Zarin Hainsworth OBE
Zarin set up the family business in 1997, Serene Communications Ltd. Serene has a diverse client base including UN agencies, Government departments, Multi-nationals and small charities. It is a people empowerment social enterprise aiming to realize the potential of people within any organisation and specialises in helping organisations increase women’s empowerment.
Zarin was awarded the OBE for her work on women and equalities which includes work for widows, Maasai widows, young women and women and equalities generally. Zarin has been a member of the NAWO MC on and off since 2004 and was the Chair until 2019.
She is the current Director of NAWO; Chair of Widows Rights International and the UK Civil Society Women’s Alliance: member of the core group of the North America & Europe CSW Caucus; member of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women Geneva. She is a founding company member of UN Women National Committee UK, and was the President of its fore-runner UNIFEM UK; a member of the National Council of Women (former member of their MC); co-founder of Advance, which promotes the advancement of women and founder of Naserian. She appears in a number of Lists and was recognised by One World Action as one of the 100 most influential (unseen) women in the world. She has represented civil society at the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN in New York since 2000, and at the UN Human Rights Council since 2016. Zarin was part of the UK Government delegation for the CSW in March 2021 when she spoke on behalf of the UK at one of the formal sessions of the CSW.
In addition to working at the international and national levels, Zarin is also active locally with women’s, environment and community groups, including Stroud Imagines. She is married and a mother of 4 children, all now married, and is a grandmother.
Zarin says, “’Let your vision be all-embracing’ and human beings are ‘a mine rich in gems of inestimable value’ are two quotations from the Baha’i Writings that continue to inspire me in all fields of endeavour.” – Contact Zarin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pat Black (Trustee and Chair)
Pat took on the role of Chair of NAWO as a temporary measure just before COVID-19 struck!
She has an interest in strong governance procedures as well as the work which NAWO does for CSW and the Alliance.
On a daily basis Pat works with volunteer students from across Scottish Universities at UN House Scotland in Edinburgh leading a team on Gender Equality (SDG 5) and supporting interconnectivity with other teams such as Climate Change and Black Lives Matter.
Dr Wendi Momen MBE (Trustee and Treasurer)
Wendi holds a BSc in Economics and a Ph.D. in International Relations, both from the London School of Economics, where she is a Governor Emeritus. She is a freelance editor working for a number of publishing companies, and author of 13 published books. A social activist, she focuses on a cluster of issues that promote social justice: the advancement of women, poverty eradication, health, criminal justice, interfaith harmony, housing and business ethics.
She is a a founding company member of UN Women National Committee UK, a Soroptimist since 1986 and a member of the National Council of Women. She is co-founder of Advance, which promotes the advancement of women. She is listed in The International Who’s Who of Women 1997, 2001, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2017 and The International Who’s Who of Authors and Writers. Dr Momen is a founder member of the ebbf: Ethical Business Building the Future and which she has represented at UN conferences and summits since 1994, most recently at the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN in New York in March 2019 and virtually in 2021. She was a Justice of the Peace for 38 years and a lay judge on the family panel, of which she was chair. She is a trustee of Bedford Council of Faith, Evolve and Widows Rights International, a board member of the International Environment Forum and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Wendi was awarded a MBE in 2014 for services to the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and to the community in Bedfordshire.
Syeda Momotaz Rahim aka Mumtaz or Momotaz (Trustee and Secretary)
(Momotaz – Bengali pronunciation and or Mumtaz – Arabic/Persian pronunciation).
Syeda is an experienced housing professional having worked for local authorities for over 30 years. With wide expertise in all housing related issues, specialising in welfare and social security benefits which include tribunal cases.
A passionate community activist, Syeda opened the first Family Health Groups for mothers and under 5s in St Albans. Alongside this, Syeda set up a project for women to undertake vocational courses and training which led to employment and empowerment.
As former Chair of the Hertfordshire Asian Women’s Association, while leading this group Syeda set up the ‘Tiffin Club’ which was the first women’s lunch club for older women in St Albans. In 2016 she set up the Hertfordshire All Women’s Trust and has provided housing and benefits advice and representation to local residents and each year hosts the Annual Peace Vigil and the Big Iftaar in St Albans. Syeda has won many awards for her initiative and purpose.
Syeda has been involved with NAWO since the late 1990’s and hopes to bring her wide experience and passion for gender equality to benefit NAWO now and in the future.
Syeda is Founder of the Syeda Rahim Foundation in her local area focussing on women’s equality and empowerment. It addresses challenges affecting women and the family: poverty, isolation, debt, employment, poor housing, mental health, racism, crime, immigration,to name but a few.
Margaret Szymczyk (Trustee and Young Women’s Alliance co-ordinator)
Margaret is the Head of Rights at John Murray Press, part of Hachette UK, one of the leading trade publishing houses and is a champion of diversity and inclusion within the publishing industry.
She has run different initiatives including organising events and workshops to empower women in the workplace as well as fundraising events for various charities.
Margaret is passionate about supporting young people to get their voices heard and brings her experience as a certified #IamRemarkable facilitator to her role as co-ordinator for the NAWO Young Women’s Alliance.
Alice Fookes (Trustee and Vice-Chair)
Teaching in adult education is my background and professional experience. In 2006 one of my students, here in London, suffered an acid-attack as punishment for an arranged marriage that went wrong. It was an epiphany moment knowing I needed to find my own voice as a feminist and then help my student find hers
Working to end violence against women and girls is what drives me forward and I am proud to be a member of NAWO’s Management Committee
I believe NAWO’s safe space and platform is really special. It’s where our wonderful members in all their diversity tell us what really matters to them. Our close links with the UK’s Gender and Equalities Office is a wonderful conduit for our voices to be heard at the highest levels and through working with UK Civil Society Alliance (UKCSWA) at the UN. I believe that together we are stronger: if we speak to government as one voice we are more likely to turn words to action and make lasting change.
The energy and drive of NAWO’s Young Women’s Alliance gives me real hope for the future and I look forward to supporting them and their work wherever I can to promote gender equality and end violence against women and girls everywhere.
Justina Mutale (Trustee and Vice-Chair)
Justina was made African Woman of the Year in 2012. Justina is the Founder & President of the Justina Mutale Foundation and its Scholarship Programme for underprivileged African Young Women. She is also Founder of POSITIVE RUNWAY: The Global Catwalk to Stop the Spread of HIV/AIDS. Justina is listed in various Who’s Who Lists, including the 100 Most Influential Creatives; Black Women in Europe Power List; Global Women Leaders Hall of Fame; and the Black 100+ Hall of Fame, an Exhibition & Legacy of the top 100 Black Achievers in modern Britain. She is also a Distinguished Member of the Royal Biographical Institute and the Global Institute of Human Excellency.
Justina serves on the Board of the World Leaders Forum and is Global Ambassador and Spokesperson of the International Women’s Think Tank. A civil society delegate to the African Union High Level Panel on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, Justina also serves in a variety of capacity of numerous humanitarian, charitable and community organisations in the UK and overseas. Prior to founding her own organisations, Justina worked in the Commonwealth Secretariat in London.
Sally Spear (Trustee)
Before 1986 my interests included science, biochemistry, family, education, Health Promotion and various voluntary organisations..
By 1995 I was involved in the Baha’i Faith, UNA-UK, UNIFEM (now UN Women) and was one of 30,000 women who attended the NGO Forum in Huairo which ran parallel to the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. Since then I have attended many of the subsequent CSW conferences, following the progress of CEDAW, the MDGs, the SDGs and other work on attaining gender equality and a better world.
Meanwhile in 2009 I was helping WAC-UNA-UK and eventually became the Chairman. Although supportive of various women’s NGOs I have a particular interest in NAWO-UK and was co-opted as a trustee in April 2019.
It is distressing to observe the unnecessary poverty and misery in the world. The input of women in decision making etc. is grossly inadequate. So I want to encourage women to reach their potential, and ensure the solutions in UN work and SDGs are given resources and implemented. We need all our diverse people, men as well as women, to come together and work for unity and justice. I have no doubt that applying our knowledge and wise principles we can bring about a happier global civilisation.
Fatoumata Diallo (Trustee)
Fatoumata is a Trade Advisor for the Belgium Government, Government of Flanders (Flanders Investment and Trade) in the UK, which oversees the economic relations between Belgium and the UK. She previously worked in Business Development at Duke Corporate Education, one of the world’s leading providers of custom executive education and leadership development.
Fatoumata was appointed to the Board of the National Alliance of Women’s Organisation (NAWO) in July 2018 as the organizations’ youngest Trustee and has since led on internal communication and the management of interns.
Fatoumata is passionate about the advancement of women and girls and advocates for their empowerment from all fronts in society. She uses her voice as a speaker/moderator in multiple Women’s conference both nationally and internationally. She also sits on the Board of Samuel Lithgow Youth Centre (SLYC), located in London Borough of Camden, which supports disadvantaged young people and BAME communities with projects and activities
Fatoumata is Guinean born and is Bilingual (French/English) and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and a Masters in Public Administration with High Distinction from London Metropolitan University.
Paridhi Singh (Trustee)
Paridhi Singh is a qualified Solicitor in England and Wales, having trained at Baker McKenzie LLP.
Pari is passionate about empowering women through rights-based awareness and advocacy, and enhancing access to quality education for the girls within the UK and across the world.
She holds three postgraduate law degrees, including a Master-in-law degree in International Law from the University of Cambridge. She has worked at Accenture, Scotland as a Management Consultant and has undertaken human rights work in several countries including with the United Nations Development Programme in Sri Lanka, and United Nations House Scotland.
Pari has also taught debating and public speaking skills to school students in over five countries including in Japan, China, Bulgaria, India and Bangladesh.
Dr. Dorothea Christiana (Trustee)
Dr. Dorothea Christiana FRSA is a strategic advisor to CEOs and Boards, specialising in global to local systems changes and decolonisation.
She is an international speaker, an author, and a progressive leader.
Her intuitive strategic approaches together with enlightened ideas include practical implementation processes for today’s reality, which moves into new systems.
She is frequently sought after for providing advice and is currently leading several projects on progressive change.
She is known for her keen strategic approaches that apply synergies for objectives, uncovering the essential core of the problem, strong diplomacy skills, intuitive interview skills, acute ability to see clarity in chaos, holistic perspective, and approaching projects and people with strong values.
Jo Thompson – Trustee
Annette Lawson OBE
Annette is an ex-academic – a sociologist – and an activist feminist who, for many years, has held leading positions in women’s organisations seeking gender equality and women’s access to their human rights. She has worked at UK, European and UN levels. She has written on mental illness and disability and is deeply conscious of the difficulties faced both by those with these issues and also by their families and carers. Annette was Chair of NAWO for many years and became its first Ambassador once she stepped down as Chair. She was the first co-chair of the UK Civil Society Women’s Alliance and has attended many UN processes including the UN CSW since the 1970’s.
Annette was the awarded the OBE for services to diversity in 2004.
Barbara Cleary (SecurityWomen)
Barbara is passionate about women’s rights and development and economic empowerment and joined NAWO because she believes in its potential to bring about change and improve the lives of women.
Barbara is an HR specialist with wide ranging management and human resources experience in the public and voluntary sectors, including at her own consultancy, Headstart (which has a focus on building and developing workforces to achieve effective service delivery). With over 20 years’ senior management experience she has delivered on a variety of change management programmes, achieving cultural and organisational change. She has actively led and championed diversity issues in the workplace, in particular initiatives to support women to develop and progress their careers.
Barbara served as Vice Chair of NAWO and NAWO representative on UKJCW and on the EWL Board. Currently she represents NAWO on Equally Ours, British Institute of Human Rights and G20Women
Chris Crowstaff and Andrew Sampson (Vale Designs)
We are a husband and wife team who are passionate about developing websites and an online presence for charities and grassroots organisations, inspired by their visit to women’s groups in rural regions of Uganda in 2009.
In 2013, Chris received a Katerva Award for Gender Equality at the United Nations in Geneva (presented by the President of ECOSOC), for working to promote under-represented grassroots groups focusing on women’s issues.
Andrew and Chris are responsible for maintaining the NAWO website, updating content and providing technical support
They are passionate about supporting the work of the NAWO Young Women’s Alliance.