Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Working Group

Charity Binka

Ghana, Africa

Charity Binka is the Executive Director of an Accra based NGO, Women, Media and Change (WOMEC). Charity is also a lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) where she teaches Gender and Development and other related courses. As the Manager of the GIMPA Gender Development and Research Centre, Charity played a leading role in developing the Gender Policy of the Institute and ensured the integration of gender into key programmes and examinable courses. She is committed to giving women public voice and visibility through the effective use of the media. In 2000, Charity compiled media reports on violence against women for a book, “The Hidden Terror- Stories about Violence Against Women”, a Multi- Disciplinary African Women’s Health Network (MAWHN) publication and edited by Efua Hesse, Charity Binka & Angela Kamara. Charity worked with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation for 18 years where she rose to the rank of Editor-in-Chief and Head of the Gender Desk of the Radio Division of the Corporation. Before then, she had worked with the Nigerian Tribune, Ibadan, Nigeria as a Journalist and State Correspondent. Charity is a board member of the African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), Nairobi, Kenya. She is currently working on her PhD thesis on “Barriers to Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment in Rural Ghana”, at the Department of Population and Health, University of Cape Coast, Ghana.

Women, Media and Change (WOMEC)

Women, Media and Change (WOMEC) is a national independent Non-Profit and Non-Governmental Organization established in 1994 in response to the need of promoting effective use of the media for the advancement of women. WOMEC recognizes that women’s issues are a dimension of many issues such as education, health, environment and human rights, and is committed to giving women public voice and visibility through the mass media to expand their participation in the public arena. Since WOMEC was founded, its work and activities have earned for it growing respect and recognition among women’s organizations and individuals who seek to make an impact in their chosen fields of endeavor through effective use of the media. WOMEC believes all segments of the population must be given equal space to develop their full potential. In line with this, WOMEC is committed to creating a forum for networking and fostering exchanges among different segments of the population as well as building the capacity media practitioners to be gender sensitive in their reportage.

WOMEC endorses the Initiative

Yeabu Tholley

Sierra Leone, Africa

Yeabu works as a Statistician at Statistics Sierra Leone in the Economics Statistics division. She was a Senior Mathematics Lecturer teaching Statistics and involved in research work in a Polytechnic College. She was the Assistant Treasurer of Sierra Leone Association of University Women (SLAUW), member of the African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) and also the former National Secretary for the Forum for African Women Educationalist Sierra Leone Chapter. She is a member of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW), the Women’s Forum Sierra Leone and the Honorary Treasurer Planned Parenthood Association Sierra Leone (PPASL). She was a delegate to the 55th & 56th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. She co-developed the IFUW 2012 Human Rights Education Toolkit. She has participated as Trainer/Coordinator/Secondary Editor/Report Writer in many Surveys and research exercises including the CEDAW Household Survey in Sierra Leone in 2009. She has written articles on women issues. One of these articles is titled, “Voices of Women: Addressing Violence Against Women in Rural Areas in Sierra Leone” and was published in The African Women’s Journal Issue No. 05 July – December 2012.

Obioma Nwaorgu

Nigeria, Africa

Obioma is a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science, a Takemi Fellow of the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA and a Global Health Leadership Fellow of the World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, Switzerland under the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) unit. She has a PhD in Public Health Parasitology from the University of Cambridge, UK in 1978. She has supervised over ten PhD and twenty MSc student’s projects. She has been principal investigator in at least ten WHO supported research projects. Obioma, a Professor of Public Health Parasitology and Epidemiology, is the Executive Director/President of a Nigerian based nongovernmental organization with ECOSOC status at the UN involved in economic empowerment, sexual and reproductive health and social rights issues among women and adolescent girls. She has managed and financially administered various large NGO and research project budgets and has consulted for various international and multinational agencies. Presently her NGO is involved in Voices for Change, a 5 year UK Aid/DFID supported project targeted at empowering young girls and boys 16 to 25 years old in postsecondary institutions (colleges) in Nigeria for transformational change, tackling social norms in three key areas namely violence against women, gender equality and leadership.

Global Health Awareness Research Foundation (GHARF)

GHARF, a nongovernmental and not for profit organization with ECOSOC status of the UN, was established in 1996. GHARF is involved in economic empowerment, sexual and reproductive and social rights issues among women and adolescents. GHARF envisions a society where women and adolescents are free from sexuality and reproductive health problems and their rights are recognized. Its mission is to empower women and adolescents economically and with correct information on sexuality and reproductive health issues and rights through education, research, documentation, service delivery and income generation activities. GHARF’s activities are carried out in eight thematic areas namely Gender and human rights, Integrated economic and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS mitigation and prevention, Care and support of orphan and vulnerable children, peer education/mentoring, research, documentation and information dissemination among others. The capacity of members of women’s community based organizations is strengthened for promotion of gender equality, communication skills and to enable them to advocate and lobby for elimination of Harmful Traditional Practices (HTPS) and fight for their rights to participate in decision making among others.

GHARF is in favor of a global binding norm on VAW and they support this work.

Anyieth D’Awol

South Sudan, Africa

Anyieth D’Awol earned her LLB in Law from Sheffield Hallam University and LLM in Human Rights from Leicester University in the United Kingdom. She has worked as an independent researcher for the Clingendael Institute documenting HIV/AIDS in post-conflict South Sudan. She has also written on women’s rights. Anyieth is the author of a chapter on sexual violence in Hope, Pain and Patience: The Women of South Sudan edited by Freiderike Bubenzer and Orly Stern.In 2009 she founded the ROOTS PROJECT with the aim of providing a secure environment for women to pursue economic independence through traditional crafts. In January 2014, following the outbreak of conflict on 15 December 2013, Anyieth, with other civil society leaders joined hands to form Citizens for Peace and Justice (CPJ) to help address the conflict. CPJ is promoting a peaceful resolution to the conflict and advocating for a just and sustainable peace by addressing the root causes of the conflict and ensuring that there is accountability and justice for all victims.

Roots of South Sudan Project

The ROOTS PROJECT is a South Sudanese non-governmental organization (NGO), founded in 2009 to economically, socially and culturally empower women from various tribes through arts and crafts. The ROOTS PROJECT provides members with job skills, literacy and numeracy training, health education and supports access to healthcare and to provide a safe environment for mothers and their young children to work and learn. The ROOTS Project Center promotes South Sudanese crafts locally and globally to foster respect and appreciation for all traditions and promote unity that is much needed amongst the people of South Sudan.

The ROOTS Project works with women, many who suffer from domestic violence and the organization is in favor of a binding global norm.

Ruth Anyango Aura

Kenya, Africa

Dr. Ruth Aura holds a Doctorate Degree in Law (LL.D) from the University of Pretoria (International Law), a Master of Law degree (LL.M) from the University of Zimbabwe and another Master in Policy Studies from University of Forte Hare & Zimbabwe; and a Bachelor of Law degree (LL.B) from the University of Nairobi. She is a lawyer with more than 20 years experience in both litigation, and policy research and development both locally and internationally. Her expertise is in the area of access to justice, human rights, violence against women, legislative drafting, and gender and climate change. Dr. Aura has undertaken research for various Public and Private Institutions including Multi-nationals, Multi-laterals and International and Local NGOs, including ARD based in Washington DC, Africa Medical Research Foundation – Kenya (AMREF), Egerton University, Agency for Co-operation and Research Development (ACORD), Family Health International (FHI), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and the Government of Kenya, on various areas of law and policy development. Dr. Aura is a lecturer at Egerton University, School of Law and the current Chairperson of the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA Kenya).

Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA Kenya)

The Federation of Women Lawyers Kenya (FIDA Kenya) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization whose membership comprises of women lawyers and female law students. It was established in 1985 after the UN Third World Women Conference held in Nairobi to inter alia improve the legal status of women, to increase access to justice for women in Kenya and to enhance public awareness on women’s human rights. FIDA Kenya’s strategic objective is to promote women’s individual and collective power to claim their rights in all spheres of life. The organization has carved itself a niche as a defender of women’s rights at the international, regional and national level through provision of legal aid services and also through lobbying and advocating for policy and legislative reform that enhances women’s rights in Kenya.

FIDA Kenya endorses the Initiative.

Martha Tholanah

Zimbabwe, Africa

Martha Tholanah is a Zimbabwean woman openly living with HIV, passionate about issues of women’s rights, access to basic services and HIV related treatment, functional health systems, and environment and conservation issues. Qualified and experienced in medical rehabilitation and family therapy, she has worked in the public and non-profit sector with disadvantaged and vulnerable communities. Martha has particular interest in movement-building, and has worked with communities amplifying voices for strengthening visibility to achieve social change. She currently works as acting Director with Community Livelihoods and Enterprise Development against Stigma (CEDAS) Trust, and as volunteer coordinator of the International Community of Women Living with HIV in Zimbabwe (ICW-Z). Martha currently serves on the Technical Review Committee of the Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe (MRCZ), the Community Advisory Board (CAB) of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) in Harare, and Community Scientific Sub-committee (CSS) member on the global ACTG network. Martha is regional chairperson of the International Community of Women Living with HIV Southern Africa (ICWSA), and Global Chair of ICW. She is Chair of GALZ (the membership association for the LGBTI community) and member of the national volunteer committee (Volunteering for Development – V4D) that organizes and coordinates International Volunteer Day activities.

Laura Nyirinkindi

Uganda, Africa

Laura Nyirinkindi is a specialist in the area of Gender, Rule of Law and Development. She has extensive experience of over 12 years working in the thematic area of gender mainstreaming, equality, and rights based approach to development. Laura has developed extensive reference materials and trained in over 12 developing countries through partnership with development partners in the area of gender and human rights based approaches. Laura has strong research, training needs, analytical, presentation and report writing skills. She has undergone several courses on the use of highly participatory methodologies for trainers and also trains potential trainers in the development and use of these skills. She has worked with several UN Agencies in Africa and is well versed with the UN system and programmatic framework. Laura is the Director in Pro Initiatives Agency, a firm she founded, and has worked there from 1999 to date. She taught regional and international Law at Kampala International University until December 2007. She has been the Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA-Uganda, 2010-2014) and sits on the Board of the Legal Aid Clinic of the Law Development Centre.

Pro Initiatives Agency

Pro Initiatives is a legal, development and human rights consultancy agency based in Kampala, Uganda. This firm offers a variety of services aimed to facilitating the development process in innovative and practical ways while building the capacity and involvement of its beneficiaries and partners. Its uniqueness lies in its highly competent personnel equipped with a thorough knowledge of gender, human rights, good governance and development and an understanding of the pertinent social, economic, cultural and political issues as well as the operational environment in which most organisations are functioning.

Pro Initiatives Agency is in favor of a Global Treaty on VAW.

Gladys Mbuyah Luku

Cameroon, Africa

Mbuyah holds a masters of laws degree with specialty in International Human Rights from Georgetown University Law Center, USA, received her LLB with honors in English Private Law from the University of Yaoundé in Cameroon, and graduated with a B.L from Nigeria Law School. Mbuyah is a Barrister and a Solicitor of the Supreme Courts of Nigeria and Cameroon. She founded and heads the Libra Law Office in Tiko Sub Division, established June 2006. She has attended many international seminars on women’s human rights and has drafted constitutions for several women’s human rights groups. Mbuyah has represented victims of violence (pro bono) before the law courts in the South West Region of Cameroon. She is Vice President of the radio Buea talk and call in show on women’s human rights called “Voices for Women,” which has been on air for over 13 years. She has written several articles published in magazines on women’s human rights, is a member of FIDA Cameroon and a Life Member of FIDA International. She is the immediate past FIDA International Regional Vice President for Africa, the current FIDA Cameroon Country Vice President and a FIDA International Director. Mbuyah is also a Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa (LAWA) Fellow.

Anne Gamurorwa

Uganda, Africa

Ms. Anne Barabogoza Gamurorwa is the Executive Director of Communication for Development Foundation Uganda (CDFU), a National Non-governmental organization that provides social and behavior change communication services in Uganda and the East African region. She has managed projects that support the Ministry of Health, and the Uganda AIDS Commission and Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development. She has led teams in the design and implementation of projects, formative researches to inform communication campaigns, strategy design and development, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of the national communication campaigns addressing gender issues, health, HIIV and AIDS. This includes a toll-free hotline for information, counseling and referrals in health, gender and related issues.
She holds a Masters of Arts from University of Victoria, Canada, a post graduate diploma from the Institute of Social Studies, the Hague, an honors bachelor of science degree and concurrent diploma in education from Makerere University. She is a member of the Board for the Africa Network for Strategic Communication (AFRICOMNET), a network of strategic communication practitioners from 53 countries. She is a receiver of several awards including the 50th Independence medal for outstanding service, as a change leader and a woman with passion for empowering youth and women.

Dr. Morissanda Kouyate

Ethiopia, Africa

Dr. Morissanda Kouyate is a graduate of Medicine from the University of Conakry in Guinea, from Johns Hopkins University of Maryland and from Clark Atlanta University in the USA. He was Director of Health in several prefectures of Guinea before becoming Director of the Health of the Conakry, Republic of Guinea. Dr. Kouyate occupied high positions in the Ministry of Health, Republic of Guinea, serving as national Director of hospitals and Director of the Division of the Reproductive. He was also President of the Red Cross of Conakry 3. Dr. Kouyate was the founding member of the Inter-African Committee in 1984. He made several publications on the health system in Africa and women’s and children rights. Dr Kouyate is consultant for several institutions and governments around the world, and was decorated by the University of Lomalinda in California, the Ministry for the Health of Egypt, Inter-African Committee, and the World Bank, for his work on health promotion in general, and in the fight for the protection and the promotion of the women’s and children rights in particular.  He carried out exceptional efforts in the fight against the harmful traditional practices, particularly for the elimination of the Female Genital Mutilations: Initiative for the International Day on Zero Tolerance to FGM; UN Resolution 67/146 on FGM.

The Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children

The Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices affecting the Health of Women and Children (IAC) is an international and African regional umbrella body that has been working on policy programmes and actions to eliminate Harmful Traditional Practices in the African Region and worldwide. The IAC was formed at a time when female genital mutilation was a highly controversial and a sensitive issue for discussion and there was a critical need for an African regional voice in an international campaign against FGM. The Mission of IAC is the promotion of gender equality and contribution to the improvement of the health status, social, economic, political, human rights and quality of life of African women and children through elimination of harmful traditional practices (HTPS) and the promotion of beneficial ones.

The Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children supports a Global Treaty on VAW.

Reem Abbas

Sudan, Africa

Reem Abbas is an award-winning blogger and journalist with a degree in journalism and sociology and a postgraduate degree in gender and migration studies. She currently works as the regional advocacy and communications officer at the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA Network). As a human rights activist, she attended the Frontline Defenders Dublin 2013 Forum. Her blog on human rights, culture and politics in Sudan won the 2011 Blogher International Activist Award and she was voted by the UN Dispatch as one of the top Sudanese twitter accounts to follow. Her writings and socio-political commentary were published in the Guardian,the Women International Perspective, the Inter-Press Service, Womens-E-News, the Doha Center for Media Freedom, the Index on Censorship magazine among other online and print publications. She was a columnist at Open Democracy between 2012 and 2013. She also spent years working with Sudanese refugees in Egypt and published a profile on a young refugee musician in the book- “Voices in Refuge:Stories from Sudanese Refugees in Cairo”- published by the American University in Cairo Press.

The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA Network)
The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA Network) is a civil society coalition bringing together grassroots women’s rights organizations from Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Somaliland, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Uganda. It was established in 1995 by a group of women’s rights activists, with the view of strengthening the capacity of women’s rights organizations to combat all forms of violence against women and girls. Over the course of almost two decades, SIHA has grown in membership from eight to ninety-plus civil society and women rights organisations across the Horn region. SIHA aims to contribute to unlocking the massive potential of women’s rights movements in the HoA, by improving the capacity of local organisations in the HoA and to build a strong network of grassroots civil society members that are able to interact and support one another in advocating for effective change. SIHA operates as a regional platform for the mobilization of activists, vulnerable and marginalized groups of women, men, and girls to harness resources that include, but are not limited to knowledge and information, capacity building and financial support aimed at challenging the root causes of problems and challenges faced by women and girls in the Horn of Africa Region

The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA Network) is in favor of a global treaty on VAW.

Virginia Muwanigwa

Zimbabwe, Africa

Virginia Muwanigwa has extensive experience in the NGO field in gender mainstreaming in project cycle management – proposal formulation and design, development, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation; proposal writing and training; gender, information and communications, gender and media advocacy in communications strategy development, programming and training; extensive use of rights-based approaches for advocacy on women’s rights; 18 years gender mainstreaming experience in Zimbabwe, SADC and African continent. Virginia is married, the mother of two boys and a proud grandmother. She holds a Masters in Business Management degree; BSc Sociology and Gender Development Studies degree; Diploma in Communications and Journalism; Professional training in gender mainstreaming in project cycle management by ILO International Training Centre; Diploma in Workers’ Education; Human Rights Education Training of Trainers by Equitas.

Alice Nenneh James

Sierra Leone, Africa

Alice Nenneh James is currently Northern Regional Manager with Actionaid Sierra Leone (AAISL), where she has been working for ten years at both national and local level. Alice holds a Master of Science degree in Public Health from the University of East London, UK and currently pursuing a MSC in Strategic Human Resource Management at the University of Roehampton. At national level, Alice mobilised HIV and AIDS positive women to break the silence around HIV through a series of trainings, information sharing and exposure visits, and supported the formation of a national network of women living with HIV and AIDS. As a Local Rights Programme (LRP) manager in 2011, Alice brought community chairladies together to receive appropriate mentoring from other women leaders who are at elective and appointive positions at district level. She is a trainer for ActionAid’s participatory methodologies and through this has supported communities to develop actions that helped them to recognise and develop their ability and potential in organising themselves to respond to problems and needs which they share. This has seen the establishment of strong communities that control and use their assets to promote social justice and help improve the quality of community life.

Eleanor Nwadinobi

Nigeria, Africa

Dr. Eleanor Ann Nwadinobi is a medical doctor and a gender, health and human rights expert. She is the holder of masters in Human rights and Democratisation from Venice, Italy. She is the immediate past Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Chair of the UN NGO/DPI Executive Committee. From 2009 – 2014, Dr. Nwadinobi has been a UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) forum speaker, panelist and delegate. Eleanor sits on the Board of several International Organisations and is immediate past Finance Chair of Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA). Apart from numerous Conference and workshop presentations, Dr. Nwadinobi has been interviewed by several international media organisations. In June 2003, she made a presentation at the UK House of Commons. Dr. Nwadinobi is also: President of Widows Development Organisation (WiDO); Co-Founder Blossoms of the Vine fellowship; Lady of Knights of the Good Shepherd, Church of Nigeria , Anglican Communion; Author of several publications and recipient of numerous awards. Her personal profile featured in Friedrich Ebert Stiftung publication titled “The hands that build Nigeria: Nigerian women role models”. Dr. Nwadinobi is married and is a mother and grandmother.

Gcebile Ndlovu

Swaziland, Africa

Gcebile Ndlovu loves living among people that see and appreciate diversity in everyone. She finds value in each one’s uniqueness and in it there is unspeakable joy. As a health professional with more than thirty years’ experience, she has worked as a public health nurse for the government of Swaziland, led a team in palliative care at Swaziland Hospice at Home, was the national programme officer for UNAIDS Swaziland and the International Community of Women Living with HIV in Southern Africa, where she interacted with women from across the region. She contributes on health issues in the Nation Magazine (a local monthly publication) from the perspective of both professional and ordinary lay person. She finds fulfilment in visiting retired nurses and other old people who have contributed to who she is.

Kamilia Ibrahim Kuku Kura

Sudan, Africa

“When we work together, we become stronger,” says Kamilia Ibrahim Kuku Kura, a champion of women’s rights and peace in Sudan and Founder and Director of the Nuba Women for Education and Development Association. Between 1991 and 1998, amid frequent fighting in her native Nuba Mountains, Ms. Kuku Kura courageously spoke out on behalf of the civilians affected by the conflict. Arrested for her activism in 2006, she was later freed as a result of pressure from humanitarian organizations. She was told to abandon her work for human rights and subjected to threats and surveillance, but she was defiant. Her life has been shaped by conflict and injustice, she says, so her pursuit for peace and equality persists. Drawing on her own experience of displacement from war, Ms. Kuku Kura elevates the status of women affected by conflict in Sudanese society. In addition to providing humanitarian aid to those in needs, she offers vital education and literacy services while also advocating for women’s rights. Recognizing the mismanagement of Diversity and marginalization and inequality as root causes of the conflicts in her country, she also works across ethnic, tribal, and national lines to increase the participation of women in peace processes as a member of the Taskforce for the Engagement of Women in South Sudan and Sudan. Previously, she served as Sudanese Coordinator for implementing the UN Security Council resolution advancing women’s participation in peacemaking, as part of the Operation 1325 initiative.

Ricky Nathanson

Zimbabwe, Africa

In September 2015 Ricky Nathanson formed Trans* Research, Education, Advocacy & Training [TREAT], which seeks to address the rights issues in the education, advocacy and training about, and to, the basic violations of the human rights of the trans* diverse and gender non-conforming population of Zimbabwe in the areas of health, justice and the socio economy. TREAT is based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Ricky belongs to the following regional and international bodies:The Southern Africa Trans Forum [SATF] serving as Secretary; The Trans* Women’s Feminist Institute; The All Africa Trans* & Intersex Committee; The International Reference Group of Trans Women [IRGT] in the fight against HIV, and; The Africa Key Populations Expert Advisory Group to the UNDP. Additionally, Ricky is a Board Member of the Sexual Rights Centre [SRC] serving as Board Secretary/ Treasurer, and Pow Wow, a sex worker organisation, both based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. In South Africa she sits on the boards of the Social Health Empowerment [SHE] Collective [East London], and recently joined the boards of African Men for Sexual Health and Rights [AMSHeR] and ENZA Social Research. Professionally, she holds a qualification with the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators of Zimbabwe.

Talent Jumo

Zimbabwe, Africa

Talent Jumo is a dynamic and passionate feminist activist, and the founder and Director of Katswe Sistahood, a young women’s organisation based in Harare, Zimbabwe. Talent has more than 13 years’ experience working on women and health programmes, particularly on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), including HIV and AIDS. Katswe’s primary agenda is building a movement of young women who can articulate their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and advocate for the realisation of these rights. Katswe implements programmes in urban, farming and rural communities, and is working to strengthen its National and Regional level advocacy work, so that we can effectively use women’s lived realities and experiences, to influence decisions and priorities at the Policy level, where resources are allocated. Katswe organises mainly with marginalised groups of women, i.e. with Sex Workers, Adolescent Girls Selling and with young women in general. Katswe is especially recognized for its advocacy work on Decriminalizing sex work, as a way of reducing sex worker vulnerabilities to sexual and other forms of violence, that predispose them to HIV infections.

Gaby Razafindrakoto

Madagascar, Africa

Gaby Razafindrakoto is Secretary for the Federation for the Promotion of Women and Children, (Fédération pour la Promotion Feminine et Enfantine : FPFE), the SADC Protocol Alliance Focal Point in Madagascar. She has conducted village workshop on gender concepts and gender mainstreaming. She also participated in the Global Media Monitoring Project with GEMSA.


An association whose visions are to promote a better future for Malagasy women and young women, either in rural or urban areas .It carries out actions for community development, namely workshops and awareness arising in youth reproductive health, gender based violence prevention and support to victims, citizenship, women’s empowerment, leadership skills for potential political women candidates. FPFE is the SADC Protocol Alliance Focal Point in Madagascar

Fédération pour la Promotion Feminine et Enfantine is in favor of a global treaty on VAW

Sabrina Mahtani

Sierra Leone, Africa – ADVISORY MEMBER

Sabrina Mahtani is a British-Zambian lawyer who has worked on human rights projects in Sierra Leone since 2005. As the Co-founder and Executive Director of AdvocAid, she works to support access to justice and strengthen rights for women in the criminal justice system in Sierra Leone. Founded in 2006, AdvocAid seeks justice, education and reintegration for female detainees and their children while empowering them as active citizens through the provision of legal aid, education, welfare and post-prison support. It also focuses on longer-term change through capacity building and advocacy projects. AdvocAid has provided legal assistance to over 800 women including the release of 4 women who were on death row. They were nominated for an Innovating Justice Award for their legal education TV series, Police Case. In 2008, Ms. Mahtani was named the winner of the Trainee Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year award at the Law Society Junior Lawyers Awards. In 2011, she was selected by One World Action for their list of 100 Women: The Powerful (Unseen) Women Who Change the World. Prior to her work at AdvocAid, she served as a trainee solicitor with Fischer Meredith Solicitors in London, where she specialized in police and prison law while also researching child survival laws in Sierra Leone and criminal justice systems for International Bridges to Justice. Ms. Mahtani has also worked with the Sierra Leone Court Monitoring Programme, the Special Court for Sierra Leone as a member of the Kallon Defence Team, and the Lawyers Centre for Legal Assistance in Sierra Leone. She held legal internships in Zambia and Tanzania before beginning her advocacy work in Sierra Leone. Ms. Mahtani attended University College, London, where she received her Law and History degree with upper-second class honors. She received her L.L.M. from the New York University School of Law and recently participated in the Human Rights Advocates Program at Columbia University. She is a regular contributor to New Internationalist and has authored several research and advocacy reports and journal articles.

Kelvin Hazangwi

Zimbabwe, Africa – ADVISORY MEMBER

Kelvin Hazangwi is a gender and human rights activist. He is the National Director of PADARE/ ENKUNDLENI/ MEN’S FORUM ON GENDER an organization that works with men and boys to find practical ways of advancing gender equality in Zimbabwe, in partnership with women and girls. Through this organization, he has championed programmes that help protect women from various forms of violence. He is the current Chairperson of the National Anti – Domestic Violence Council of Zimbabwe which was established in terms of the Domestic Violence Act to ensure the effective implementation of the Act. He has lectured at the Women’s University in Africa and sits on the UN Women Zimbabwe Civil Society Advisory Panel.

PADARE/ENKUNDLENI/Men’s Forum on Gender

A movement of men and boys advocating for gender justice in Zimbabwe that operates in both rural and urban settings. The organization employs a number of innovative social mobilization strategies targeting different sets of men in order to generate interest in being actively involved in the gender justice movement. The organization, through its Social Ecological model of behavior change strives to encourage men to practically demonstrate their embrace of gender justice through personal and group actions. Padare, traces its beginnings to 1995, when a group of five male visionaries held informal meetings to consider how men could contribute to the debate and actions on gender issues following the 1995 World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. In the mobilizing years (1995-2001), they used their own resources to organize meetings in public places to share information and knowledge on women’s rights and to exchange their experiences and progress in mobilizing other men to participate in the movement for a gender just society. By 1996, the group had grown to 10 men with a 10 point plan to reach out to and mobilize other men across Zimbabwe into the nascent men’s movement to challenge status quo in gender relations of power and to promote a gender just society.

PADARE is supportive of the efforts to develop the global norm on VAW.

Zahra Abdalmien Mohamed


Zahra Abdalmien Mohamed holds degrees in geography and social anthropology and a High Diploma in Development and Planning from the University of Khartoum in Sudan, Africa. She is the head of the Arts Intellectual Property Department for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Culture in Darfur. Zahra has held many public positions, including: Programme Coordinator of Darussalam Women Development Organization, member of Darfur Peace Forum Organization, member of Peace and Women Across the Globe, and Board member of the Darfur Development and Advisory Group. Zahra played an active role in the peace process in Darfur, participating in conflict analysis and resolution; taking part in the mobilization of political, economic and reconciliation experts to build the capacity of the armed movements in conflict resolutions, reconciliation and compensation and voluntary return; and meeting with a wide range of Darfur leaders which resulted in unification of some fragmented armed movements. She remains committed to peace in Darfur as the Chairperson of the North Darfur Civil Society Follow Up Mechanism of Doha Peace Process.

Karen Stefiszyn

South Africa, Africa – ADVISORY MEMBER

Karen Stefiszyn is the Programme Manager of the Gender Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. Her work involves research and writing, human rights education, and advocacy with a focus on women’s human rights in Africa, and in particular, the implementation of regional and international instruments for the promotion and protection of women’s rights. Much of her research has explored the violations of women’s rights in Africa in the context of the HIV pandemic with a particular focus on the sexual and reproductive health rights of women living with HIV. Karen has also worked as a Human Rights Specialist at UNIFEM in New York and has undertaken projects as a consultant for the UN Economic Commission for Africa, and UN Women. She holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Western Ontario, in Canada, and a M.St. in international human rights law from the University of Oxford in the UK.

Marie Nyombo Zaina

Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa – ADVISORY MEMBER

The activist Marie Nyombo Zaina of Congolese (DRC) holds a degree in social organization and a Masters in Development, Independent Expert in Gender – Development and Management. Since 2000, Marie has been founder and president of the National NGO ‘Action for the Promotion and Defence of Children’s Rights and Women – APDF”, and since 2002, founder and national coordinator of the National Network of NGO’s for Development of Women in DR Congo – RENADEF. Marie has proven experience of over 10 years in various professional areas, including networking and advocacy for the inclusion of gender in the various planning at provincial, national and international levels; collective and representative women’s organizations to the National Council Multi-sectoral Fight against AIDS (CNMLS) chaired by the Head of State; representative of the sector “Women”, the Coordinating Committee of the project Global Fund for the Fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (CCM) chaired by the Minister of Health; strengthening the community system by providing information, education and communication for behavior change in several areas of social life; several exchange missions of experience and institutional capacity building through the provinces of the DRC in the area.

Matilda Ingabire Mutanguha


Matilda is currently a Senior Tax Associate with Price Waterhouse Coopers in New York City. After law school, Matilda picked a path that she chose very early on – human rights and the betterment of communities. Before her stints at The Hague, the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs and legal academia and research at Harvard Kennedy School, Matilda was inspired by her witnessing of atrocities in her native Rwanda. In this, she found the inspiration and motivation that made her pursue the rule of law and use it to better the lives of others. Be it interning in international law chambers or volunteering in public defense, it was very clear to her that combining her rich experiences would help abdicate not only atrocities but inequality of all forms.It is in using this philosophy that she got into development work, which she sees as a greater tool and vehicle for enhancing basic rights that all of us as humans possess. Working for the African Development Bank in Zambia, Matilda was on the front seat of a rapidly growing and politically energized country. Her work there left an impression on her that she could indeed achieve more doing good work within public-private partnerships.Matilda is excited to be a part of the VAW team and looks forward to contributing to this worthy cause.

Bonita Meyersfeld


Bonita Meyersfeld is the Director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies and an associate professor at the School of Law, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She is an editor of the South African Journal on Human Rights and the founding member and chair of the board of Lawyers against Abuse. Bonita teaches international law, business and human rights and international criminal law. Prior to working in South Africa, Bonita worked as a legal advisor in the House of Lords in the United Kingdom and the gender consultant to the International Centre for Transitional Justice in New York. She obtained her LLB from Wits and her masters and doctorate in law from Yale Law School. She is the author of Domestic Violence and International Law, Hart Publishing (UK) (2010).