Engender’s board is responsible for the organisation’s strategic direction and governance.
Nina joined Engender’s board in 2012 and is currently Convener. She has a background in migration and human rights and worked as Women's Policy Development Officer at Scottish Refugee Council for six years. In 2017 she joined the Secretariat of the European Network on Statelessness, where she is currently Head of Research and Policy. Nina is also a Trustee of Ngbotima Charity Trust, supporting young people through education in Sierra Leone.
Dr Shelly-Ann Brown is an analyst and senior researcher at the Economic Lead Global LTD; she has an academic background in economics and statistics. Shelly-Ann has worked in the public sector as a researcher and has been instrumental in passing a national bill, amending the existing Marriage Act of Trinidad &Tobago which abolished child marriages.
She is passionate about work in the BAME community and specifically women of colour. She sits on the board for the African and Caribbean Society of Scotland Association (ACSS), providing expertise in building alliances and sharing resources toward a prejudice free society where everyone is treated with respect, integrity and justice. Shelly-Ann is also on the expert list for women of colour commentators in Scotland, and an opinion writer for the Daily Record. For the past three years, she supports Metro World Child as a sponsor- a humanitarian organization dedicated to serving underprivileged children in Kenya, and an outreach volunteer for local charities focusing on rough sleepers in Edinburgh.
She is also a member of the Economic Development Association Scotland (EDAS), and Women in Journalism Scotland.
Lucy is the Director of Policy and Communications at the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE). From October 2021 to July 2022, she is on secondment as the SNAP Secretariat Lead, hosted by the Scottish Human Rights Commission. Lucy previously worked at the Scottish Recovery Network, and before this spent several years working in international human rights. Lucy is also the Vice Chair of the Board of the Human Rights Consortium Scotland, and a member of the Board of Voluntary Health Scotland.
Lou is a freelance applied artist and project manager. She has a background in creating projects and artworks within the community, youth arts and young audiences’ sectors and has worked with a range of national and international companies and artists including; Platform Glasgow, Imaginate and the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival, Mammalian Diving Reflex, Nic Green, London's Southbank Centre and The WOW Foundation.
Lou is currently undertaking a part-time MSc in Applied Gender Studies at Strathclyde University in addition to her portfolio of on-going projects. These currently include the creation of youth consultation events for the First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls, Women Dancing: A film series with artist Geraldine Heaney and Creative Facilitator for the National Theatre of Scotland and All the Queens Men’s Scottish Premiere of The Coming Back Out Ball.
Camila Cavalcante is an award-winning visual artist and educator from the north-east coast of Brazil, settled in Scotland. With a background in journalism, she has completed an MA Photojournalism and MSc Applied Gender Studies. Her artistic work explores empathy, social issues and the status of women in society. Camila has taken part in three art residencies and over 30 exhibitions in Brazil, Mexico, France, The Netherlands, the US and the UK. More recently, she has published the bilingual book For the Lives of All Women, with Break the Habit Press, about the experiences of women who have gone through illegal abortions in Brazil.
Emma currently leads communications, outreach and participation for the Scottish Human Rights Commission, having previously spent two years in London setting up Equally Ours, a UK-wide campaign to spread the positive story about human rights in everyday life. Emma has also worked as a lobbyist, campaigner and frontline business developer in the social enterprise movement, working in Scotland, London and Australia.
Zara is Head of Community at Shelter Scotland, leading their work enabling people with lived experience of the issues around housing and homelessness to campaign for change in their communities. Participation and raising the voices of those who are easiest to ignore has been a core part of Zara’s work across the public and third sectors. With her activism also centring around democratic participation, social, gender and environmental justice.
Jacquelyn grew up in Scotland and has also lived in Canada where she owned and ran a yoga studio. Returning 3 years ago, she initially worked on a mentoring programme for women and is now a business adviser working in economic development.
Jacquelyn has a strong interest in addressing the gender imbalance in political representation and in ensuring that women’s voices are heard, especially in policy making. She’s currently working on an MBA and has two children. Jacquelyn is also on the board of the Ayrshire Women’s Hub and is a Prince’s Trust mentor.
Maria Pakpahan has been a feminist since she was in high school. Maria ventured as social entrepreneur and was elected as Ashoka Fellow in 1999. She was awarded British Chevening Scholarship in 2000.She got scholarship from Refugee Study Center, University of Oxford to study Regional Course on Forced Migration in 2001.She was awarded Oscar Brown memorial scholarship and got an MA on Development Studies in 1994 from ISS, Erasmus University, The Netherlands. She worked for various UN bodies like ILO,WFP,UNDP and International NGOs like Terre des Hommes for children rights, National Democratic Institute for guarding democracy and civil society. She worked for the rights of political prisoners in 1996-1999 and regularly visited prisons.
Maria is a human rights defender and political activist who also work on conflict prevention, to curb the use of religion for political radicalisation which resulted violence and polarisation in society. Maria has been active to advocate universal basic income. She had been working professionally in referendum ( Scottish referendum 2014 then Brexit referendum) and national elections UK since 2016. Maria also works as life coach and have been advocating for the improvement of care system and mental health in Scotland. Maria was a Board Member of Engender 2015-2018 and member of Women For Independence since its early set-up.
Dr Nighet Riaz is an early careers researcher and associate lecturer in the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). Returning to education as a mature student, and becoming an activist, Nighet has become more critical of how women and in particular young people are framed by policy and media. Her research explores how young people and communities can become ‘othered’ fuelled by moral panics to tackle the perceived disaffection of young people and communities who have been identified as ‘at risk’ of social exclusion. Nighet teaches on various graduate and post-graduate modules on the topic of equality and inclusion. Her interest in race, identity and belonging has led to Nighet becoming an active member of British Educational Research Association, where she now co-convenes on the Special Interest Group on Race, Ethnicity and Education.
Nighet is a training and development partner in the Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE), a member of the education subgroup of the ‘Tackling Islamophobia’ cross party group at Holyrood, as well as the Equality Officer at her local SNP branch, East Pollokshields.
Iffat is a consultant, collaborator, and life-long campaigner committed to social justice, equality and inclusion. She specialises in programme and service development with particular focus on anti-racism, gender equality and minoritized women and girls nationally and internationally. She is a Trustee of Link Education International.
Leanne Wilson is a PhD Researcher in the department of Law and Economics at Glasgow Caledonian university. She is a member of the WiSE Research Centre for Economic Justice where the aim is to create new knowledge to inform public policy and create a just society in Scotland and internationally. She is a feminist economist with research interest in the implementation of gender mainstreaming within economic policies both in Scotland and the European Union.
Leanne is also the Child Wellbeing and Protection officer in her sons’ grassroots football club where equality plays a key role in inspiring future generations. This role allows her to make small changes as well as stay close to the key role in her life, a full-time mum.
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