Africa

Rabéa Naciri

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Rabéa Naciri is President of the Association Démocratique du Femmes du Maroc (ADFM) Rabat, one of the largest Moroccan NGOs focused on the rights of women. Ms. Naciri is the former Executive Director of the Collectif 95 Maghreb Egalité, a network of women’s associations and women researchers from Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia committed to preventing violence against women. Trained as a geomorphologist, she is a Professor in the Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines at the University of Rabat in Morocco. Ms.

Azza Karam

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Azza Karam is Director of the Women’s Program at the World Conference of Religions for Peace International Secretariat in New York, where she works to build a global network of religious women’s organizations and mainstream their leadership in all areas of development and peace building. Dr. Karam is also President of the Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN. Prior to joining the staff of Religions for Peace, she worked as Senior Program Officer at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) in Stockholm, Sweden. While at IDEA, Dr.

Hafsat Abiola

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Hafsat Abiola is a human rights and democracy activist from Nigeria. She comes from a family of dedicated Pan-Africanists and courageous fighters for freedom and justice. Her father, M.K.O. Abiola, won the Presidential election held in Nigeria in 1993 but served out his term in solitary confinement, incarcerated by the military. He died in prison, on the eve of his release. Her mother, Kudirat, was a democracy leader who organized major strikes, marches, and fought assiduously against the military. In 1996, she was assassinated in the streets of Lagos.

Nahid Toubia

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Dr. Nahid Toubia, founder and President of RAINBO, was born in Khartoum, Sudan and attended medical school in Egypt. In 1981, she became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the first woman surgeon in Sudan. Recently, she worked for four years as an Associate for Women's Reproductive Health at the Population Council in New York City and is currently an Associate Professor at Columbia University School of Public Health.

Nawal El Saadawi

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Nawal El Saadawi is an Egyptian novelist, essayist and physician. Her works of fiction, addressing such themes as the oppression of women and women’s desire for self-expression, have widened the boundaries of the Arab novel and influenced successive generations of young women over the last three decades. Her books have been banned in Egypt and some other Arab countries.

Musimbi Kanyoro

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Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro is the General Secretary of the World YWCA, a global movement of 25 million women and girls in 109 countries. The World YWCA empowers women and girls to lead social and economic change around the world. Dr. Kanyoro is an internationally recognized public speaker, writer and trainer on a variety of issues affecting the lives of women. She has authored more than 100 published articles and nine books throughout her career.

Ama Ata Aidoo

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Ama Ata Aidoo is a world renowned Ghanaian writer, poet, playwright, and committed and outspoken campaigner for women's rights. Her writing describes the challenges faced by women in post-independent Ghanaian society and elsewhere in Africa.

Afaf Mahfouz

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Afaf Mahfouz is former President of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CONGO). At the United Nations headquarters in New York, Dr. Mahfouz coordinated the work of 17 NGO committees providing fora for discussion on matters such as the status of women, human rights, sustainable development, and disarmament.

Hoda Badran

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Hoda Badran is the Chairperson of the Alliance for Arab Women (AAW), a voluntary organization headquartered in Cairo. AAW works with a network of over 350 NGOs on issues of Arab women’s human rights, legal literacy for women leaders, implementation of the Beijing Platform of Action, women’s political participation, and supporting education for impoverished children. AAW provides training workshops, conducts research, and prepares reports on women's rights.

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Leila Ahmed

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Dr. Leila Ahmed is Professor of Women’s Studies in Religion at Harvard Divinity School. Prior to this appointment, she was Professor of Women’s Studies and Near Eastern studies at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where she also served as Director of the Women’s Studies Program from 1992 to 1995 and as director of the Near Eastern Studies Program from 1991 to 1992. She was a distinguished visiting professor in 1992 at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.

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