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WOW Kathmandu 2017 Talks Speaker Profiles
Ambassador Nasim Ferdous
Nasim Ferdous is a former Bangladeshi career diplomat. She joined foreign service in 1977 and is the first women to enter in foreign service in Bangladesh. She served as an ambassador to Indonesia from 2002 to 2006 and is also an executive director of Bangladesh Alliance for Women Leadership and chairperson of Home Economics Association.
Nidhi Goyal is a Mumbai-based activist committed to changing the lives of women and girls with disabilities. She is the Sexuality and Disability Program Director at the non-profit Point of View where she has researched and co-authored a pioneering online initiative www.sexualityanddisability.org— a comprehensive online resource on disability, gender, sexuality and violence.
Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala is the first Sri Lankan, and first Sri Lankan woman to summit Mount Everest (8,848m/29,030ft), a double record she achieved at 5:03am on 21 May 2016. She is a mountaineering professional and women’s rights advocate. Her passion for adventure is balanced with her passion for gender equality. On many occasions over the past decade, locally, regionally, as well as globally, Jayanthi has been invited to make presentations on the status of women in Sri Lanka: this has included advocating for women’s rights at the United Nations. Jayanthi is currently serving as the first ever Goodwill Ambassador for Women's Rights for the Ministry of Women's Affairs. She is also the Goodwill Ambassador for Think Equal - a global education programme that aims to teach social and emotional intelligence to young children. Jayanthi holds a Master’s Degree in Gender Studies from the University of Sussex, UK.
Honourable Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla
Honourable Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla is the Justices at the Supreme Court and the founder of Forum for Women, Law & Development. In 2008, she was a joint winner of the Gruber Prize for Women’s Rights.
Jude Kelly is the founder of Women of the World Festival and Creative Director of Southbank London. She founded Solent People's Theatre, a touring company, in 1976, and was artistic director of the Battersea Arts Centrefrom 1980 to 1985. In 1986, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company. She became the founding director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse from 1990–2002, where as Artistic Director and then CEO she established it as an acknowledged centre for excellence. As the Artistic Director, she sat on the National Advisory Committee for Culture, Creativity and Education (NACCCE), led by Ken Robinson, that in 1999 wrote the All Our Futures report which led to significant government investment in young people's creative and cultural education. n 2010 she founded the Women of the World Festival that celebrates the achievements of women and girls as well as looking at the obstacles they face, and which is now an annual international event.
Dr. Renu Adhikari
Dr. Renu Adhikari is a seasoned human rights defender and veteran feminist from Nepal has been at the forefront of organizing communities in support of advocacy on women’s health and violence against women in Nepal. She is the founder of Women’s Rehabilitation Centre. She is the Chairperson of National Women Human Rights Defender and a founding coordinator of the Alliance Against Trafficking in Women and Children (AATWIN).
Kapil Kafle is media professional and engaged with activism for gender equality with engaging men and boys in Nepal. Currently, he is convener/coordinator for MenEngage Alliance South Asia. He is Executive Director for Institute of Human Rights Communication Nepal (IHRICON) and Training Coordinator in Nepal Press Institute.
Durga Sob is the founding President of the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO), a Nepalese organization created with the vision to construct a just and equitable society by fighting against caste and gender discrimination.
Sulakshana Rana is the founder of Burns Violence Survivors-Nepal (BVS-Nepal), which helps and supports survivors of burns, resulting from accidents, or violence, such as attempted homicide attacks, normally using kerosene or acid and cases of self-immolation and attempted suicide, often stemming from domestic violence.
Saguna Shah is educator, writer and critic. She is the founder of bOOkahOlics (a forum promoting literature and readership).
Jehan Ara is the President of the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES (P@SHA). She is a motivator, an entrepreneur, a social activist and a strong propagator of extending the power and use of Information and Communication Technologies beyond pure traditional business, to empower and enable communities.
Sonia Bashir Kabir
Educated and trained in Silicon Valley, Sonia lived in Northern California for 20 years. After completing her MBA, she worked in the Valley for Fortune 100 companies (Sun Microsystems & Oracle), startups & in the financial district. Her expertise include strategic planning & growth, sales execution, financial management, team building and change management.
Sonia is currently the Managing Director for Microsoft Bangladesh, Board Director and Co Founder of D Money (Fin-Tech start up), Vice President and Co-Founder of Bangladesh Women in Technology (BWIT). Sonia is also the Founder President of TiE Dhaka and has served in the Boards of the American International School, Dhaka, Bangladesh Employers Federation, Bangladesh Cricket Board (Women's Wing), Abahani Women's Games Development Committee and Women Entrepreneur's Association.
Besides co-founding an IT firm - Syntec, Sonia has served as the Country Director of Dell Bangladesh, Director Business Development for South East Asia, New Emerging Markets in Microsoft and Chief Operating Officer for Aamra Technologies Ltd.
Sonia is a national athlete; she has played for Bangladesh National Volleyball team and Bangladesh National Cricket team.
Gayatri Buragohain An electronics engineer by education and a passionate advocate of equal participation of women in technology, Gayatri is the founder and Executive Director of Feminist Approach to Technology (FAT). FAT combines her technological background with her passion for advancing women's rights. She was awarded the Change Agent Award by Anita Borg Institute in 2010.
Amuda Mishra is the Founder and Executive Director of Ujyalo Foundation, a not for profit organization committed to create safe space for young women to lead and learn in Nepal. She was listed as one of the Nepal's 75 Women Leaders, and WOW Women to Watch in 2016.
Sumana Shrestha has started successful initiatives such as Carpool Kathmandu and Medication For Nepal. She is now actively working on her next venture a start-up called What's Up Nepal to deliver a more holistic experience for the visitors to Nepal.
Sarswati Adhikari, herself was rescued from Indian circus. She leads the advocacy programme and serves in the Board of Circus Kathmandu, Nepal’s first and only contemporary circus company. Sarswati Adhikari is actively involved in creating social awareness in various issues of social concerns and is a budding social activist, with strong commitment to contribute to social changes through the activities of Circus Kathmandu.
Anuradha Koirala: is the founder of Maiti Nepal with the aim of providing services for both children and women who have endured untold pain and suffering, often in silence So far, she has been provided 38 national and international awards in recognition of her courageous acts and lifetime achievement furthering the cause of children’s and women's rights.
Bijaya Rai Shrestha
Bijaya Rai Shrestha is a returnee woman migrant worker from Japan, the Founder, Life Member and current Executive Director of POURAKHI-Nepal). She is now significantly contributing her efforts for the return and reintegration of returnee women migrant workers and their family members through entrepreneurship development trainings for their social and economic empowerment.
Sunita Danuwar is a leading social activist, was a victim of human trafficking. She is a shining example of a massive transformation, one which led her to be a counsellor and advocate for girls suffering the same fate. In fact, she is the founder member and current Executive Director of Shakti Samuha, a non-governmental organization.
Shreejana Pokhrel Siwakoti
Shreejana Pokhrel Siwakoti, is Executive Director at INHURED International. Human Rights Activist who is enjoying evolution in terms of understanding and delivering the service, wife, mother, who believes that every sectional of society is expected to work as agent of social transformation quashing the status quo
Malvika Subba is Media Personality, social activist entrepreneur. She is the CEO of Idea Studio Nepal.
Word Warriors are a Kathmandu-based group of young poets leading the spoken word movement in Nepal. We have been performing, conducting events, competitions and workshops, all over Nepal, sharing the platform that spoken word provides for youth expression and voice.
Kriti Adhikari is a soft-spoken Word Warrior, spoken word poetry instructor and National Poetry Slam coach. After QC Awards 2015, she has been actively working with the Word Warriors. She speaks in whispers, but sings melodies and voluminous verses on stage. She enjoys going back to her old poems with her new experiences.
Hemantika R.L. Palikhe
Hemantika R.L. Palikhe is an architect and anything "art" enchants her like a 3-year-old in a candy store. She has been a part of the Word Warriors, Nepal’s pioneer spoken word poetry group. As a spoken word poetry enthusiast, she takes poetry as a form of therapy rather than a hobby and that's what keeps her "almost introvert self” going.
Sarita Lamichhane is a visually impaired woman by birth and is a founder of Prayatna Nepal, an organization established to work for with visually impaired women and girls. It empowers visually impaired women and girls to take their lives in their own hand.