Sahiyo India

Chandni Shiyal, India Sahiyo Administrative Manager

Chandni_Photo3Chandni did her Masters in Sociology from the Department of Sociology, University of Mumbai. She also completed her M.Phil. from the Centre for African Studies, University of Mumbai on the subject of female genital mutilation in Africa with a special focus on  Ethiopia. In 2015 she published a book titled Female Circumcision/ Female Genital Mutilation: A Human Rights Violation A Case Study of Ethiopia. Ms. Shiyal is currently pursuing her Ph.D. from the Centre for African Studies, University of Mumbai. Her topic of research is Gender Inequality and Women’s Health: A Comparative Study of Ethiopia and India. To contact Chandni, email her at

Sahiyo U.S.

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Mariya Taher, US Executive Director

Mariya 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 nearly ten years, 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. Currently, she works with the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association on passing state legislation to criminalize FGC and build public awareness campaigns on FGC within the state. She serves on the steering committee for the U.S. 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 Learn more about her by listening to Mariya’s Interview with ABC News or reading about her on Orchid Project’s Blog. To contact Mariya, email her at

Lara Kingstone, U.S. Communications Manager

Lara started her career in a youth-focused program designed to integrate London communities unnamedand empower young people to become active and engaged citizens. Lara earned a BA in Political Communications at IDC Herzliya, while working as a journalist at The Culture Trip and producing and hosting a human rights radio program. While studying, she worked at an educational center which aimed to help Palestinian and Israeli young people learn together.  Since then, she has worked with human trafficking prevention and gender-based violence prevention on the Thai-Lao border, and has worked as a Community Outreach Coordinator to connect youth in foster care with mentors, in Boston. She holds an MSc in Social Development from University College London. You can contact her at

Jenny Cordle, Editorial ManagerIMG_20180917_104026194

Jenny’s passions include documenting human rights issues through photography and nonfiction writing. In 2016, she received a Certificate in Documentary Photography and Nonfiction Writing from Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, with her work focusing on female genital cutting in Mali, West Africa. She is currently researching the intersection of maternal and child health, traditional healing and spiritual beliefs in Northern Ghana through Georgetown University for her Master’s of Science in Global Health. She worked as a communications associate for Tostan, and is excited to continue working toward the abandonment of FGC with Sahiyo. To contact Jenny, email her at

Sarrah Hussain, Development Assistant


Sarrah is passionate about women’s health, and in the future, would like to combine her interests in human rights and technology to create a positive impact in the world. She grew up in Los Angeles and is currently an undergraduate student at Stanford University double majoring in Human Biology and Computer Science, with a minor in Human Rights. She has worked with various nonprofits in the women’s health and tech space, like The Lily Project and Bridging Tech. After discovering FGC is practiced in her community, she got involved with Sahiyo to ensure the practice is stopped. Sarrah is excited to create change and uplift voices with the rest of the Sahiyo Team.


Cate Cox, Programs Coordinator img_5696

Catherine is an undergraduate student at Simmons University studying International Relations, with minors in Economics and Arabic. She is passionate about women’s rights and human rights and hopes to enter into those fields once she graduates. She has worked with many international organizations supporting women’s and children’s rights and is in the process of conducting a research project on gender-based violence within the United States. She is excited to work with Sahiyo to help uplift the voices of women everywhere and create positive change.


Shabana Feroze, Sahiyo Communications Consultant

Shabana has been a volunteer for Sahiyo since 2017. Coming from a Bohra family, she is IMG_0424.jpga survivor of khatna herself and hence is passionate about seeing an end to the practice. Living in Bahrain, she is a Bahraini national with Indian origins. Shabana is the owner and managing director of advertising agency The Silver Kick Company. She has over 12 years of experience in the field of marketing and advertising and has a flair for social media. She is also a group fitness instructor, a fashion and travel blogger at The Silver Kick Diaries for over 8 years, and author of the book Loving Yourself In Style. To contact Shabana, email her at



Sandra Yu, Programs and Communications Intern

Sandra is an undergraduate student at Vassar College studying biochemistry and philosophy. She is interested in public health policy and expanding womens’ healthcare access. She was drawn by Sahiyo’s mission to end FGM/C through powerful storytelling. She hopes to contribute to Sahiyo’s platform to grow and empower the community. 

Yusra Majoka, Development Intern

Yusra is a recent graduate from St. Georges, University of London with a masters in global health. She is passionate about ending gender inequalities, and believes in creating sustainable change by empowering girls and women in our communities. Building on her background in health, she wishes to focus her career on improving womens health and advocating for autonomy and education surrounding womens rights. She is excited to work with the Sahiyo team, and contribute to such an important cause.

Madrisha Debnath, Research Intern

Madrisha is a graduate from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi with masters in geography. Her research interests are in the area of feminist geography, geography of bodies and embodiment. She is particularly interested in understanding how the bodies providing sites for inscription and expression of social values are always in a state of becoming in accordance to its lived space. Having a female body, she is passionate to understand the cultural practice of FGC and the process of cultural embodiment. She is a gold medalist and recipient of Manoranjan Mitra Memorial Prize for securing first position in B.Sc. among all subjects other than Mathematics, from Presidency University, Kolkata. She is grateful towards Sahiyo for upholding feminist values and thus being culturally inclusive and looks forward towards making meaningful contribution at achieving Sahiyo’s aim.

Kristel Mendoza Castillo, Social Media Intern

Kristel is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Connecticut majoring in Communications. She strongly believes in the values of consent and a woman’s right over her own body, which is why she’s excited to work with the team at Sahiyo. She looks forward to creating social change to help enforce our mission of empowering girls and women all around the world.”

Kamakshi Arora, Social Media Intern, (she/her)

Kamakshi is a multidisciplinary designer, artist, and researcher. She has a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from NC State and a Masters in Product Design from The University of The Arts. Originally from Mumbai, she moved to the United States to pursue higher studies. She is particularly interested in using a transdisciplinary, participatory approach to design strategies for addressing current gender inequities and co-create meaningful initiatives to tackle women’s rights and health issues. She supports Sahiyo’s mission of empowering women through innovative grassroots initiatives based on storytelling and community engagement and is grateful for the opportunity to learn more about working in a feminist organization.

Amena Ali, Communications Intern

Amena lives in Houston, Tx and her all-time obsession is tea and cat videos. She has a degree in Psychology but is currently working as a personal stylist. She is passionate about mental health and she’s made it her life goal to make it a more open topic amongst immigrant families. She’s a huge traveler (29+ countries). The nickname her friends have bestowed upon her is Mother CVS because she almost always has anything you could possibly need. Bandaids, mints, painkillers, etc. She’s now taking applications for new friends!

Beth Fotheringham, Programs Intern

Beth is a recent graduate of Durham University, where she studied English Literature, primarily specialising in gender and feminist theory. She has a particular passion for women’s rights and human rights globally, hoping to next study human rights law or international development. Beth has been involved in female empowerment projects since leading sessions on the importance of role models and inspirational women at a local girls school a few ago. This has since been continued in her starting of a feminist society at her college as well as her contribution to the book Honourable Ladies that features profiles of all female MPs in the UK. Currently, Beth is a content writer for Scarlet Udaan, and looks forward to expanding her understanding of FGC and how to eradicate the practice, while further elevating female stories and experiences, through working with Sahiyo.

Sarah Boudreau, Programs Intern

Sarah recently obtained her Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. By combining her studies in public health education and photography, her dream is to teach internationally in developing communities and document her efforts through photojournalism. She is passionate about women and girls’ rights, sustainability, health equity, and ending violence against minority groups. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys working as a freelance photographer and fashion model while coaching aspiring models to  cultivate confidence, diversity, and success in the industry.

Meaghan Payne, Communications Intern

Meaghan is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in both Psychology and Sociology. She has shifted her academic focus to the violence against women with an overview of human sexuality. Meaghan is hoping to pursue a Master of Science in Digital Sociology to further her understanding and passion for women’s rights and learn more about how to combat human rights issues using digital platforms. Meaghan is interested in furthering her knowledge of FGC, and she is greatly looking forward to working with Sahiyo to help raise awareness and uplift women all around the world!

Amela Tokić, Programs Intern, (she/her/hers)

Amela is a Bosnian/American feminist and human rights activist now based in Croatia. She holds a LLM in Human Rights from Maastricht University and a LLB in Comparative and International law from the American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Amela has four years of experience in advocacy, desk-based research, and training on women’s rights, particularly gender equality and violence against women and girls. She shares Sahiyo’s mission of creating positive change and global transparency of women’s rights through dialogue and education. Her life goal is to see global justice and redress attainable by all women and girls subject to violence. Amela looks forward to broadening her field of women’s rights to include female genital cutting and sexual reproductive rights with Sahiyo.

Annabelle Tarango, Social media intern

Annabelle is an undergraduate student at UC Santa Barbara, pursuing a degree in Global Studies and Communication with a minor in Spanish. She has worked with many women centered organizations in the past and is passionate about pursuing an intersectional approach in the work towards human and women’s rights.  She hopes to contribute and learn from Sahiyo in order to make impactful change through education, understanding, and storytelling.