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.”
Dr Wendi Momen MBE
Wendi holds a BSc in Economics and a Ph.D. in International Relations, both from the London School of Economics; she is also a Governor of LSE. She is a freelance editor working for a number of publishing companies, and author of 12 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 and The International Who’s Who of Authors and Writers. Dr Momen is a founder member of the ebbf: Ethical Business Building the Future of which she is chair, 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 has been a Justice of the Peace since 1982 and is a lay judge on the family panel, of which she was chair. She is a trustee of the Bedford Council of Faith, Vice President of the Eastern Region of the United Nations Association and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She is an elected Councillor on Northill Parish Council, vice-chair of the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation and the multi-faith chaplain at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
Wendi was awarded the MBE for serves to diversity and to Bedfordshire in 2013
A part-time English teacher and committed feminist: in 2006, one of my female students here in London suffered an acid-attack as punishment for an arranged marriage that went wrong. It was then I decided to become an active member of the UN WOMEN UK promoting women’s human rights and gender-equality wherever possible; empowering women like my student move from victimhood to survivorship to find their own unique voices. Using my skills as an educator I devise, develop and deliver education programmes promoting gender-equality to students of every age.
I am delighted to be involved as a trustee of the National Alliance of Women’s Organisations (NAWO). It’s a privilege for me to be in touch with so many grassroots organisations in the UK and use the opportunity to get to know our wonderful NAWO members. In NAWO we have a safe space and platform for our members to tell us what really matters to them; especially in this time of CV19. 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.
An active member of member the Centenary Action Group (CAG) lead by Helen Pankhurst, we work to ensure more women are represented in the political arena. This is critical in the light of the recent pandemic CV19 where women’s voices have been all too seldom heard.
As part of the All Parliamentary Group on North Korea I support one of few safe spaces where North Korean women/girls can speak out on behalf of their sisters who continue to suffer appalling violence in North Korea.
Currently coming through lock-down I am researching the portrayal of sexual violence in the visual arts and also looking ahead at the what a post-Covid 19 world might look like – especially the impact on schools and the kind of visits I used to make in person. How that might change and what the alternatives are in the virtual world to promote gender equality and end violence against women/girls.
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.
My interest in humanity in both a local and global capacity from childhood has highlighted the plight of women and girls and although I never had thought of myself as a feminist, now I believe I am.
Having a career that has taken me locally, nationally and internationally I see the global need for a more equitable and equal society, for peace making and women in the decision making process along with legality and culture change.
My mission is advocating for change ,being the voice for the voiceless and being part of the shared compact of the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals.
Planet 5050 by 2030 is not going to be achieved without the passion, action, creativity, advocacy and mobilisation of civil society. This means supporting and strengthening the womens’ movement at all levels.
Now is the time to leave thoughtful words and conversations with networks and gender machineries about how we can do this. Now is the time….
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.
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.
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.
Favourite feminist quote:
“Here’s to strong women,
may we know them,
may we be them,
may we raise them.” – Unknown
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 (Read more about the press release of UNWomen and Women 20 call on G20 members).