Africa

Pregaluxmi Govender

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Pregaluxmi Govender, currently a Fulbright New Century Scholar (2004-2005), is an activist and former parliamentarian. She served as an ANC Member of South Africa's Parliament from 1994-2002, during which period she chaired the Joint Standing Committee on the Improvement of the Quality of Life and Status of Women. She was influential in establishing the parliamentary women’s caucus, played a key role in national debates on military spending and HIV/AIDS, and pioneered the Women’s Budget Initiative in partnership with NGOs.

Ayesha Mje-Tei Imam

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Ayesha Imam is a women's human rights activist, as well as a researcher, writer, and trainer on gender issues. Most recently, she was the Executive Director of BAOBAB for Women's Human Rights, a Nigeria-based non-profit organization working for women’s human rights and legal rights under customary, religious, and secular law in Africa and internationally. BAOBAB's activities include research, publication, training, and awareness-raising campaigns on women’s human rights and state obligations in national and international law. In 2002, Dr.

Navanethem Pillay

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An expert in the field of international human rights law, Navanethem Pillay is a Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), which is charged with bringing to justice the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide. Judge Pillay is credited for a precedent-setting decision that established that rape, under certain conditions, can be considered genocide and a crime against humanity. She is the first black woman to serve as Acting Judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa, and has represented political detainees and prisoners of conscience for over thirty years.

Ayo Obe

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Ayo Obe is a human rights lawyer and President of Nigeria’s Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), one of Nigeria's largest human rights organizations. Education and empowerment are among the key strategies used to address basic human rights issues in Nigeria, including prison conditions, police brutality, and violence against women. She has represented the CLO at numerous local and international fora. Ms. Obe is Chair of the Coordinating Committee of the Transition Monitoring Group, a coalition of over 60 Nigerian NGOs that work together to monitor Nigeria’s transition to civil rule.

Patricia McFadden

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Patricia McFadden is a sociologist, activist, and scholar who has worked in the antiapartheid movement for over 20 years. She has taught at universities since 1976 and is the former director of the Feminist Studies Centre in Harare, Zimbabwe. She is a visiting scholar at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center based at Mount Holyoke College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she is writing a book on feminism and nationalism. She is the former editor of the Southen African Feminist Review and present editor of African Feminist Perspectives.

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.

Najat Rochdi

Najat Rochdi, a computer science engineer with a masters degree in mathematics, is the Regional Coordinator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Information and Communication Technology for Development in Arab Region (ICTDAR) initiative. She previously served as Morocco's Deputy Minister in charge of Small and Medium Enterprise and e-services development, and as Director of Cooperation and ICT Development in the Moroccan Ministry of Post and Information Technology. Ms.

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