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. Imam and BAOBAB won the Humphrey Freedom Award, for their work defending and promoting women's rights under Muslim criminal laws enacted in northern Nigeria. She also works actively as part of the core group of Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML), an international solidarity network.

Dr. Imam serves or has served on the boards and steering committees of several international organizations, including the Council for the Development of Social Science in Africa (CODESRIA), the International Council for Human Rights Policy (ICHRP), and the Research, Action and Information Network for the Bodily Integrity of Women (RAINBO). She is a member of the board of Nigerian Anthropological and Sociological Association, the African Center for Democratic Governance, and the Advisory Panel for Africa of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC).

Dr. Imam is a co-founder and former national coordinator of the first feminist organization in Nigeria, Women in Nigeria (WIN). For a number of decades, including those of Nigeria’s military dictatorships, WIN has carried out research and publication on women's issues and has campaigned for women's rights and democracy issues. She also initiated and directed Africa's first Gender Institute, an annual program of CODESRIA that trains young academics in gender analysis.

Over the past 20 years, Dr. Imam has been a researcher and lecturer in universities and research institutions in Nigeria, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Senegal. She has researched, lectured, and published widely on women's human rights, women's rights and Muslim laws, gender analysis, gender in development, and democracy issues. Her publications include Green Revolution in Nigeria? (IAR/ABU, 1984), Women in Nigeria Today (Zed Books, 1985), and Engendering African Social Sciences (CODESRIA, 1997). She has co-authored research reports on women's human rights for national, international, and UN committees, and has guest-edited several issues of Gender Revisited. Ms. Imam received her Ph.D. in Social Anthropology at the University of Sussex, U.K.

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