Asia

Sima Samar

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Sima Samar, an educator, health care provider, and women’s rights advocate, is Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). She was the first Deputy Chair and Minister of Women’s Affairs in the Interim Administration of Afghanistan and served as Vice Chair of the Emergency Loya Jirga.

Nighat Said Khan

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Nighat Said Khan is a prominent feminist activist and academic and founder of the Women’s Action Forum. She is the Dean of the Institute of Women's Studies, Lahore, Pakistan. Dr. Khan is also the Director of Applied Socio-Economic Research (ASR) Resource Center for Women, a socialist-feminist organization that works for social transformation and the empowerment of women through programs in art, writing, and media production.

Irene Khan

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Irene Zubaida Khan is the Secretary General of Amnesty International (AI), the world's largest human rights organization. The first woman, first Asian, and first Muslim to head AI, she has reformed the organization’s response to crisis situations, called for better protection of women's human rights, and initiated a process of consultations with women activists to design a global campaign against violence on women.

Farida Shaheed

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Farida Shaheed is a sociologist and women's rights activist. She oversees the Women, Law, and Status Program at Shirkat Gah, a woman’s resource center in Lahore, Pakistan, where she works to integrate research, social development and advocacy. She is a founding member of the national women’s lobbying organization Women’s Action Forum and member of the Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) International Solidarity Network. She is a member of the Global Fund for Women's Advisory Council. Dr. Shaheed has authored numerous books including Two Steps Forward, One Step Back?

Nafis Sadik, M.D.

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Dr. Sadik is the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific. She coordinates programs targeting vulnerable groups, such as women and girls within the AIDS epidemic, and fostering leadership among individuals, organizations, and governments across Asia Pacific. She has spoken widely about addressing the needs of women and of the importance of involving them with the creation and implementation of population and development policies.

Radhika Coomaraswamy

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Radhika Coomaraswamy was the United Nations Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on violence against women, its causes and consequences from 1994-2003. She has written on violence in the family, violence in the community, violence against women during armed conflict, and the problem of international trafficking. She has intervened on behalf of countless women throughout the world seeking clarification from governments in cases involving violence against women. Ms.

Leticia Ramos Shahani

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Dr. Leticia Ramos Shahani, President Pro-Tempore of the Philippine Senate from 1992-1996, has held numerous positions in the Philippine government and the United Nations Secretariat. She was formerly Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs and served as a member of the Philippine Senate from 1987-1998. She was Secretary General of the Third World Conference on Women in Nairobi, Kenya in 1980 and from 1981-1986 was UN Assistant Secretary-General for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs. Ms.

Corinne Kumar

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Corinne Kumar is Secretary General of El Taller International, an international NGO committed to international women’s human rights, sustainable development, and both North-South and South-South exchange and dialogue across diverse cultures and civilizations. She was formerly Director of the Centre for Development Studies (CIEDS Collective) in India. She is a founding member of the Asian Women’s Human Rights Council (AWHRC) and of Vimochana, an NGO in Bangalore, India working on issues such as domestic violence, dowry-related deaths, and workplace sexual harassment.

Marfua Tokhtakhodjaeva

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A long time leader of the women’s movement in Uzbekistan, Marfua Tokhtakhodjaeva is a founding member and co-director of the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) in Tashkent, an NGO founded in 1991 to work towards economic and social stability, democratization, and increased awareness of women’s human rights in the region. Dr. Tokhtakhodjaeva has written extensively on the status of women in central Asia in post-communist societies and was formerly a Regional fellow at the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC.

Kavita Ramdas

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Kavita Ramdas is the President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, a grantmaking foundation that supports women's human rights organizations working to address issues of stopping violence against women, gaining economic independence, increasing girls' access to education, advancing health and reproductive rights, and expanding civic and political participation.

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