IAW / AIF BOARD
Joanna Manganara – Greece
Chief Representative to the United Nations
As IAW President Joanna Manganara is Chief Representative of IAW to the United Nations since September 2013. She was re-elected as President for a second term in October 2017 during the 37th IAW Congress in Nicosia, Cyprus. Joanna Manganara is a former Minister Counselor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece. She has worked as a lecturer in sociology at Panteion University in Athens and as a researcher on migration and women’s rights issues. She has been very active in the women’s and civil rights movement in Greece. She has written many articles and edited books on women’s human rights.
Executive Vice Presidents:
Ruhi Sayid – Pakistan
Ruhi Sayid holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences. She has 35 years of diversified experience in gender, poverty, skill development and social work, and has worked in close liaison with Government departments to strengthen community.
She is chairperson of All Pakistan Women Association Punjab HQ.
Natalie Kostus – USA and Poland
Natalie Kostus is an economist and works in the private investment firm and to complete her PhD in Economics from Poznan University of Economics. Natalie holds MPA from Baruch Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs and has worked for over a decade in the public sector, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, March of Dimes, and at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). She is the Convener of the Commission on Climate Change and Representative to the United Nations of IAW.
Olufunmi Oluyedei – Nigeria
Representative to the United Nations as Chief Administrative Officer
Olufunmi Oluyede, Pioneer Managing partner, TRLPLAW Solicitors, is an international commercial attorney of high repute -providing over 30 years of insight and expertise across a range of industries globally. She currently serves on the Council of the International Bar Association (IBA) Legal Practice Division, the IBA Diversity Council and as Adviser to the IBA Women Lawyers’ Interest Group. She is a distinguished member of both the American Bar Association (ABA) International Law Section and the Nigerian Bar Association and has, since 2009, held various high-ranking offices in both organizations. Olufunmi, Life fellow of the American Bar Foundation (ABF) is also a life member of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and of the African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA).
Assistant Secretary General
Tunica Miranda Ruzario – South Africa
Tunica Miranda Ruzario holds a degree in social sciences and has over 10 years working experience in the administration and financial departments having worked in both Zimbabwe and South Africa respectively. She has also worked for several NGOs in Zimbabwe that deal with women’s rights, gender based violence and gender equality from grassroots levels.
Rahim Sajid – USA
Rahima Sajid graduated from the College of Staten Island with her BA in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and Political Science, minoring in International Studies. She went on to the Baruch School of Public and International Affairs where she got her Masters in Public Administration. Currently, Rahima is working as a Finance Associate with the Malala Fund. Prior to working at the Malala Fund, Rahima worked as a Development Associate at the United Nations International School. Rahima likes to write poetry in her free time.
Regional Vice Presidents:
Rita Marque Mbatha – Zimbabwe
Africa – Anglophone
Rita Mbatha has a diploma in accounting and has done executive secretarial studies. In 2017 she took a Central Law Training, Glasgow, Scotland and is a specialist in criminal litigation. Rita Mbatha has more than 19 years experience and a solid background on gender formulation, mainstreaming, human rights advocacy and lobbying, has an in-depth understanding in the areas of gender based violence, gender equality and their interface with human rights with a sound knowledge of the gender-based violence field in Zimbabwe.
Rita Marque Mbatha was conferred Gold Certificate by EVAW International, Washington, USA, recognising her dedication to improving the criminal justice system and community response to sexual assault. Founding Director Women’s Comfort Corner Foundation.
Cheryl Hayles – Canada
Cheryl Hayles holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in French. She is Vice President International Relations, Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW/FCFDU).
From 2009-2010 Cheryl served as President of CFUW Milton and District. She completed two terms as Regional Director for Ontario South (2010-14) with responsibilities for 12 major clubs known as a “Hub”. On the CFUW National Board, Cheryl created and implemented the Mentorship Program that serves women in STEM, Politics and Organizational Leadership. She chairs the 100th Anniversary Committee, having great success in actioning initiatives that honour and celebrate the 100 year history of CFUW. Her International Relations Committee has been a trailblazer in addressing significant issues that affect women internationally. Having led three delegations to the United Nations she is skilled at networking and accessing resources to advance the feminist agenda.
Manju Kak – India
Manju Kak is the author of three collections of short stories and three works of non fiction. She has been a teacher, critic and also a journalist with the Women’s Feature Service. She is the author of Whose Media–a Woman’s Space.
Her current voluntary work is as Hon Treasurer of the oldest women’s NGO of India estab in 1927, the All India Women’s Conference.
Horeya Megahed – Egypt
Horeya Megahed has a Ph.D in Political Science, Indiana University, USA (1966) and has been a professor of Political Science, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University. She has held many positions, among them: Chairperson of the Department of Political Science (1986-92), the first Director of Political Studies, Faculty of Economics and Political Science. She has been a member of the Executive Committee of IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union) 1990-1993, vice president of the Political Committee of IPU 1992-1995 and member and vice president of Women Parliamentarians 1990-1995. Horeya Megahed was a member of Parliament for People’s Assembly of Egypt 1990-1995. She is the author of many books and is the first woman to specialize in Political Science in the Arab World and the first woman to become the Chairperson of the Department.
Signe Vahlun – Denmark
Signe Vahlun has an MA in International Development Studies and Cultural Encounters. She is Vice president of the Danish Women’s Society, where she is projects manager and responsible for the foundation of StopHarassment – a counselling unity for victims of digital sexual violation.
Other Board Members:
Monique Bouaziz – France
Monique Bouaziz has a University diploma in English.
Today as European Vice President of AFEM, Monique Bouaziz continues to work for that organization.
At first, she worked with SHAPE and NATO, followed by some time at UNESCO. Then she became a travel agent and managing director of a travel agency for 28 years. All the time she has been involved in feminist associations and has travelled all over the world with them, fighting for gender equality and violence against women. Since 2001, she has been the delegate to the CoE in Strasbourg for the European. She joined IAW in 2002. She continues to participate with great pleasure.
Kalyani Raj – India
Kalyani Raj has more than 35 years of working experience in the corporate sector in India as well as Hongkong. An ex-banker by profession, she has worked with branches of a leading nationalized bank in different states in India and financial management firms in Hongkong. With an objective to utilize all her working experience for a good social cause and to contribute to society to the best of her ability, for the past 20 years she is engaged with All India Womens’ Conference as a volunteer supervising and implementing various social welfare projects. She has taken over as Hon. Secretary General of AIWC at the national level beginning of this year. She is also currently the Co-focal point for the Women & Gender Constituency of the UNFCCC and is involved with the work of gender integration into climate change policy work at global as well as national level. Kalyani has also been engaged with the SDG process right from Rio20 with the WMG and with the network of CSO in India in popularization and monitoring and review of SDG implementation.
Christina Knight – Sweden
Christina Knight has a B.A in Literature from the University of Sussex, England and the University of California, San Diego. She has over 30 years experience of working in the communications industry as a copywriter and creative director at Swedish and International advertising agencies where she has made a name for herself as an awarded advertising woman, as well as a TED speaker, lecturer, mentor, Women’s rights advocate and author of the best-selling book “Mad Women – A Herstory of Advertising”. She is a board member of Fredrika Bremer Förbundet as well as WaterAid in Sweden.
Eugenia Tsoumani – Greece
Eugenia Tsoumani is a lawyer, specialized in labour and European law. She is Secretary General of the Foundation of Economic and Industrial Research, Greece, former Member of Parliament – Constituency State, Secretary General (Deputy Minister) on Gender Equality for 6 years. Former President of the Supplementary Social Security Fund.
As Secretary General on Gender Equality she established legislation on Violence against Women as well as Equal Opportunities in Employment and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. Current Vice President of the Political Association of Women and Board Member of the League for Women Rights.
Johanna Sterbin – USA
Johanna Sterbin presently serves as an Administrative Law Judge in New York City and is on the faculty of Pace University. She holds a B.A. from the College of New Rochelle, JD from Fordham University, LL.M. and M.A. from New York University and has been a Fulbright scholar. Johanna has served on many NGO boards, including the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and the International Federation of Women in Legal Careers (FIFCJ). She is a UN Representative for FIDA and FIFCJ.
Elli Christodoulou – Cyprus
Elli Christodoulou is an active member of civil society. She sits on the executive boards of a number of NGOs, thus offering social work and contributing to the promotion and implementation of equality and human rights. She is a founding member of the Cyprus Alzheimer Association, currently secretary general of the Pancyprian Movement Equal Rights- Equal Responsibilities and the Cyprus National Mechanism for Women Rights. Her work experience is 32 years as an executive assistant at the Bank of Cyprus. She holds a Banking Certificate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers as well as a secretarial diploma.
Esther Suter – Switzerland
(Rev.) Esther R. Suter, from Switzerland, worked as a trilingual secretary from 1968-1970 in Paris, then studied theology and was ordained pastor in the Reformed Church of Switzerland; 1982 delegated by Women for Peace Switzerland to the 2nd UN-Special Session on Disarmament in New York City; in 1983 she did pastoral volunteer work in New York City “Hell’s Kitchen”. 1984 stay in Chile during military dictatorship, co-initiator of a project for street children with Servicio Paz y Justicia Chile. 1985 delegated for the 3rd UN World Conference on Women in Nairobi as a journalist. 1995 delegated to the 4th UN World Conference on Women in Beijing as a journalist; Vice-President of the International Association of Liberal Religious Women.
Arthie Schimmel – The Netherlands
Arthie Schimmel is 64 years old. The common thread in her professional life has been women’s rights. She was a teacher at a secondary school 1977-1979), policy advisor affirmative action at a large postal and telecommunication company 1979-1985), member of the Dutch parliament (1989-2002)and senior advisor at a knowlegde centre of diversity. In each function she could make a contribution to the improvement of the position of women. She hopes to continue doing so.
KG Vijaya Lekshmi – India
Vijaya Laksmi is a women’s studies specialist with field experience and knowledge in the area of women and children, reproductive and child health, rights of women, tribal development and welfare, atrocities against women, child trafficking, SHGs and microfinance etc. , a Development specialist with multi-sectoral experience including community based water supply and sanitation, livelihood development, tribal development, women empowerment, reproductive and child health, watershed development and an educationist having initiated a stress free and Innovative approach in the field of education in the teaching-learning process and established Sandepani School, the first research-based school in India.
Director, Women Empowerment and Human Resource Development Centre of India (WHI) (1998 onwards)