Asia

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.

Riffat Hassan

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Dr. Riffat Hassan is Professor of Humanities and Religious Studies at the University of Louisville and also formerly served as the Chairperson of Religious Studies. She has taught at numerous universities, including the University of Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan, the University of Pennsylvania, the Lousiville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and Harvard University. A noted scholar and lecturer, Dr. Hassan has published numerous works on women in Islam and Iqbal, and often lectures internationally on women, Islam, interreligious dialogue, and human rights.

Noeleen Heyzer

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Dr. Noeleen Heyzer is former Executive Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), where she served as the United Nations' chief advocate for gender mainstreaming within the institution and internationally. She is UNIFEM's first Executive Director from the Global South. Ms.

Sakena Lida Yacoobi

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Sakena Yacoobi is President and Executive Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), an Afghan NGO she founded with two other women in 1995 in Peshawar, Pakistan to provide teacher training to Afghan women, to support education for boys and girls, and to provide health education to women and children.

Geeta Rao Gupta

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Dr. Geeta Rao Gupta, is a leading authority on women's role in development, an advocate for women's empowerment and women's human rights, and an internationally recognized expert on women and HIV/AIDS. She brings 20 years of experience in research and program development to the gender and development field.

Zainah Anwar

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Zainah Anwar, a women's rights activist and well-published freelance writer, is former Executive Director of Sisters in Islam (SIS), a group of professional Muslim women committed to promoting the rights of Muslim women. An advocate for women's rights under Islam and the possibilities for alternative interpretation of the Qur'an, she was formerly a member of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, a Chief Programme Officer for the Political Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, and a Senior Analyst at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies.

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