Mujeres Invirtiendo en Mujeres” ("Women Investing in Women") and was one of those who received the award Luchando por Nuestro Futuro: un Tributo a las Mujeres Jóvenes que luchan por el cambio” ("Fighting for Our Future: A Tribute to Young Women Fighting for Change") award delivered by the international organization MADRE.
Global Action for Trans* Equality (GATE)
Mauro Cabral is an activist from Argentina, whose work is mainly focused on trans and intersex issues. He serves as Co-Director of GATE (Global Action for Trans* Equality), and as Senior Advisor at the Intersex Fund (Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice). He is also a Board member of Akahatá, Equipo de Trabajo en Sexualidades y Géneros, and member of the Advisory Group on Key Affected populations at the International AIDS Society (IAS), the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the International Reference Group on Trans Issues at the Global Forum of MSM and HIV (MSMGF) and the Advisory Group at Dignity for All, and the local group Justicia Intersex, among other affiliations.
In 2006 he participated in the production of the Yogyakarta Principles and in 2009 he edited the book Interdicciones - Escrituras de la intersexualidad en castellano. Mauro had an active participation in the elaboration and negotiation of the Argentinian Gender Identity Law in 2012, and took part in the first hearing on intersex issues at the Inter American Human Rights Commission in 2013. In 2015 he received the Bob Hepple Equality Award.
Nazra for Feminist Studies
Mozn Hassan is the founder and Executive Director of Nazra for Feminist Studies, a feminist group that aims to integrate gender and feminism in the Egyptian society Her research interests include combating violence against women, history of feminism in Egypt, and early child marriage. She has an MA from the American University in Cairo with a thesis on “Legal Interpretations to the Right to Divorce and Polygamy and the Egyptian Feminist Movement”.
Mozn served as Egypt advisor with the Global Fund for Women and from May 2015 as Board member to Global Fund for Women. She served as a consultant on various projects including “Combating Female Genital Mutilation", “Gender Mainstreaming “and “Women’s Political Participation”. She has conducted studies on early marriage, sexual violence and women in politics. Ms. Hassan received the inaugural Charlotte Bunch Human Rights Defender Award on April 17th, 2013 at the Global Fund for Women’s 25th Anniversary Gala.
Mozn currently is a consultant for Women Human Rights Defenders MENA Coalition, a member in the International Planning Committee for AWID Forum 2016 and Global Fund for Women Board member.
Myrna Kay Cunningham Kain
Center for Autonomy and Development of Indigenous People
The women's indigenous Miskito community of Waspam is located on the banks of the River Wangki in Nicaragua. After studying for a Master of Education (Primary), Myrna Kay Cunningham Kain returned to her community of origin to work as a teacher. She later went back to study medicine and surgery at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, becoming the first Miskita woman doctor.
In the decade of the 90s the first steps to establish the University of the Autonomous Regions of the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast URACCAN were taken, in which she was the founding Chancellor of the year 1992- 2004. URACCAN was one of the first Latin American experiences of higher indigenous education, intercultural, gender-sensitive and has served as inspiration for many indigenous people of the continent.
She has been the coordinator of the Indian Chair (CII) since 2005, composed of 60 indigenous scholars from 18 countries in Latin America, which is a course that is part of the curriculum of graduate programs offered by UII in 25 Associated Academic Centers, designed to provide information, analysis, conceptual and methodological contributions to knowledge, spirituality, world view, rights and processes of struggle of indigenous people.
She is the Chairperson of the Center for Autonomy and Development of indigenous People (CADPI) since 2003, which is an organization working in the areas of intercultural communication, cultural revitalization, rights of indigenous women, climate change and its impact on indigenous people. CADPI has established an observatory on regional ethnic autonomy in Nicaragua.
She was a member of the Board of the Global Fund for Women and advised the Alliance of Indigenous Women and International Indigenous Women's Forum (FIMI). From 2011-2013, she served as Chair of the Permanent UN Forum on Indigenous Issues. In 2012, Dr. Cunningham received an Award of Woman Distinction from ONG MADRE. In 2014, she was appointed as Special Ambassador of FAO for the International Year of Family Farming extending her position as Ambassador to 2016. She was Adviser to the President of the General Assembly of the UN World Conference of Indigenous People of the UN in 2014.
She is currently a member of the Board of Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID), The Hunger Project, and a Trust Fund for Indigenous People, Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility (IPAF). Dr. Cunningham is currently First Vice President of the Board of the Fund for the Development of Indigenous People of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance (PIFA)
Nica is the Internet Rights Coordinator of the Foundation for Media Alternatives. She is also one of the lead conveners of the Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance, a nationwide broad coalition of organizations and individuals who are fighting for the protection and promotion of rights and freedoms in cyberspace.
Nica is an organizer cum networker par excellence with a storied background in feminist and human rights activism. She joined FMA in 2012 to coordinate its Gender and ICT project, Association for Progressive Communications Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (APC FLOW), before being assigned later, in 2013, to lead the Internet Rights program.
Earlier in 2008, Nica started working on the nexus of ICT, human rights, and social justice issues when she helped found the country’s first national association of ICT workers. Nica started her activism at the University of the Philippines (UP) where she pursued BS Biochemistry. There, she led the establishment of major student political formations which have been in the forefront of the struggle to fight tuition fee increases and state budget cuts. Nica has since been involved in various initiatives – from sectoral movement-building of youth, women, LGBTs, urban poor, to local and regional campaigns against the privatization of essential services, the corrupt pork barrel system, and other repressive public policies.
Nicky McIntyre has been the Executive Director of Mama Cash since June 2008. Prior to this, she served for one decade as the Vice President of Development and Communications at the Global Fund for Women. She is a native of Scotland with a Master’s degree in Urban Affairs and Planning from the City University of New York, Hunter College, and a Bachelor’s degree in History and French from Oxford University, United Kingdom. Nicky served on the Board of the Global Greengrants Foundation from 1998 to 2002.
She was a Board member of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission from 2001-2004, serving as its Chair from 2002-2004, of Gender Action from 2007-2009, and the Women’s Funding Network from 2010-2012. Nicky currently serves on the Governing Council of the European Foundation Centre and on the Board of the International Network of Women’s Funds.
Disability Rights Activist and Writer
Nidhi Goyal has been working as a gender and disability rights advocate since 2011. She is the co-author of www.sexualityanddisability.org – a website for women with disabilities. Before 2011, she was a freelance journalist writing for women’s magazines and education portals. She also has contributed to the published books of Dr Shri Balaji Tambe as a translator and editor. She acquired her Bachelors and Master’s Degree in commerce and economics and a PG diploma in Human Resource Management from leading colleges in Mumbai. After a stint as a journalist at a national newspaper, she signed up for a communications and media degree at Sophia College and went on to top her class.
Currently she is pursuing a masters in development studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science with a full scholarship from the Joint Japan World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program. She has also been invited to present several papers in national and international conferences on the sexual rights of women with disabilities. She has been voluntarily associated with nonprofit organizations working for the rights of persons with visual impairment. She is a trained Bharat Natyam and Salsa dancer, is partly trained in Hindustani Classical vocal, and is an avid reader, a complete foodie and a theatre enthusiast.
Nilcéa Freire is the former representative of Ford Foundation in Brazil and running for Councillor in Rio de Janeiro´s municipal election in October 2016.
Prior to joining the foundation in 2011, Nilcéa was the Minister of the Secretariat of Policies for Women (SPM) of the Presidency of the Federative Republic of Brazil, where she worked, from 2004-2010, on issues related to the advancement of gender equity and policies for the improvement of the conditions of women.
From 2000 to 2003, she served as Rector of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), overseeing the academic and overall management of the university. Prior to being named Rector, she had held academic and administrative positions at the university since 1980. Nilcéa also presided as the State Council of Education of the State of Rio de Janeiro.
Nilcéa has a Master’s degree in Biological Sciences from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Nilcéa received her bachelor’s degree in medicine from the State University of Rio de Janeiro with a residency in parasitology in the same university.
Educator, writer and feminist activist, Schuma is the co-author of the Dictionary of Women of Brazil, Abrealas, Um Rio de Mulheres, Gogó de Ema, and Mulheres Negras do Brasil, which won the Jabuti Prize in 2008. For over 30 years, Schuma has been working on the participation of women in the history of Brazil and the fight against violence against women. She is currently the executive coordinator of the non-governmental organization REDEH – Rede de Desenvolvimento Humano (human development network). As a member of Articulação de Mulheres Brasileiras (coalition of Brazilian women), she is an advisor to the National Council on Women’s Rights. In 2004, she received the Woman of the Year award (Diploma Bertha Lutz) from the Senate, and in 2005, she was one of 52 Brazilian women nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Shareen is a feminist activist with over 20 years of experience working to promote women’s rights and gender justice. Her main focus has been to strengthen advocacy against the use of arguments based on religion, culture and tradition to justify violations of women’s rights in international human rights spaces and across regions and religions. In 2007 Shareen launched and presently leads the Challenging Religious Fundamentalisms initiative at the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID). Since joining the organization in 2001, Shareen has managed the Women’s Human Rights Net website and the Early Warning Signs of Fundamentalisms resource.
Shareen has previously worked with Canadian refugee-sponsoring organizations, refugee legislation and with the Afghan Women’s Organization. She has co-authored and edited several publications including "Shared Insights: Women's Rights Activists Define Religious Fundamentalisms” and "Feminists on the Frontline: Case Studies of Resisting and Challenging Fundamentalisms”. Shareen grew up in Pakistan during the Islamic military regime and has also spent several years working with women’s health and education programs in the Dominican Republic. Shareen holds a degree in International Development Studies and Anthropology and a Masters in Sociology and Equity studies.
Jamaican Household Workers
Shirley Pryce is a former domestic worker and a Human Rights Advocate who for over 20 years has been voluntarily championing for the empowerment and rights of domestic workers around the globe. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. Under her leadership the Jamaican Household Workers Association has moved to become a Union whose membership has grown from 175 to over 3000 with a clear vision of advancing the development agenda of domestic workers in Jamaica and the Caribbean. She has demonstrated determination, transparency, and perseverance in her endeavors to improve the situation of domestic workers.
Shirley was one of two Caribbean representatives who participated in the International Labour Conference to develop and adopt the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No.189). Her organization is one of the founding members of the Caribbean Domestic Workers Network, which she now chairs. She has taken on speaking engagements around the world sharing best practice on organizing domestic workers, and assisted domestic workers in Antigua to form a domestic workers’ organization. Shirley continues to work diligently on issues affecting women so that their lives may be impacted in a positive way.
Diverse Voices and Actions for Equality
Shirley Tagi is the Coordinator of Diverse Voices and Action for Equality, a lesbian, bisexual and transgender/butch led feminist collective in the Pacific working on sexual rights and development alternatives. Shirley has been a Pacific feminist community organizer, human rights advocate, woman broadcaster, programmer producer, radio station manager and independent consultant for over 20 years, and has worked in collectives, CSOs, Community media, Mainstream media, University, government statutory bodies and funding sectors .
She is an accomplished community facilitator, advocate, singer, guitarist and musical community activist, programmer and project planner, radio broadcaster, broadcasting technical adviser and community and corporate trainer - primary current work being south feminist, SIDs and LDC informed interlinkage approaches to sexual and gender justice, human rights, climate justice, economic, trade debt, aid and finance justice, and sustainable development alternatives.
Stefany has been an events manager for over 10 years. She made a commitment early on in her career that she would only work with organizations or groups whose values and mission match her own and has thus worked with many environmental and women's rights groups in Canada including; the David Suzuki Foundation, Women in View and the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education. Stefany joined AWID in 2011 and took on the role of Forum Manager. She loves to travel and has had the chance to live/work/travel to many parts of the world.
Mtandao / AWID board
Usu is a feminist activist, facilitator and animator; a sociologist & political scientist by training. From 2007 to 2014, she was the Executive Director of the Tanzania Gender and Networking Programme (TGNP), a visionary transformative feminist CSO with acclaimed contributions in advocating for fundamental social transformation and alternative development frameworks that address both macro and micro factors and the intersections of sex, class, race and other social economic variables. Usu is well experienced in the application of feminist methodology in action research; policy; review/analysis/evaluation/audit of budgets; training and capacity enhancement; manuals and tools development; media engagement; and the nurturing of mechanisms and fora for coalition and movement building.
Usu provided leadership to TGNP at a time when the organization was undergoing major restructuring and repositioning towards strengthening transformative feminist consciousness as well as grounding its work in grassroots activism. This exposure has strengthened her capacity and leadership in change management, institutional development and growth grounded in feminist principles and values. Usu is a strategist and capable fundraiser for the advancement of women rights and feminist work. In the past 15 years, Usu has engaged in strategic partnership building with likeminded institutions, coalition's allies within Tanzania, at regional and international levels.
ODARA - Instituto da Mulher Negra
Valdecir Nascimento has over the past 34 years, worked with the black movement and the feminist movement to build proposals on policies for combating racial and gender violence, and organizing meetings, seminars and workshops. She participated in the national coordinating committees of the black women's movement in the Southern Cone, and Latin America and the Caribbean for the Cairo and Beijing Conferences, and presented proposals on combating the physical and psychological violence and invisibility affecting black women. In that context, Valdecir coordinated the CEAFRO program - Programa de Profissionalização de Jovens e Adolescentes Negros (professional training for black youth and adolescents program) with the goal of promoting the integration of black youth as skilled workers into the labor market.
She managed the Department of Gender and Racial Equality of the Secretary of Policies for Women of the municipality of Laura de Freitas. Currently, Valdecir is the executive coordinator of ODARA - Instituto da Mulher Negra (black women’s institute) and coordinates the Rede de Mulheres Negras do Nordeste do Brasil (network of black women from the northeastern region of Brazil). She is a member of the Rede Estadual de Mulheres Negras (state network of black women), the CNPIR - Conselho Nacional de Promoção da Igualdade Racial (national council for the promotion of racial equality) and the CNPD – Coordenação Nacional de População e Desenvolvimento/PR (national commission on population and development/PR). She is a representative of the AMNB - Articulação Nacional de Mulheres Negras (national coalition of black women) in the central mobilizing committee for the 2015 Black Women’s March. Furthermore, Valdecir is a substitute professor at the Universidade Federal do Recôncavo (federal university of Recôncavo) (September 2013/2014).
She is also a consultant for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), working on BRA/07/015 in 2013, and the systematization of the UNDP’s Programa de Atenção aos Povos e Comunidades Tradicionais (support program for traditional peoples and communities) in 2011-2012. She served as Rapporteur of the Observatory on Racial Discrimination, Violence Against Women and LGBT during carnival in 2011 (conducted an assessment of the Observatory’s activities and databases, training for Observatory’s team in 2012, development of the methodology for the elaboration of the report). Government of the state of Bahia – State Superintendent of Policies for Women (2008-2011). Management of public policies for women in the state of Bahia: accompaniment, monitoring and assessment of the municipalities’ actions; inter-institutional coordination for the implementation of policies in the areas of women’s health, education, work and income, and guarantees of their rights.
Vini (Rajasvini) Bhansali
Rajasvini Bhansali is the Executive Director of International Development Exchange (IDEX) and a passionate advocate for participatory grassroots-led social change and movement building. In a wide-ranging career devoted to social and economic justice, she has led a national social enterprise, managed a public telecommunications infrastructure fund addressing digital divide issues and worked as a researcher, planner, policy analyst and strategy consultant. Vini also worked alongside community leaders as a capacity builder for youth polytechnics in rural Kenya for over two years. Born and raised in India, Vini earned a Master’s in Public Affairs (MPA) with a focus on technology and telecommunications policy from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor’s degree in Astrophysics and Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities & Social Sciences from UC Berkeley.
Vini has been involved in community organizing and volunteer board roles for the last two decades. She is currently active on the Board of Directors for Greenpeace USA and the Rockwood Leadership Institute. Inspired by the potential of social justice philanthropy to support movements and community based organizations, Vini has also served on the steering committee for the Bay Area Justice Funders Network (BAJFN) and on the advisory board for the Agroecology Fund. Vini lectures in the University of California at Berkeley Master’s Program in Development Practice; the University of Vermont Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources new Master’s Program in Ecological Sustainability and the Social Entrepreneurship program at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. This year she was honored with a Leaders in Action award by Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP).
Vini is also a published poet, essayist, storyteller and popular educator. When not engaged with community organizations, Vini can be found hiking, cooking and dancing with friends.
Virginia (Gina) Vargas
Centro de la Mujer Peruana Flora Tristán
Virginia Vargas is a sociologist and feminist activist in Peru and Latin America. She is a founding board member of the Centro "Flora Tristan" in Lima and the political movement Articulación Feminista Marcosur (Marcosur Feminist Articulation) in Latin America. She has published several books and many articles. Gina has been a visiting professor at various universities in Europe, USA and Latin America, including the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Netherlands; the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA and the Gutenberg University in Sweden.
She has been part of numerous networks and various feminist initiatives in Latin America and worldwide, "Among women: a North-South dialogue", Social Watch, DAWN, Diálogo Pueblo, Campaign for a Convention on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, Campaign against Fundamentalisms, Campaign for the Legalization of Abortion in Latin America, among many others.
For the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, China, in 1995, Gina was named coordinator of the Latin America and the Caribbean NGO Forum. She has received several international awards for her struggle for feminism and human rights. And, on the global level, has been actively involved in the World Social Forum since its inception, representing the Articulación Feminista Marcosur.
University of California, Davis
Zeina Zaatari is a research associate at UC Davis and an independent consultant focusing on gender and sexuality in the Middle East and North Africa. Previously, she worked as the Regional Director for the MENA Program at Global Fund for Women (2004-2012) where she managed a diverse grantmaking program to support women’s movements. She earned her PhD in Cultural Anthropology with an emphasis in Feminist Theory from the University of California at Davis, with dissertation fieldwork focusing on women’s groups and activists in South Lebanon.
Zeina is a core group member of the Arab Families Working Group, a former Board member of Association of Middle East Women’s Studies, and the Associate Editor for Europe and the Middle East for the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures.
Her recent publications include: “Desirable Masculinity/Femininity and Nostalgia of the “Anti-Modernity”: Bab el-Hara Television Series as a Site of Production” in Sexuality and Culture (2014), “Re-Imagining Family, Gender, and Sexuality: Feminist and LGBT Activism in the context of the 2006 Invasion of Lebanon” co-written with Nadine Naber in Journal Cultural Dynamics (2014), “Arab Feminist Awakening: Possibilities and Necessities” in Arab Feminisms: A Critical Perspective (in Arabic 2012, English 2014), and an edited book Telling Our Stories: Women’s Voices of the Middle East and North Africa (2011). Additionally, she has authored several commissioned research publications including: “Unpacking Gender: The Humanitarian Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Jordan” (2014, Women’s Refugee Commission), and “No Democracy Without Women’s Equality: Middle East and North Africa” (2013, Social Science Research Council).