FAR is governed by an international Steering Committee comprised of women’s rights advocates from MENA, Africa, Asia, South Pacific, Latin America, the Caribbean, the indigenous community in North America, the Roma community in Europe, and the Center for Women’s Global Leadership’s (CWGL) Executive Director. The Steering Committee meets annually in one of the world regions and, as whenever the opportunity presents, during the annual gathering of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York.
Dr Abiola Akiyode Afolabi is the Executive Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) and a prominent voice of the feminist movement in Africa advocating for gender equality, voice and participation of women and Girls. Abiola unapologetically advocates for gender re-balancing in resources, legal rights and participation as well as equally social relations. She emphasizes specific needs of women to promote gender justice in her multi ethnic, multi religious and multi-cultural context. Abiola is currently the Chairperson of the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) the largest civil society coalition on elections in Nigeria and Acting Secretary West African Law and Religion Society (WACLAS), a former student leader and a 1999 recipient of the Defenders’ Day Award which she received at an impressive ceremony in New York city on Dec 9 1999 the 1ST anniversary of UN Defenders’ Declaration. Abiola specializes in Peace and Security, Gender and the Law, Human Rights and Democratic Governance. She has undertaken several national assignments on the review of relevant laws and constitution affecting elections and good governance in Nigeria. As a prominent member of the Bring Back our Girls (BBOG) movement, she leads the campaign for safe and secure school s in the North East Nigeria and belongs to several boards of organizations in and around Africa. Abiola lectures at the University of Lagos with several academic publications to her credit.
Krishanti Dharmaraj is the executive director of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. She is a feminist and human rights activist with over 25 years of experience working to advance the rights of women and girls. Previously, Krishanti was the Western Regional Spokesperson for Amnesty International USA. She is also the co-founder of WILD for Human Rights (Women’s Institute for Leadership Development) and the Sri Lanka Children’s Fund. Under her leadership, San Francisco became the first city in the U.S. to pass legislation implementing an international human rights treaty. She has also served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International, Women, Law and Development, Horizons Foundation and the Center for Asian Pacific Women. Krishanti has an MBA from the Haas School of Business, University of California, at Berkeley. Find out More
Priyanthi Fernando has worked to improve the lives of women across the world for 30 years. Her work in poverty, technology, and infrastructure has stimulated changes to policies, programmes, and ecosystems that have enabled women to realize economic rights and live with dignity. She has led several national and international organizations and networks working in development. She is currently the Executive Director of the International Women’s Rights Action Watch that is committed to connecting women’s rights movements, and especially groups of marginalized women to the UN, and to regional and global systems, where they can have a voice. Priyanthi has always been passionate about issues of justice and about fighting structural inequalities, and is deeply concerned to ground all development and business activities in human rights.
Margarita Guillé is a Mexican social activist and founder of the Inter-American Shelter Network. In 2006, she was distinguished with the Pro Homine Award granted by the State Human Rights Commission of Aguascalientes Mexico (2017) for her work as an activist for the rights of women, boys and girls and in 2011 she got the International Prize for Women leaders from Soroptimist International in Washington. She studied Media Mass Communication and has two master’s degrees: in Mexican Literature and in Political Communication from the University of Sheffield, England, a Diploma in Gender, Public Policys and Local agendas. She has a multi-faceted career; developing shows and documentaries on social issues for radio and television, founding the magazine Mujer Contemporánea in 1993, developing social methodologies, models and protocols with a gender perspective and creating civil society networks at the local, national and international levels. She is the founder of the Inter-American Shelter Network (2006), the Global Refuge Network (2008) and a co-founder of the Mujeres Agentes de Cambio in Argentina (2012). She founded ITA in 2011, a boutique for social projects dedicated to publishing, film/audiovisual production and coaching. From 2008-2013 she acted as an substitute-expert to the Organization of American States regarding the Belém Do Pará Convention. She has given various talks and workshops all over the world. As author, she has published many books about Domestic violence, Model of procedures, quality standards of services providers, women in migration and violence, aboriginal women and empowerment, children and armed violence in Mexico, self-sufficiency, empowerment in indigenous women among others issues.
Fatima Outaleb has over 27 years of experience in national and regional women’s issues with a special focus on gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment. Outaleb is the Mena representative for the Global Network of Women Shelters. She is a founding member of the Karama network, and a focal person and gender advisor of many national, and international human right organizations, regional networks. Outaleb has published several publications on gender-based violence, and contributed to many toolkits and briefs on women’s rights in the MENA region.
Sharon Bhagwan Rolls is a Fiji Islander and a media professional. Passionate about content development and distribution, Sharon enables and empowers community media production to increase the visibility of women’s viewpoints and realities, especially rural and young women. During Fiji’s second political coup in 2000, as Secretary of the National Council of Women Fiji, she coordinated the Blue Ribbon Peace Vigil and the Women’s Action for Democracy and Peace. Shortly after, she helped established FemLINKPACIFIC, a community media organization that advocates for women as decision makers in the long-term transformation of Fiji. Sharon also lobbies governments and civil society for gender sensitivity and balance in media and ICT policy. She also advocates for regional implementation of “1325” within the Forum Regional Security Committee of the Pacific Islands Forum and the Pacific Missions at the United Nations. Sharon is a member of the UN Women Global Civil Society Advisory Group and a board member of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict.
Alicia A. Wallace is a queer Black feminist, women’s rights advocate, and consultant from The Bahamas. She is the Director of Equality Bahamas which promotes women’s rights as human rights through public education and community engagement. She is a Caribbean Advisor for FRIDA The Young Feminist Fund as well as Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. Alicia‘s recent work includes Activate Your Power: Engaging Youth to Reform Discriminatory Laws — a guide for Commonwealth parliamentarians — and operation of a donation and distribution center as well as responsive programming following Hurricane Dorian. She enjoys creating accessible resources on key topics, using pop culture to make connections to and promote social justice, and engaging in democracy-building activities. She writes a weekly column on social and political issues in The Tribune, produces Culture RUSH newsletter, and tweets as @_AliciaAudrey.
Magda Szarota is a disabled woman with invisible impairments, who for the last 15 years has been trying to bridge the worlds of the so-called disabled and non-disabled people. Her day-to-day work takes place at the intersection of grass-root activism, disability studies and human rights advocacy. She has lived and worked in Asia, Europe and the US, and is
considered one of the pioneers of the disabled women’s movement in post-socialist Poland. Magda co-authored the first shadow report to the UN CRPD on the situation of the Polish girls and women with disabilities and successfully advocated on their behalf during the 20th session of the CRPD Committee in Geneva in 2018. She is also an experienced human rights NGO executive, a certified trainer of the Polish Humanitarian Action, a graduate of the Ashoka Foundation Social Innovators Academy, and a member of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights and Campaign Bootcamp networks. Magda co-created and has been co-running Humanity in Action Poland, an award-winning rights education organization of the international Humanity in Action network, and is a co-founder of the first Polish NGO run by and for women with disabilities. She cooperates with Women Enabled International (US) and Sisters of Frida (UK), and received numerous merit-based scholarships, including from Yale University and the Kosciuszko Foundation. Magda is a dual doctoral candidate at the Polish Academy of Sciences and Lancaster University, UK. She has extensively written about human rights and issues covered by feminist disability studies. In 2019, she was awarded the prestigious Ambassador of the UN CRPD title which was handed in by the Polish Ombudsman.