Saida is an advocacy strategist who has over 12 years’ experience of leading social justice strategies. She is currently a Global Program Manager at Hivos Foundation, where she works on gender equality, diversity, and inclusion issues with particular attention to social and economic rights related to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics. Throughout her career, she has worked on innovative programming, uplifting people, building organisations, coalitions and trusting relationships, and shaping the conditions for social justice.
Saida has held a number of senior level programme management and governance/ advisory roles. She has built considerable expertise in designing, implementation and evaluation of socio-economic and gender justice programmes, spanning policy analysis and oversight, humanitarian, resilience and long-term development. She has worked at national, regional, and global levels.
Saida has served as the Executive Director of the Coalition on Violence Against Women (COVAW), an organisation that works towards elimination of all forms of violence against women in Kenya. When Saida was 23 years old, she also co-founded the Young Women’s Leadership Institute (YWLI), an organisation that works to empower young women and adolescent girls. She has, over the years, built a wealth of experience in providing leadership and guidance to programme teams, providing strategic leadership for organisational effectiveness, and strengthening the capacity and core competencies of staff, particularly in key issues such as gender justice, sexual and reproductive health and rights, inclusive governance and addressing inequalities.
Saida holds a Postgraduate Degree in Gender and Transformation from the University of Cape Town and an MSc in Inequalities and Social Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
I believe working towards gender equality requires that all the systemic barriers and structural inequalities are tackled. I see patterns that entrench and maintain patriarchy beyond individual and household power relations, in private and public spheres. I am concerned about the current trends in security and migration and how they all intersect with race to create a world where individuals and whole communities can be further pushed to the periphery rather than enjoy being equal citizens of the world.