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Hibaaq Osman

Appointed as V-Day Special Representative for Africa, Middle East, and Asia, Hibaaq Osman has directed V-Day’s international work in these regions since 2002, leading delegations to Afghanistan, Palestine, Korea, India to form collaborations with local women activists. Based in Cairo, Ms. Osman is the founder and Chair of V-Day Karama movement, supporting local activists to build a multi-sectoral approach for ending violence against women in nine countries across the Middle East and North Africa. Karama is an Arabic word meaning ‘dignity’ and ‘self-respect,’ the essence of her approach. Building institutions to promote peace, democracy, human rights, and women’s rights around the world, Ms. Osman has created a life’s work by listening to local knowledge, respecting local politics, culture, and religion, promoting leadership development, and elevating the public image of African and Middle East women. She is also the founder and CEO of the Arab Women's Fund, the first foundation to support women's initiatives in the Arab world. She is a global strategist born in Somalia, and she has been at the helm of initiatives that span from Africa to Asia to the Middle East. As the founder and director of the Center for the Strategic Initiatives of Women (CSIW) based in Washington, DC, she worked tirelessly to ensure human rights, democracy, and the presence of women’s voices in conflict resolution processes in Africa. One of her lasting achievements was the establishment of SIHA (meaning ‘outcry’ in Arabic), a network of women’s organizations in the Horn of Africa that helps to end their long exclusion from public influence and community leadership. Ms. Osman also co-founded the Coalition for Peace in the Horn of Africa, which pressured the United States government to assert a positive foreign policy in Africa, and is a frequent author, advisor, and keynote speaker in the field of international women’s rights, peace and conflict resolution, politics and human rights in the Middle East and Africa.

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