This week Areeg Abass (Sudan), Carine Sacerdoce (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Cassandra Spade from the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (Thunder Bay, Canada), Joyce Tikaya (South Sudan), Nandar (Burma) and Wafa Alyosofi (Yemen), will begin a six-week advocacy and communications training program for young women activists.
These young women are actively engaged at the grassroots level to promote women’s rights and peace. Throughout the Sister-to-Sister Mentorship Program they will work alongside the Nobel Women’s Initiative team and in partnership with the Coady International Institute, to bring their advocacy from the local and national level to the international level. Over the course of six weeks they will build their capacity as activists by participating in a series of trainings, learning from women’s rights activists and local civil society organizations.
The Sister-to-Sister Mentorship Program began in 2012 in response to needs identified by partner organizations for increased advocacy training and hands-on skills building for young women’s rights activists in an international setting. Activists from Burma, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Iran, Liberia, Mexico, Nigeria, Palestine, Syria, Sudan, South Sudan, and Egypt have participated in the program, returning home as stronger activists.
Meet the 2019 participants:
National Officer on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Sudan
Area(s) of expertise: Gender based violence and female genital mutilation (FGM) as well as sexual and reproductive health
Areeg is a final year medical student and women’s rights activist. She believes in the role of community outreach work to improve health among marginalized, unprivileged and vulnerable communities.
Areeg raises awareness about women health and rights, including gender-based violence, especially in rural communities, where she was the coordinator for the biggest anti-FGM campaign led by medical students in Sudan. She has worked and volunteered with many organizations, including the Sudanese Red Crescent and the Institute of Reproductive Health and Rights.
Co-founder of Girls Rights Defenders, DRC
Area(s) of expertise: Girls rights to education, violence against women and girls
Carine Sacerdoce is a cofounder of Des Défenseurs des Droits de la Fille (Defenders of Girls’ Rights) where she works to protect the rights of girls in Eastern Congo. She obtained her university degree in project management.
Carine uses the power of storytelling to include survivors of sexual violence in their journey to healing and empowerment. She believes it is important for women who have gone through difficult experiences to know that they can rise above it, still pursue their dreams, and be successful. She embodies the philosophy that your experience does not have to dictate your future.
Research and Policy Assistant, Mishkeegogamang Ojibway Nation
Area(s) of expertise: First Nations of Canada education, language and youth
Cassandra Spade is from the Mishkeegogamang Ojibway Nation. She recently completed a B.A from the University of Manitoba. She is currently enrolled in Anishinaabemowin at Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig while working on educational policy at the Nishnawabe Aski Nation.
Exploring both Western and Indigenous modes of education, Cassandra engages both worldviews, methods, processes and knowledge in advocacy for her surrounding community. Her advocacy involves the acknowledgement of Indigenous systems of education such as land-based education, the recognition of Indigenous languages at post-secondary levels and developing the accessibility of education to Northern Indigenous communities.
Joyce Diko Duku Tikaya
EVE Organization for Women Development, South Sudan
Area(s) of expertise: empowering young women to claim their place in society and achieve their professional and personal life goals
Joyce is an activist for women’s rights. Her drive as a feminist derives from fighting for a fair and just South Sudan. She believes collaborating with people of shared ambition and positive influence can bring South Sudan to peace and prosperity.
Through her work, Joyce promotes community space for young women to challenge patriarchal stereotypes, explore their talents, and to be nurtured to be independent and successful in their desired future endeavours.
Founder of Purple Feminist Group, Myanmar/Burma
Area(s) of expertise: Domestic violence, feminist literature, street harassment and respect for women’s bodies.
Nandar is a feminist advocate, a translator and a storyteller. She is recognized as one of the most powerful feminist thinkers in Myanmar/Burma.
One of the leading organizers and directors of The Vagina Monologues play in Myanmar, she has also translated the book Why We Should All Be Feminists and Dear Ijeawele. In 2019, Nandar also started her country’s first feminist podcast, to inspire for positive change.
Media Activist, Yemen
Area(s) of expertise: Women in war, gender equality and social gender roles, media
Wafa Al-Yousifi works towards the promotion of development, leading communities to democracy and development. She is a writer and television braodcaster, specialized in humanitarian and social programs.
Wafa works to promote gender equality and raise awareness on the challenges faced by Yemeni women. She defines herself as a universal citizen with the global message of equal citizenship and equal humanity, calling for co-existence between different cultures, religions, and politics.