Ela Bhatt is an Indian leader, Gandhian, labor organizer, activist for women’s empowerment, and one of the early leaders of the microfinance movement. She founded the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA) in 1972, co-founded Women’s World Banking in 1979, and among other roles since then serves as an Elder in a group of global leaders convened by Nelson Mandela in 2007.
Insia Dariwala is the co-founder of Sahiyo, an organization that empowers Dawoodi Bohra and other Asian communities to end female genital cutting (FGC) and create positive social change. Insia speaks against the lack of knowledge about FGM/C prevalence in the Dawoodi Bohras communities, and how most work against FGM/C fails to support Asian communities and advocates.
Mrs. Mercy Anagbogu is a Professor of Education in the field of Guidance and Counseling. She is highly published and a great gender activist who fights for the rights of women and mentor to several women’s groups in universities in Southeast Nigeria towards social change. Her main preoccupation is counseling against Anti-Social Behaviours for better adjustment of Nigerian Adolescents.
Ms. Karbowska has more than 18 years of experience in protecting women’s rights and promoting gender equality in Ukraine and internationally. Since 1997, Natalia has been working in the area of civil society development and women’s rights, first as the Women’s Program Director of the Open Society Institute in Ukraine, then as the Deputy Director and later Director of Women’s Economic Empowerment Project at Winrock International, followed by her position as Deputy Director of USAID’s Healthy women of Ukraine Program, and presently as a Director on Strategic Development for the Ukrainian Women’s Fund (UWF).
Marilee Karl has devoted her life to the causes of social justice, civil and human rights, equitable development and womens empowerment. She co-founded Isis International in 1974, an organization linking women from South to North and from East to West. Through networking, communication, and capacity building activities for over 30 years, Isis has supported and inspired tens of thousands of activist women and groups around the world, whose work ranges from grassroots empowerment and community action, to conflict resolution and womens rights advocacy at the international level.
Samara Atassi, Zeina Aloulabi,Nisreen Katbi and Samera Tayan
Co-founders Souriyat Across Borders
The founders of Souriyat have a compelling personal story – as refugee women themselves, they got together with other Syrian women in the diaspora and other refugees to provide sorely needed services in order to help individuals affected by the ongoing war as well as contribute to building lasting peace and women’s empowerment in seeking peaceful solutions.
Favourite is a Rwandan whose family fled to Uganda in the mid-1990s when Favourite was a child. After completing primary school in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement, Favourite went on to become one of the first women in Kyangwali to complete six years of secondary school. After completing secondary school, Favourite helped to establish a CIYOTA branch in her community.
Nakinti Nofuru has launched a movement of girl clubs to close the gap of girl’s education in regions of Cameroon where 90% of girls struggle to access school. The girls she reaches are living in places with no telephone network, no electricity radio or TV signals, or accessible roads. Most drop out of school early, forced into marriage or pregnant. Herself having surmounted enormous odds to gain a college degree, and facing local violence and government internet suppression and blackouts, Nakini is determined to pay it forward as the Founder of Rescue Women.
Celine Osukwu is a leader for disability rights and women’s rights in Nigeria. Developing Kyphosis as a child, and a survivor of civil war, Celine has surmounted enormous lifelong challenges to establish the Divine Foundation for Disabled persons. Through her foundation she works tirelessly to eradicate the stigma of disabilities community mobilization, advocacy campaigns, radio programs, and political organizing that has reached millions. Her foundation also provides direct support to thousands of vulnerable persons in Nigeria with disabilities, with a particular focus on women to strengthen their self-worth and self-sufficiency.
Huma Fouladi is currently working as the Executive Director of the Rights, Research and Development Foundation in Quetta, Balochistan. Huma has MBA degree from Virtual University of Pakistan. She has been active in organizing Hazara women and youth for peace and their participation in peace processes.