Board of Directors Profile

i. OLUFUNKE BARUWA – Co-Chair

Olufunke Baruwa is a gender and development practitioner, feminist and public speaker with particular focus on women’s leadership, gender relations, and governance. She previously served as Gender Advisor, Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs and as Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund. She has been widely recognized for her advocacy on the inclusion of women in strategic political, social and economic platforms by The Guardian, She Leads Africa, Commonwealth and named as one of ‘17 women changing the world’ by the Institute for Inclusive Security at its 2015 Colloquium held at Harvard Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Ms. Baruwa was educated at the University of Abuja, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, University of East Anglia and the University of York in Management, Gender and Public Policy & Planning.

ii. DIRECTOR WOMEN AND GENDER, FMWA&SD – Co-Chair

iii. DR. ABIOLA AKIYODE – AFOLABI
Ms. Akiyode-Afolabi is a legal practitioner and the Executive Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC). She is a dedicated human rights defender with specialization in gender, peace, security and international human rights law. In recognition of her commitment and efforts on behalf of her fellow citizens, the International League for Human Rights USA named her a recipient of the 1999 Defenders’ Day Awards. Abiola has also led several coalitions including Gender and Constitution Reform Network (GECORN) founded in 2003. She has published extensively on women’s political participation and has also worked as a consultant on several projects to both local and international organizations.

iv. SAUDATU MAHDI, MFR 
Hajia Saudatu Mahdi coordinates the Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative as the Secretary General. She has to her credit over 20 published and unpublished presentations on violence against women, Shari’a and women’s rights, women in democracy, women in education, CEDAW and the African Union Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa. She has participated in and piloted varied studies on gender with specific focus on violence against women, bodily integrity of women and girls, gender gap analysis in Nigeria towards project implementation and research documentation on women’s political participation in Nigeria. From 2001 to date she has worked closely with lawyers and activists to develop a national law on violence against women under the auspices of the Legislative Advocacy Coalition on Violence Against Women.

v. DR. OTIVE IGBUZOR
Dr. Igbuzor is the Executive Director of the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD).He is the immediate past International Head of campaigns of Action Aid International and Country Director of Action Aid Nigeria. Action Aid International is an international organization working with people, communities, associates and partners in over 50 countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe to eradicate poverty and injustice. He is also an honourable Commissioner in the Police Service Commission (PSC). Prior to joining ActionAid, he was a Programme Co-ordinator of Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), an independent research, information and training institution dedicated to policy oriented scholarship on questions of democratic development and peace building in the West African sub-region.

vi. AYISHA OSORI

Ms. Ayisha Osori is a lawyer and consultant with over thirteen years of experience in corporate & regulatory practice, change communications and gender advocacy. She has worked in the private sector and civil society and is a writer and columnist. Ms. Osori is a regular media commentator on radio and television, and has been involved in numerous campaigns advocating for social justice for women and girls and on improving governance in Nigeria. An Eisenhower Fellow, she is a graduate of law from the University of Lagos and Harvard Law School, and most recently graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School with an M.A. in Public Administration. Ms. Osori was the pioneer CEO of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund and is the author of the widely read book “Love Does Not Win Elections”, a personal journey into Nigeria’s democratic system in the 2015 general elections