© 2007 Alejandro Jose Pernia Paredes 2, Courtesy of Photoshare
Increasingly diverse, virtual and global-minded, AWID has staff working out of 15 different countries! Some work from our Toronto, Cape Town or Mexico City offices, while others are located everywhere from Tunisia to Uruguay and from India to Germany.
Hakima Abbas is an African feminist who has been active in social movements for two decades. Trained in political science and international affairs, her work as a policy analyst, trainer, strategist and researcher has focused on strengthening and supporting movements for change.
Hakima is a member of the Jang! collective that provides popular education tools, platforms and accompaniment to activists working for radical transformation. She is the editor and author of various publications and is on the editorial collective of The Feminist Wire. She currently serves as a board member to Greenpeace Africa, and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Eastern Africa.
Executive Assistant (maternity leave cover)
Mahishaa Balraj is the Co-Founder of Hashtag Generation and was one of the two youth delegates from Sri Lanka to the 69 th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
She is actively engaged in advocating for meaningful civic and political participation of young people, especially young women in Sri Lanka. In her role as Director of Advocacy, she has also been involved in organizing and executing workshops, trainings and other campaigns centered on civic and political engagement of youth in Sri Lanka.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of London, UK and also holds a Bachelor’s in Electronics and Communication Engineering from College of Engineering Guindy, Anna University, Chennai, India.
Stephanie Bracken is a feminist from Canada who holds a Master of Human Rights from the University of Sydney and a BA in Women's Studies, History, and Philosophy from McGill University. In the past she has worked with Gender at Work, the African Women's Millennium Initiative, and the Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights, and is constantly thinking about how social (in)justice impacts our lives in a million huge and tiny ways.
Human Resources Coordinator (maternity leave cover)
Shushanik has extensive 9 years of background in HR. Prior to joining AWID, she was with Ontario Trillium Foundation as an HR Assistant and before moving to Canada, she was the Senior HR Manager for International Research and Exchanges Board field office in Armenia.
She has educational background in Italian and English languages as well as Special Education. She also has a certificate in HR from York University. Shushanik speaks Armenia, Russian, English and Italian.
HR & Operations Coordinator (on leave)
Mindy graduated with an HBA degree in Women and Equity Studies from the University of Toronto, completed a Human Resources Management Certificate from Ryerson University, and obtained a Certified Human Resources Professional Designation from HRPA (Ontario). She loves to travel.
Resource Mobilization Manager
Rona has worked in resource mobilization since 1996. At AWID since 2010, she strives to bring the voices of women’s rights activists and organizations to the forefront while compellingly communicating the impact of AWID’s diverse programs to strengthen women’s rights and feminist movements. Rona holds a BA in Canadian Studies, and a Masters in Education, all from McGill University in Montreal (her home town).
Before joining AWID, she worked at Horizons of Friendship, a Canadian organization supporting community development in Mesoamerica, and spent ten years in Guatemala with her family where she worked at ActionAid International and several national organizations.
Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Associate
Elisabetta (M.A. in International Studies and Credentialed Evaluator of the Canadian Evaluation Society) is a multilingual consultant and gender specialist with over ten years of professional M&E experience.
Her M&E work has focused on assessing the effectiveness of development interventions that have used capacity development and advocacy as the main strategies to promote the human rights of the most vulnerable social groups, including women who live with HIV, women and girls survivors of violence, women informal workers, persons with disabilities, and children. She has supported and led M&E assignments for a broad range of organizations, including UN agencies, multilateral development banks, INGOs, and governments.
Elisabetta has extensive work experience in South and Southeast Asia, South America, the Caribbean, and Africa. She is well versed in mixed methods research design, qualitative sampling, qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis, and participatory techniques in evaluation. She has applied knowledge of results-based management and theory of change principles, and of human rights-based and gender equality approaches to evaluation.
AWID Forum Program Coordinator
Kimalee Phillip is African-Grenadian women currently based out of Toronto. She is an educator, organizer, consultant and writer who specializes in the fields of legal studies, workers' rights, gender-based and sexualized violence, anti-colonial, anti-racist pedagogies and organizational development. She has conducted qualitative and participatory research and has created and facilitated various workshops, curriculum and learning spaces across Canada, Ghana, Jamaica and Grenada. She holds an MA in Legal Studies from Carleton University and is completing a certificate in Nonprofit Voluntary Sector Management at Ryerson University.
Feminist Movement Building Director
Angelika Arutyunova is a feminist practitioner of Armenian descent from Uzbekistan. After obtaining a Finance Diploma and an undegraduate degree in English and Russian in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Angelika earned a Master’s in International Development in the U.S. Her work and activism in Uzbekistan included work around reproductive health and rights as well as debating and starting debating clubs across high schools and universities of Samarkand.
For last five years, Angelika has been working at AWID first in the role of Program Manager for Where is the Money for Women’s Rights, co-authoring works like Watering the Leaves, Starving the Roots: The Status of Financing for Women’s Rights Organizing and Gender Equality and New Actors, New Money New Conversations. Angelika recently changed her roles in AWID to Director of the Feminist Movement Building Program, leading program for AWID 2016 Forum in Brazil. Prior to joining AWID in 2010, Angelika worked for the Global Fund for Women as Program Director for Europe and CIS. Angelika has advisory status with several donor agencies in ECIS region as well on Advisory Boards of Kohl: a Journal for Body and Gender Research and Community Initiatives and Research – Central Asia (CIRCA).
Feminist Movement Building Manager
Aimee Santos is a long-time organizer in various communities and movements, both in the US and the Philippines, addressing issues of racial, gender and economic justice. She recently held the post of Director of Programs at Western States Center, a regional social justice movement-building organization based in the NW.
She helped lead the We are BRAVE - Building Reproductive Autonomy and Voices for Equity - network. She organized with undocumented immigrants, queer and trans youth and people of color, indigenous leaders and women of color to advance cultural values of body sovereignty and policies of reproductive justice. She has worked with organizations of all shapes and sizes to help build strong, fierce leaders and values-based organizations.
She worked hard for and received a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University and is currently based in Manila, Philippines.
Women Human Rights Defenders Manager
Daniela is a feminist activist originally from Argentina. Since 2000, she has been working and engaging in activism for the promotion of women’s rights and gender equality through various channels, including the women’s and feminist movement, NGOs, municipal governments, and academic institutions. Along the way, she has worked in various countries in Mesoamerica (Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Mexico), Europe (France), and West Africa (Senegal, Gambia and Guinea Bissau).
Daniela obtained her master’s degree in Gender, Society and Politics from PRIGEPP-FLACSO Argentina, a program with which she is still involved in a teaching capacity. She currently lives in Suchitoto, El Salvador.
Women Human Rights Defenders Coordinator
A Uruguayan living in Mexico City for the past 10 years, Verónica holds a M.A in International Cooperation for Development from the Instituto Mora in Mexico City and a B.A. in International Relations from the University of the Republic in Uruguay. She has almost 15 years of experience in the development, nonprofit sector with specific focus on social and human rights issues in Uruguay and Mexico. She joined AWID in 2009 where she has been part of the WITM team and since 2014 collaborating with the WHRD Program.
Project Manager 'Count Me In'
Anne holds a MA in Gender and Development from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in the UK and a German degree (Diplom-Betriebswirtin) in Business Studies with specialization in Market and Communications Research. Anne has studied at the Hiroshima University of Economics in Japan and the Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia, where she also worked as program evaluator for INSIST, the Institute for Social Transformation. She completed a training course on Monitoring Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at the Graduate Institute Of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Prior to joining AWID, Anne worked at WOMNET Gender and Global Governance in Bonn, Germany.
Young Feminist Activism Manager
Felogene is a passionate young feminist activist with over seven years of experience in advancing gender equality through grassroots and online activism, research and capacity building of young women activists. Her roots in feminist movement building were planted at the University of Nairobi where she served as the Women Students Chairperson across the 7 campuses. In 2011, she was awarded Young Woman Achiever by the students association. Prior to joining AWID, she served as the Advocacy Programme Associate at African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET). Felogene has authored the “Feminist Leadership and Development Curriculum for Adolescent Girls” and co-authored the, “Report on the Status of Ratification on the Rights of women in Africa.” She is a member of the African Youth Taskforce on Post 2015 and a Girls Globe blogger. Felogene is currently finalizing a Masters degree in Public Policy and Administration. She will be working for AWID from her home in Nairobi.
Laila has led feminist communications projects in Canada and the Middle East for the past 14 years. She was Communications Coordinator for COCo Centre for Community Organizations, Director of Communications for the Canadian Women’s Health Network, and Media Coordinator for the Coalition for Women’s Equality (during the 2006 Canadian Federal election). Her writing has appeared in the Feminist Wire, the Globe and Mail, Herizons magazine, The New Quarterly and The Islamic Monthly. She holds a Master's degree in Gender and International Development from the University of Warwick, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Middle East Studies and Women's Studies from McGill University.
Camila is a Brazilian communications specialist and passionate feminist. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Communications, majoring in Marketing and Publicity, from IESP in Brazil. Camila is one of the co-founders of the Brazilian Network of Young Feminists and has worked in several non-profit organizations. She advocated for women’s rights in Brazilian and Latin American feminist movements for over a decade through public policy advocacy. She has also served as the Executive Producer of various events and coordinated communications for companies in both Brazil and Canada.
Online Communications Acting Manager
Shelley holds a degree in International Development Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies, and is currently studying web writing and social media communications in Toronto. She has worked with non-profit organizations for over ten years on a range of social justice issues including women’s rights, housing and land rights, and migration. For five of those years she was based in Santiago, Chile working with the Habitat International Coalition and supporting the organizing and fundraising efforts of grassroots feminist and habitat social movements.
Ritu has worked as an IT professional in non-profit for over twenty years and loves her work to help non-profit organisations achieve their goals efficiently by using technology. Prior to working with AWID, she supported technological work in health promotion and environment sectors.
Having completed Masters in Technology from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi; she has handled a unique blend of projects in implementing IT infrastructure which includes web and software development, server and databases administration, technology evaluation and capacity building.
Meghan holds a Diploma as a Computer Programmer Analyst from St. Lawrence College, a B.A.H in Environmental Policies and Practices, Political Science, and Environmental geography from the University of Toronto, and a M.Sc. in Planning with a specialization in Social Planning and Policy from the University of Toronto.
A long-time feminist, she is passionate about social and environmental justice issues including environmental sustainability and climate change adaptation planning, community development, and emergency management.
Web Coordinator (maternity leave cover)
Raquel is a Spanish digital communications enthusiast. She holds a Degree in Media and Communications and a Masters in Corporate Communications. She has developed web projects for several institutions while volunteering in Educational and Environmental nonprofits in Spain, Italy, Russia and now Canada.
Co-Executive Director (on leave)
Cindy is a US-based feminist with a passion for exploring how organizations can better embody feminist values and practice to build stronger movements. She has worked as a facilitator, researcher and strategist on diverse women’s rights and justice issues.
She joined AWID in 2007 as the Manager for the Where is the Money for Women’s Rights? Program, and has co-authored numerous AWID reports on funding trends impacting women’s rights organizing. In 2009 she became AWID’s Director of Operations & Programs and between 2014-2016 has been the Director of Organizational Learning and Strengthening.
Prior to joining AWID, Cindy was one of the founding members of Just Associates, where she worked on a range of advocacy capacity and movement-building initiatives, drawing on methodologies of popular education and deep power analysis as the starting point for change strategies. Cindy has an M.A. in Human and Organizational Development, specializing in the study of change and learning processes in organizations.
Lucy holds a BComm degree in Finance, completed an accounting diploma from Centennial College. She has been working for different industries and volunteered in non-profit sector. She loves music and travel.
Karen has built a career supporting the accounting and project work of financial service and not-for -profit organizations both in Canada and in her home country of Jamaica. Her drive to contribute to organizations that support a meaningful cause have led Karen to roles at the Jamaica Teachers’ Association Co-operative Credit Union as Finance Manager, the YWCA Toronto as Business Administrator for the REACH and LINC programs, YWCA Canada as Finance Coordinator/Manager and most recently to Peace Ranch (now part of Supportive Housing in the Province) as Bookkeeper/Consultant closing their books in preparation for merger.
She holds degrees in Business Administration from the University of the West Indies and Florida International University and recently completed a postgraduate certificate in Project management from Humber College, Canada. She continues to pursue the Certified Professional Accountant designation at the professional level. Her experience working with nonprofits in Canada spans over ten years.
Human Resources Manager
Nuwan has over 10 years of international experience in Human Resources Management and Organization Development in the non-profit sector. He holds a M.Sc. in International Management and a Bachelors Degree in International Business Management. Nuwan is a Society for Human Resources Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP), and is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).
Organisational Learning and Strengthening Coordinator
Rochelle has honed her writing skills over 15 years across different sectors, with nine years specifically on women’s rights. She has degrees in Science, Peace & Conflict Studies and International Relations, and a post graduate degree in International Development from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. Her studies helped shape Rochelle’s belief that ‘mainstream’ systems can and should be challenged by collective, feminist and innovative global activism. Rochelle previously worked on gender equality policy for a government entity and has worked on and off for AWID for 10 years. She currently lives in Brisbane, Australia.
Director of Programs
Alejandra Sardá-Chandiramani is a Latin American feminist and sexual rights activist who has been active nationally in her country of origin, Argentina, regionally and internationally since the early 90s. She has pursued studies in psychology, gender and human rights.
Alejandra is also a profesional translator who considers translation to be a political tool that contributes to greater access to and equality within social movements. She has worked in that capacity for AWID during 10 years as well as for many organizations and funders worldwide.
Within the feminist and sexual rights movements Alejandra’s organizing work encompasses from starting a pioner out lesbian feminist group to co-coordinating sexual rights coalitions lobbying at the UN and the OAS. Alejandra worked 5 years for Mama Cash as developing the fund’s unique Women’s Funds programme which also gave her expertise in feminist philanthropy. She is currently a Board Member for Akahatá-Equipo de Sexualidades y Géneros and an Advisor to the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.
AWID Forum Program Coordinator (on leave)
Amina is a Nigerian feminist artivist whose work focuses on feminist philanthropy and creative arts for advocacy. She holds a BA in Political Science & Women’s Studies from McGill University (Distinction) and an MSc in Gender, Development and Globalization from the London School of Economics. Prior to her role as founding member and general coordinator of FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund, Amina worked in the women’s rights grant-making program at the Sigrid Rausing Trust in London. She has facilitated learning programs on women’s rights, resource mobilization, and youth leadership. Amina brings to her activism a passion for music, art, travel, photography, fashion and poetry.
AWID Forum Program Coordinator
Fenya is a feminist from Belgium and is now based in London. She is a graduate of Essex University, with a focus on law and human rights and holds an LLM in Law & Gender from the School of Oriental and African Studies. She has worked as a researcher on topics such as migration and inequality and has a strong interest and passion for grassroots social justice organising.
She was most recently working for the Issues Affecting Women Programme at Oak Foundation. Apart from this, Fenya is involved in various grassroots solidarity groups focusing on areas such as immigration detention and migrant rights, inequality, and anti-militarism.
Challenging Fundamentalisms Manager
Shareen is a feminist activist with over 20 years of experience working to promote women’s rights and gender justice. Her main focus has been to strengthen advocacy against the use of arguments based on religion, culture and tradition to justify violations of women’s rights— in international human rights spaces and across regions and religions. In 2007 Shareen launched and presently leads the Challenging Religious Fundamentalisms initiative at the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID).
Since joining the organization in 2001, Shareen has managed the Women’s Human Rights Net website and the Early Warning Signs of Fundamentalisms resource. Shareen has previously worked with Canadian refugee-sponsoring organizations, refugee legislation and with the Afghan Women’s Organization. She has co-authored and edited several publications including "Shared Insights: Women's Rights Activists Define Religious Fundamentalisms” and "Feminists on the Frontline: Case Studies of Resisting and Challenging Fundamentalisms”. Shareen grew up in Pakistan during the Islamic military regime and has also spent several years working with women’s health and education programs in the Dominican Republic. Shareen holds a degree in International Development Studies and Anthropology and a Masters in Sociology and Equity studies.
Challenging Fundamentalisms Human Rights Coordinator
Naureen Shameem is an activist and human rights lawyer, with experience in research and international advocacy. She was previously Women and Justice Fellow with the Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell Law School, teaching and supervising projects at the International Human Rights Clinic. Naureen also worked with Women Living Under Muslim Laws, where she coordinated the global Stop Stoning Women campaign, and has been a researcher and advocate for gender justice and refugee rights with INTERIGHTS, the ILO, the Red Cross and the Human Dignity Trust. She has an academic background in women’s rights, religion and international law from Harvard Law School.
Challenging Fundamentalisms Communications Coordinator
Isabel is a feminist from the United Kingdom, currently based in London. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Bristol and a Master’s degree in Gender Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She is involved in the British and transnational women's movements, and in struggles against austerity and war, and for asylum and immigration rights. Isabel previously worked with Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML), which developed her interest in the ways gender interacts with religion and culture. She is particularly interested in solidarity across cultural and geographical borders, and in the use of creativity and empathy as forces to resist oppression.
Resourcing Women’s Rights Coordinator
Kamardip studied philosophy and gender at Northwestern University, where she first dipped her toe in women’s rights and feminist organizing. At Northwestern, she headed College Feminists and became involved in local anti-domestic violence efforts. After graduating, Kamardip joined Americorps and served with a local community organization in a fundraising capacity. She went on to apply her fundraising skills at an international conservation NGO. Prior to joining AWID, Kamardip was the Program Officer for Asia Pacific at Global Fund for Women. Kamardip has lived in many cities, from Washington, DC; Bamako, Mali, and Ahmedabad, India. She’s now settled in San Francisco. In each city, she’s gotten involved with local women’s rights efforts, particularly groups working against GBV.
Resourcing Women’s Rights Lead Advocacy Coordinator
Nerea has been involved in feminist and women’s rights work for more than 10 years and is passionate about that. She is currently working as Lead Advocacy Coordinator within AWID's Resourcing Women’s Rights team. Prior to joining AWID, she spent few years in the occupied Palestinian territory working as Gender Project Manager with ACSUR-Las Segovias. Before that she worked as Advocacy Officer with the WIDE network, based in Brussels. Nerea holds a BA in Sociology from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain) and a MA in Development Studies from the Hegoa Institute (Spain).
Economic Justice Acting Manager
Inna is a feminist activist and sociologist, based in Berlin, Germany, raised in Haifa, Israel/Palestine, and born in St. Petersburg, Russia. In the past 15 years she took part in LGBTQI and feminist struggles, political education and organizing by and for immigrant women, and the struggle to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
She holds MA in Cultural Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is completing a doctoral research on women’s economic empowerment at the Humboldt University of Berlin. She is a Board Member of +972 Magazine – independent commentary and news from Israel & Palestine. Previously Inna worked as a fundraiser in the Coalition of Women for Peace and she is passionate about mobilizing economic, social and political resources for grassroots activism and Women Human Rights Defenders.
Ana Inés Abelenda
Economic Justice Coordinator (on leave)
Ana Abelenda has been working in AWID for the past five years as Economic Justice Coordinator focusing on understanding the impact of macroeconomic policies on gender equality and women’s human rights. Through advocacy at the global level, production of analysis and knowledge building from a feminist perspective, she has been focusing on tax justice, critique to growth-based development models, and unveiling the power of corporations globally and their impact for the advancement on gender equality and human rights.
Daniela Marin Platero
AWID Program Associate
Born and raised in El Salvador, Daniela migrated to Canada 8 years ago. She has supported the planning of events in Canada, El Salvador and India. The focus of her work has been around youth, women's empowerment, indigenous sovereignty, gender equality and student refugees. Daniela’s background in Gender and Women Studies and International Development is informed by a range transnational perspectives and learning rooted in experience. She is committed to work that is true to its vision, intersectional, people-centered and led. Daniela will be working in the Toronto office.
Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah
Information Communications and Media Acting Senior Manager
Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah is an African feminist who works out of Ghana. Prior to working with AWID she was the Communications Specialist at the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF). She is also a writer and an award winning blogger whose opinion pieces have been widely published in a range of online and offline media including The Guardian, Feminist Africa and is a regular columnist for This is Africa (a website). Nana has authored a ‘Communications Handbook for Women’s Rights Organisations’, is co-author of ‘Creating Spaces and Amplifying Voices: The First Ten Years of the African Women's Development Fund’, and editor of ‘Women Leading Africa: Conversations with Inspirational African Women’.
Women's Rights Information French Coordinator
Valérie is a storyteller with a passion for literature, photography, and videography. She has a Masters in International Relations from the Universidad de Cadiz and several years of experience supporting programming as well as communications and fundraising campaigns within non-profit organizations, Canadian federal government, and UN agencies.
Her writing and photography has appeared in various publications, including Al Jazeera English, Saraba Magazine, and This is Africa. She also coordinates the francophone programme of Writivism, a pan-African literary festival. She identifies as queer, womanist, and African feminist (in no particular order).
Gabby De Cicco
Women's Rights Information Spanish Coordinator
Gabby lives in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina. She is a writer, journalist, photographer and a queer lesbian feminist artivist. Since 1993 she has been promoting LGBTIQ and women's human rights by producing related radio programs and writing articles. Since 2000 she has co-coordinated the Argentinian Women's Information Network. Gabby has also published 5 books of poetry.
Membership and Constituency Engagement Coordinator
Lejla holds an HBA degree in Political Science from the University of Toronto and a Master's Degree in East European Studies from the Free University of Berlin, Germany. She is originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina and has lived in numerous countries before moving to Canada and starting at AWID. Lejla is based in Berlin.
Website Coordinator (on leave)
Cécile obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Web & Digital Communications from the University of Lyon, France. She developed a passion for social justice through volunteering and working with non-for-profit organizations worldwide. In her previous roles, she successfully led different website redesign projects and participated in major fundraising campaigns. Now established in Sweden, Cécile aims at using her creativity and technical skills to reinforce the voice of feminists around the world.