Saida Ali – Executive Director
Saida is the Executive Director of the Coalition on Violence Against Women (COVAW). She has 13 years of experience in feminist leadership development, feminist social justice work and building feminists movements and organisations. She brings to COVAW a wealth of knowledge and skills in feminist/ power analysis as it relates to violence against women, women’s leadership, promotion of multigenerational organising and mentorship, young women’s leadership development, capacity building for protection and advancement of women’s and girls’ rights, promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights and using intersectionality to address various issues impacting on the status of women.
Saida is a co-founder of the Young Women’s Leadership Institute (YWLI) and the brains behind the Binti girls’ soccer club. She is an Alumnus of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellowship Program of the African Leadership Institute. She has served in the global board of the Association of Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) and is a current Advisory Council member of Akili Dada.
Esther Kimani – Programme Officer Movement Building and Community activism.
Esther Wambui leads Movement Building and Community Activism (MBCA) having joined t COVAW in 2011. She is responsible for building capacities of community members as change agents opposed to and committed to eradicating Violence Against Women (VAW). and not limited to, escalating actions and awareness raising on matters related to HIV/AIDS and VAW intersection through the use intersection through the use of an establishes model to create awareness and set off actions in prevention of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).
Esther is passionate about the emancipation of women and their liberation from the yoke of oppression. . Her activism stems from the pain of seeing injustices happening to women. She believes that gender inequality, poverty and lack of information and laws that protect women have greatly contributed to the rising cases of Sexual and Gender Based Violence. .She hold a higher diploma in Psychological Counseling from the Kenya Institute of Professional Counseling (KIPC). She has attended numerous trainings including Emergency Response and Preparedness, Social budgeting, policy influencing processes and peer education.
Sophie Nyaga- Accounting Officer
Sophie Nyagah is an Accounting Officer with COVAW-K. In this role she coordinates all aspects of Accounting responsibilities such as , maintenance of the books o, bank reconciliations, among other accounting and finance management functions. Sophie is an innovative and driven accounting professional currently studying for a Bachelor degree in Commerce-Finance Option at St.Pauls University. She has CPA qualifications up to Part 2 level, and continuing with Part 3.Before joining COVAW in February 2012, she worked for 6 yrs in small business startups, private sector and large corporations.
Sophie is ambitious, enthusiastic, spontaneous, cheerful and always smiling. When not working, she loves to share a good laugh with friends and explore the nature of our beautiful country, Kenya. Her slogan:’’ Good ideas are a dime a dozen, but implementation is priceless’’ Sophie strives to learn new ways of doing things and takes on new challenges and assignment with ease.
Yvonne Godia – Programme Associate Movement Building and Community Activism.
Yvonne Godia is a Program Associate in the Movement Building and Community Activism Team and is a Community Activist . Her main fields of work are on gender, violence against women and HIV/AIDS, intimate partner violence, Peace and Emergency Response and Preparedness in regards to Women and Girls. Yvonne facilitates community programmes such as forums, community trainings, school visits and makes everyday a personal mission to feel part of something larger than herself, each taking small steps toward encouraging everyone to discover the activist within them.
Prior to joining COVAW, Godia worked on a variety of women and girls rights initiatives, indigenous and minority rights initiatives, including serving with the Indigenous Information Network and Centre for Population and Development Activities (CEDPA) focusing on Gender, Development and Health Education. "I feel that working for communities to better their lives'', she says.
She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Development Studies from Mt Kenya University, Nairobi.
Evelyn Milanoi- Programme Officer Access to Justice and Women's Rights.
Milanoi joined COVAW in 2011. She heads the Access to Justice and Women's Rights initiative which ensures the promotion and protection of women and girls who have undergone sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV). She ensures that those who are mentally challenged and have been sexually violated have access to justice as well as access to comprehensive post rape care services. Milanoi has successfully initiated a database of pro bono lawyers to represent COVAW's clients in Court. She has the responsibility of filing Public Interest Litigation cases and engaging at the national level in legislative and policy reform. She also empowers women by giving them the necessary skills to enable them challenge how the society perceives their place as only in the kitchen and not in the public and enable them fully participate in political and governance processes.
Milanoi holds an LLB degree from the Moi University and a post graduate diploma from the Kenya School of Law.
Ruth Nekura- Programme Associate Access to Justice and Women's Rights.
Ruth joined COVAW in June 2012 and is responsible for ensuring day-to-day implementation and management of cases of violence against women received at the Gender Based Violence Recovery Centre's (GBVRC's) , Kenyatta National Hospital and Mbagathi District Hospital. She provides free legal counselling to survivors of violence. She Identifies, coordinates and monitors work with pro-bono advocates in ensuring court representation for identified cases of sexual and gender based violence and discrimination. Ruth is an advocate of the high court of Kenya. She is a passionate litigant who represents women and girls in criminal and other matters in which the rights of women are violated. She has experience in legislative and policy reform processes from previous work with the Kenya Law Reform Commission where she participated in drafting of laws to actualise constitutional provisions and amendments of statutes to update and remove anomalies.
Ruth’s undying passion is to in ensurelegal counsel and representation is given to a survivor of violence, but at the same time identifying loopholes in the legislative and policy framework that curtail access to justice for women and highlighting opportunities for reforms.
Ruth holds an LLB from Moi University, Eldoret and a Post Graduate Diploma from Kenya School of Law.
Naitore Nyamu – Programme Associate Access to Justice and Women's rights.
Naitore has been at COVAW since February 2012,she previously worked at Women’s Empowerment Link as a Legal Aid Officer. Her major roles included giving legal advice to , survivors of SGBV and conducting civic education in major parts of the country and was also part of the team that conducted a research on the role of Young Women in Political participation. She is driven by the passion and optimism that women have the potential to rise above the predicaments they face on a day to day basis and that they have home gown solution to those problems. Naitore believes that African women have the drive, the power and the resilience to transform their lives and those of their communities. She brings a wealth of experience in human rights law, legal research and capacity building on legislations. ''To me this is not a job but a calling'', she says.
Naitore is an ardent blogger and writer on various contemporary issues. In 2011-2012, Naitore served as a member Amkeni Wakenya's -UNDP Stakeholder Reference Group. Naitore's major area of interest is international human rights law and transitional justice. She holds an LLB degree from University of South Africa and a B.A in Political Science from University of Nairobi. Naitore is married to Edwin Wamai.
Josephine Mwatibo Marura- Programme Associate- Movement Building & Community Activism
Josephine is a young, passionate and energetic African woman championing the cause of Violence against Women. She is a Programme Associate in the Movement Building & Community Activism Strategic Initiative. Under this team, she conducts and facilitates training sessions for the various identified target groups, such as community activists, paralegals, CBO’s, teachers, and other service providers.
Josephine is renowned for her committed work in empowering women politically, socially, legally and economically since her days in high school. She was the co-founder of the Girls Education Movement (GEM) in Nairobi, Kenya which was launched in September 2004 with the support of UNICEF and State House Girls High School. She aspires to be an Ambassador in future and most of all see the equality of men and women in society- A world where women’s voices are heard, valued and respected.
Josephine holds a Master of Arts Degree in Gender and Development from University of Nairobi and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations From the United States International University.
Lydia Muthiani- Programmes Manager/ Deputy Executive Director
Lydia joined COVAW in July 2010, bringing a wealth of experience women’s human rights activism. She left COVAW in 2011and later re-joined the organisation in September 2012 as the Deputy Executive Director and Programmes Manager. Lydia is passionate about women and girls’ rights, with a specific focus on international and local human rights law, criminal justice processes and reparative justice for victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
Her experience in Human rights law was gained while she undertook and facilitated human rights trainings both at the national and international levels. Some of the training that have enabled her gain experience are capacity building of Human Rights institutions held in Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and The Netherlands. She has offered invaluable support to both governmental and non-state agencies working in the field of human rights and International law. Lydia previously worked with Hamilton, Harrison & Mathews Advocates, Bridges Women Centre and, the Common Legal Representative for Victims in ICC
Lydia is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya. She holds Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nairobi (Hons.) and a post-graduate diploma from the Kenya School of Law.
Alice K. Mutuma- Programme Officer: Documentation and Communications Officer
Alice joined COVAW in 2012 and is charged with the responsibility of positioning the organisation as a key player in the women’s rights movement in Kenya. She is responsible for drafting press releases; media advisories, press placements, pitching for stories as well as finding new opportunities and networking platforms to advocate for women’s human rights.
Alice has extensive experience working with the media having worked in senior positions in Kenyan Media houses. Her experience in broadcast journalism has provided her with the necessary exposure that has broadened her networking and contact base in the media fraternity. She is conversant with the use of new media tools for women’s human rights activism.
She has produced various documentaries and short films on the challenges experienced by women and girls in Africa. She has worked extensively with the media to bring to continental and international focus issues of greatest concern to the African women in an effort to challenge policy and decision makers to act on legal instruments that subjugate and deny women access to critical opportunities and resources. Her strengths lie in the creative use of a multiplicity of platforms and channels to reach a diverse audience. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications and Sociology from the Universities of Nairobi and London South Bank. She has attended numerous trainings on Communications including SMART communications by Ford Foundation and Secure Online Communications by Association of Progressive Communications (APC).