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 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 NewsDeeply.com. 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
SAHIYO STAFF AND INTERNS:
Chandni Shiyal, India Sahiyo Administrative Assistant
Chandni 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 email@example.com.
Lara Kingstone, U.S. Sahiyo Communications Coordinator
Lara started her career in a youth-focused program designed to integrate London communities and empower young people to become active and engaged citizens. Lara earned a BA in Political Communications at IDC Herzliya, an Israeli University, 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 English together, and get to know each other better. She then volunteered on the Thai-Lao border at Child Rights and Protection Center, a small non-profit which aims to prevent human trafficking and gender-based violence, while providing a safe and confidence-building living environment for at-risk young women. Lara then moved to Boston, and started an Outreach-focused role at Silver Lining Mentoring, where she aims to find volunteers to become long-term mentors for youth in foster care. Lara comes to Sahiyo excited to learn and work hard. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shabana Feroze, Sahiyo Social Media Consultant
Shabana has been a volunteer for Sahiyo since 2017. Coming from a Bohra family, she is a 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 email@example.com
Jenny Cordle, Editorial Intern
Jenny’s passions include documenting human rights issues through photography and nonfiction writing. In 2016, she received a Certificate inDocumentary 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.
Nicole Mitchell, Social Media Intern
Nicole Mitchell is a senior at University of Massachusetts Lowell majoring in Philosophy with a focus in Communications and Critical Thinking. She is passionate about women’s rights and recently worked to address the gender-ratio imbalance of philosophy majors at her school. Additionally, she has traveled to Kiev, Ukraine to help with at-risk youth and has also volunteered with the organization, “Stop Child Trafficking Now” to end child trafficking in the States. She is excited to work with Sahiyo to help bring awareness to FGC and eventually end this destructive practice.
Ashley Kelly, Social Media Intern
Ashley Kelly is a recent graduate of Salem State University. She has her Bachelor of Science in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations, and she minored in Marketing. Over the past few years, she has become passionate about various issues in the United States and the world, including women’s rights. While interning at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, she became even more interested in women’s rights in regards to healthcare. She is honored to be working with Sahiyo and is hoping to help bring awareness to FGC and why this practice needs to end.