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Leadership

The centre is powered by multi-sited relationships with academic centres and feminist networks. At SOAS, FCRJ is powered by a small team consisting of Dr. Awino Okech who is the founding Director, a project officer, a post-doctoral fellow and a management committee.

Awino Okech

Awino Okech is Professor of Feminist and Security Studies at SOAS, University of London and founding director of the Feminist Centre for Racial Justice. Professor Okech received her PhD (2012) in Gender Studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Awino’s work is grounded in African feminist, queer, and Black internationalist thought as central frameworks for thinking about power and justice. Across her work is an exploration of racial justice and Black solidarity that focusses on the majority world and Africa to reimagine Pan African and Internationalist strategies for anti-racist, feminist, and queer liberation. Awino, is a member of the Gender and Development Board of Trustees and the Board of Trustees of SOAS University of London.

Almaz Bridgetta Anderson

Almaz is passionate about the arts and has a keen interest in music, film, theatre, literature & yoga. Having attended multi-discipline dance classes as a child, written and performed her own music and completed a degree in film, she is interested in how creativity and artistic expression can be used as a means of resistance and activism in social justice causes. She is particularly interested in how the arts have and continue to be used as a means to heal and reflect on racial and gender-based trauma.

Almaz joins the Feminist Centre as its Project Officer, supporting the centre’s various projects, activities and events.

Management Committee

The Management Committee acts in an advisory capacity to the director to support strategic planning and operations of the Centre.

Shirin Rai

Shirin M. Rai is Professor in the department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS, University of London. Before joining SOAS, she was Professor of International Political Economy at the University of Warwick. She is a Fellow of the British Academy.

Rai’s research interests lie in performance and politics, gender and politics and feminist international political economy. She has published widely in these areas, including Gender and the Political Economy of Development (Polity, 2004) Performing Representation: Women Members in the Indian Parliament (with Carole Spary; OUP), 2019; Oxford Handbook of Politics and Performance (2021; co-eds M Gluhovic, S Jestrovic and M Saward) and is currently working on a book titled Doing Politics Sideways. Her latest book (forthcoming) Depletion: the human costs of caring.

Hannah Bargawi

Dr. Hannah Bargawi is a Reader in Economics at SOAS, University of London where she convenes courses in Gender Economics and Development Economics. Dr. Bargawi’s research spans macroeconomic policies and employment as well as gender and labour market issues, including the links between paid and unpaid work. Her research is focused on East and North Africa, the Middle East as well as Europe. She recently contributed a chapter on “How does Economics address Gender?” in a textbook entitled Recharting the History of Economic Thought as well as an article on ‘Re-negotiating Social Reproduction, Work and Gender Roles in Occupied Palestine’ in the Review of International Political Economy (2021). She has acted as a consultant for organisations including UN Women, the ILO and the Asian Development Bank.

Rai’s research interests lie in performance and politics, gender and politics and feminist international political economy. She has published widely in these areas, including Gender and the Political Economy of Development (Polity, 2004) Performing Representation: Women Members in the Indian Parliament (with Carole Spary; OUP), 2019; Oxford Handbook of Politics and Performance (2021; co-eds M Gluhovic, S Jestrovic and M Saward) and is currently working on a book titled Doing Politics Sideways. Her latest book (forthcoming) Depletion: the human costs of caring.

Lucia Kula

Dr Lucia Kula is an International Human Rights Lawyer and Lecturer in Law and Gender at SOAS, University of London. Her research adopts an interdisciplinary approach to law, borders, gendered violence, and decolonisation. She is a former refugee from Angola and writes on law and forced displacement issues and identity in the African diaspora, with a focus on critically analysing the experiences of women and other marginalised communities. She convenes the Gender Studies and Law Programme, and she is the Widening Participation Lead for the School of Law within SOAS. She also consults for other Higher Education institutions in the UK on Race Equity and Decolonising The Academy.

Rai’s research interests lie in performance and politics, gender and politics and feminist international political economy. She has published widely in these areas, including Gender and the Political Economy of Development (Polity, 2004) Performing Representation: Women Members in the Indian Parliament (with Carole Spary; OUP), 2019; Oxford Handbook of Politics and Performance (2021; co-eds M Gluhovic, S Jestrovic and M Saward) and is currently working on a book titled Doing Politics Sideways. Her latest book (forthcoming) Depletion: the human costs of caring.

Advisory Collective

The collective provides intellectual and institutional guidance for the Centre’s work.

Solome Lemma

The principles of self-determination, feminisms, collectivism, and solidarity underpin Solome’s work and leadership in social change. She currently serves as Executive Director of Thousand Currents, a public foundation that partners with movements advancing food sovereignty, climate justice, and economic justice. In the past, Solome has focused on diaspora philanthropy, narrative change, human rights, displacement, and gender. Her work and writing have been featured in the Washington Post, The Guardian, Inside Philanthropy, and she has appeared on NPR, BBC, and Al Jazeera.

Rai’s research interests lie in performance and politics, gender and politics and feminist international political economy. She has published widely in these areas, including Gender and the Political Economy of Development (Polity, 2004) Performing Representation: Women Members in the Indian Parliament (with Carole Spary; OUP), 2019; Oxford Handbook of Politics and Performance (2021; co-eds M Gluhovic, S Jestrovic and M Saward) and is currently working on a book titled Doing Politics Sideways. Her latest book (forthcoming) Depletion: the human costs of caring.

Dzodzi Tsikata

Dzodzi Tsikata is Professor of Development Studies at SOAS, University of London. Before this, she was Professor of Development Sociology and immediate past Director of the Institute of African Studies (IAS) at the University of Ghana. Her research in the last 30 years has been in the areas of gender and development policies and practices; agrarian change and rural livelihoods; the labour relations of the informal economy and transformative social policy. Her recent publications are the co-edited (with Elisabeth Prügl and Fenneke Reysoo) Forum in the Journal of Peasant Studies on the theme “Commercialising Agriculture/Reorganising Gender” (JPS 48,7, September 2021). She is also the Principal Investigator of a pan-African research, networking and advocacy project, the Gender Equitable and Transformative Social Policy for Post-COVID-19 Africa (GETSPA) which is examining the social policy trajectories of thirty-one African countries. She is the secretary of the executive committee of IDEAS and a member of the Agrarian South Network and a member of the editorial collectives of Feminist Africa and Agrarian South: Journal of Political Economy.

Rai’s research interests lie in performance and politics, gender and politics and feminist international political economy. She has published widely in these areas, including Gender and the Political Economy of Development (Polity, 2004) Performing Representation: Women Members in the Indian Parliament (with Carole Spary; OUP), 2019; Oxford Handbook of Politics and Performance (2021; co-eds M Gluhovic, S Jestrovic and M Saward) and is currently working on a book titled Doing Politics Sideways. Her latest book (forthcoming) Depletion: the human costs of caring.

Shalini Eddens

Shalini Eddens has an extensive background in women’s health and rights, with over 20 years of leadership experience in the grassroots public health sector providing direct services, training, education and advocacy for women living with and affected by HIV. Previously, Shalini served as a Program Officer for the UN Foundation in Washington, D.C. where she oversaw a portfolio focused on advocacy and reproductive health. Shalini has spent most of her career working with HIV/AIDS civil society organisations domestically including; Project Inform, where she developed a curriculum for faith-based leaders on HIV Science and Treatment and Women Organised to Respond to Life-Threatening Diseases, she developed a national peer education and training program for women living with HIV that was replicated in domestically and globally. Shalini has expertise in training and capacity building, program monitoring and evaluation, and curriculum design. She has worked with women’s organisations globally in India, South Africa, and Mozambique to provide technical assistance on women-centred HIV/AIDS programming. She holds a bachelor’s in sociology with a minor in African American studies from the University of California Davis and an M.P.H. from Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

Rai’s research interests lie in performance and politics, gender and politics and feminist international political economy. She has published widely in these areas, including Gender and the Political Economy of Development (Polity, 2004) Performing Representation: Women Members in the Indian Parliament (with Carole Spary; OUP), 2019; Oxford Handbook of Politics and Performance (2021; co-eds M Gluhovic, S Jestrovic and M Saward) and is currently working on a book titled Doing Politics Sideways. Her latest book (forthcoming) Depletion: the human costs of caring.

Hannah Bargawi

Dr. Hannah Bargawi is a Reader in Economics at SOAS, University of London where she convenes courses in Gender Economics and Development Economics. Dr. Bargawi’s research spans macroeconomic policies and employment as well as gender and labour market issues, including the links between paid and unpaid work. Her research is focused on East and North Africa, the Middle East as well as Europe. She recently contributed a chapter on “How does Economics address Gender?” in a textbook entitled Recharting the History of Economic Thought as well as an article on ‘Re-negotiating Social Reproduction, Work and Gender Roles in Occupied Palestine’ in the Review of International Political Economy (2021). She has acted as a consultant for organisations including UN Women, the ILO and the Asian Development Bank.

Rai’s research interests lie in performance and politics, gender and politics and feminist international political economy. She has published widely in these areas, including Gender and the Political Economy of Development (Polity, 2004) Performing Representation: Women Members in the Indian Parliament (with Carole Spary; OUP), 2019; Oxford Handbook of Politics and Performance (2021; co-eds M Gluhovic, S Jestrovic and M Saward) and is currently working on a book titled Doing Politics Sideways. Her latest book (forthcoming) Depletion: the human costs of caring.

Shereen Essof

Shereen Essof is a Zimbabwean feminist, popular educator and organiser. Shereen’s work is grounded in her engagement with womxn in social movements, community-based organisations and cultural collectives. She strives to understand power inherent in the interlocking nature of oppressive systems and from that understanding, to imagine, organise and build towards liberated futures. Shereen is committed to amplifying the voice, visibility and organising power of womxn through decolonizing knowledge production and acknowledging the catalytic possibilities of popular culture as a vehicle for change. Shereen currently serves as Executive Director of Just Associates (JASS), a global feminist movement strengthening organization that equips and strengthens the leadership and organizing capacity of women leaders and their organizations in Mesoamerica, Southeast Asia, and Southern Africa.

Rai’s research interests lie in performance and politics, gender and politics and feminist international political economy. She has published widely in these areas, including Gender and the Political Economy of Development (Polity, 2004) Performing Representation: Women Members in the Indian Parliament (with Carole Spary; OUP), 2019; Oxford Handbook of Politics and Performance (2021; co-eds M Gluhovic, S Jestrovic and M Saward) and is currently working on a book titled Doing Politics Sideways. Her latest book (forthcoming) Depletion: the human costs of caring.

Shuvai Nyoni

Shuvai Busuman Nyoni is the Executive Director of the African Leadership Centre (ALC), Nairobi, Kenya. She is also a Gender, Peace and Security researcher and practitioner. The ALC is a research and training institution that focuses on raising next generation African leaders, thinkers and practitioners within the peace, security and development sector. The ALC seeks to contribute to Africa’s long term social and economic security and development terrain by training and mentoring the next generation of young African leaders as well as through rigorous research and knowledge generation. Prior to joining the Centre, Shuvai worked as the Director of Interventions and before that Regional Advocacy Specialist for the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) in Johannesburg South Africa. She has worked extensively with a range of regional and national policy makers, civil society actors and academics in post-conflict and transitional countries on the African continent. Through her work Shuvai has engaged on post-conflict reconstruction, governance, social and economic justice, transitional justice, reconciliation, and national and community healing. Shuvai has also served as a gender advisor and investigator for sexual and gender based violence as crimes in conflict in several Commissions of Inquiry including the Obasanjo led African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan and the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan. Shuvai currently represents the ALC on the Steering Committee of the African Union’s Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation – FemWise-Africa. She is also a member of the United Nations Trust Fund on Human Security Advisory Board. Shuvai is an alumna of the ALC’s Peace, Security and Development Fellowships for African Women and is currently pursuing a PhD in Leadership and Security Studies at the University of Pretoria.

Rai’s research interests lie in performance and politics, gender and politics and feminist international political economy. She has published widely in these areas, including Gender and the Political Economy of Development (Polity, 2004) Performing Representation: Women Members in the Indian Parliament (with Carole Spary; OUP), 2019; Oxford Handbook of Politics and Performance (2021; co-eds M Gluhovic, S Jestrovic and M Saward) and is currently working on a book titled Doing Politics Sideways. Her latest book (forthcoming) Depletion: the human costs of caring.

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