Mariya Taher pursued a study titled, “Understanding Female Genital Cutting in the United States“, in graduate school for her Master of Social Work from San Francisco State University. Since then, she has worked in the field of gender violence for over a decade, working on issues of domestic violence at W.O.M.A.N., Inc.; Asian Women’s Shelter; and Saheli, Support and Friendship for South Asian Women and Families. She was a 2014 Women’s Policy Institute for The Women’s Foundation of California and her team successfully passed legislation to provide low-income survivors of domestic violence with basic needs grants. Since 2015, she has collaborated with the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association to pass legislation to protect girls from FGC. After starting a Change.org petition and gathering over 400,000 signatures, Massachusetts became the 39th state in the U.S. to do so. She also sits on the steering committee for the US Network to End FGM/C. The Manhattan Young Democrats named her a 2017 Engendering Progress honoree and she was named 1 of the 6 FGC experts to watch by NewsDeeply.com. In 2018, Mariya received the Human Rights Storytellers Award from the Muslim American Leadership Alliance. In 2020, she was recognized as one of the six inaugural grant recipients for the Crave Foundation for Women. Learn more about her by listening to Mariya’s Interview with ABC News. To contact Mariya, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aarefa Johari is a journalist based in Mumbai, India. She has four years of experience as a reporter and feature writer with Hindustan Times, a national daily, and currently works with Scroll.in, an online publication. She reports on communities, gender, human rights, urban development and culture. She is an alumnus of the 2013 batch of the International Visitor Leadership Programme, conducted by the United States Department of State. To contact Aarefa, email her at email@example.com.
Priya Goswami is an Indian independent filmmaker. She is the recipient of the German Chancellor Fellowship by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and is currently based out of Germany for her research. Her film ‘A Pinch of Skin’ is the recipient of 60th National film award of India and has traveled worldwide. She has worked with the United Nations and national television news network, ‘Zee Business’ as a video producer. Priya is passionate about creating conversation on Gender and Human rights. When not making films, she is always making new travel plans or searching for new typography. Learn more about her by listening to Priya’s Interview with Hindustan Times. To contact Priya, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Insia Dariwala is an Advertising & Mass Communications graduate from F.I.T, New York, and an award-winning, international filmmaker, currently based in Mumbai. Fiercely passionate about protecting the rights of children, Insia has effectively used her 14 years of experience in advertising & films, to highlight these issues. ‘The Candy Man’ her hard hitting debut film on child abuse won her two ‘Best Director’ awards in India, and was also nominated internationally. However, ‘Cock-Tale’, her second award winning film on rape, was what gave birth to her organisation, ‘The Hands of Hope Foundation’, which is actively involved in working against sexual abuse on children, using visual art and education, to create awareness in schools, communities & slums. Insia strongly believes that FGC is also another form of violence on children, which needs to be eliminated, and has today, successfully fused both her passions to address children’s issues. See Insia speak to IBN CNN by clicking here. Learn more about a short film on FGC written and directed by Insia by clicking here. To contact Insia, email her at email@example.com.
Shaheeda Tavawalla-Kirtane is a Canadian researcher and policy analyst from Toronto, Ontario. She graduated from the University of Toronto, Trinity College, with a Bachelors of Science (Hons) degree in Pharmacology & Toxicology. She recently moved to Mumbai, India, and works for a non-partisan think tank called the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) Mumbai. Her areas of work in public health and policy are diabetes, newborn hearing screening, low-cost and high-impact health innovation, mental health and creation and promotion of health literacy programs in schools in Maharashtra, India. Shaheeda was educated at a very early age about the harmful practice of khatna by her mother, Dilshad Tavawalla, who stood her ground and protected her daughter from being subjected to it (read Ms. Tavawalla’s thoughts on khatna here). Shaheeda is keen to study female genital cutting from a research perspective and this goes back to her days as an undergraduate student studying Life Sciences.