Ayesha Imam, Ph.D. has worked extensively on research, advocacy and education to protect and extend women’s human rights under customary, secular and religious laws, on human rights generally and on democracy and sustainable development. She was the organiser in 1982 of Women in Nigeria (WIN), the first feminist organisation in Nigeria, and is a core group member of the international solidarity network Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) and a founding director of BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights in Nigeria, with which she received the John Humphrey Freedom Award in 2002. She was also a board member of the Geneva-based International Council on Human Rights Policy. The co-initiator and director of the first Gender Institute in Africa, Dr. Imam has also served as the Gender Policy Advisor for the United Nations Institute for Economic Development and Planning in Senegal and the Head of the Department of Culture, Gender and Human Rights at the United Nations Fund for Development (UNFPA) in New York. She was also the first Chair of the African Democracy Forum, a network of African democracy activists.
Dr. Imam has lectured and carried out research at universities and research institutes in Nigeria, the U.K., Canada and Senegal. She has published widely for both academic and activist uses. She has written and/or edited numerous journal articles, books and program reviews, including ‘Engendering African Social Sciences’ and two special issues of ‘Africa Development’: Re-Visiting Gender I and II. She has continues to research and write, and to train in human rights, gender awareness and mainstreaming, gender and development, evaluation and research for activists in NGOs, for mid-level planners and functionaries in government, and for researchers.