Women's Economic Empowerment in Agriculture Knowledge Hub

Women's Economic Empowerment in Agriculture Knowledge Hub

Nominations to the WEE Leadership Awards: Women in action!

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To commemorate International Women’s Day, Oxfam’s Knowledge Hub on Women's Economic Empowerment (WEE) in Agriculture is organising the 2017 Oxfam WEE Leadership Awards to recognise staff members from across Oxfam and partner and community organisations who have shown exceptional championship of WEE. Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International Executive Director, will announce the winners of this award on International Women’s Day (8th of March 2017). 

We received nominations for 43 inspiring individuals from across 32 countries. Nominations include 29 individuals from partner and community organisations, 9 from Oxfam country offices and 5 from above-country Oxfam teams. The nominees and the reasons for which they were nominated are outlined below.

Partner and community organisations


Marie Lisa Dacanay, from the Philippines, for using her research on gender benchmarks to promote a compelling business case for balanced transactional and transformative services to enable women's economic empowerment and gender transformation to happen and for her influencing work in high level platforms.

Monwara Begum, from Bangladesh, for her journey to becoming community leader and tackling girl marriage in her community through bilateral, community-level and government-level advocacy resulting in the disappearance of such practice in the past year in the community.

Naguleswaran Pushpawathy, from Sri Lanka, for successfully applying skills developed through programme interventions to engage in economic activities, and for leveraging her leadership role in community-based organisations to multiply the impact of knowledge transfer.

Kumar Suganthini, from Sri Lanka, for setting up a saving and credit group for people with disability and women, and for creating employment opportunities for women.

Simone Phuangvilay, from Laos, for turning the training on the gender action learning methodology she attended into her livelihoods by training women in ethnic communities.

Masnuah (better known as Mbak Nuk), from Indonesia, for building fisher women’s independency by establishing a cooperative providing business training, for her involvement in distributing aid to fishing boats and for her role as General Secretary of Sisterhood of Indonesian Fisher women, representing some 14 organisations.

Sadiqa Salahuddin, from Pakistan, for her work on girls’ education and for promoting technical and vocational skills through two crafts/ vocational training centres that she established.


Salphy Dibona Nkoana, from South Africa, for founding a successful women’s cooperative focused on waste recycling and for her leadership, determination and skills contributing to change positively the attitude in the families and communities, toward women’s economic empowerment.

Aisha Mohammed Ahmed Thawab, from Yemen, for establishing an NGO involved in the humanitarian response in Yemen partnering with Oxfam for their great potential in the field of women’s economic empowerment.

Mazouma Sanou, from Burkina Faso, for supporting women in managing credits, cereal processing and developing income generating activities within more than 25 rural groups.

Kafui Kuwonu, from Togo, for facilitating the gender group of the GROW campaign and creating a gender group for the ECOWAS regional agricultural policy and for coordinating and advocating for policymakers to develop a guide for gender mainstreaming in agricultural policies and programs.

Emelda Nanyangwe, from Zambia, for her great efforts to increase women’s involvement in the dairy, influencing women farmers’ attitude towards dairy through capacity building, mentoring and coaching initiatives and for championing the cause for women smallholder farmers at multi-stakeholder.

Fihil Agoy, from Chad, for bringing together women fish sellers from across the country, ensuring access to raw products, successfully advocating for the development of quality infrastructures and training women on business and production skills.

Julie Cisse, from Senegal, for her campaigning work for women’s rights to land and for creating and leading an umbrella organisation advocating for social progress for women composed of 300 women’s groups.

Laureen Karayi Nabimanya, from Uganda, for leading ground-breaking advocacy with the Government of Uganda on unpaid care as part of Women's Economic Empowerment.

Middle East, Central Asia and Europe

Madeleine Kulab, from the occupied Palestinian territory, for being the only fisherwomen in Gaza to work in a sector dominated by men and for bringing attention at international level to a sector deeply affected by the blockade and the general situation in the Gaza Strip.

Gulnora Kamolova, from Tajikistan, for supporting poor and vulnerable women with legal advice on issues of land rights, divorce and access to government resources, and for building the confidence of those around her.

Sukaina Aburrub Samhan, from the occupied Palestinian territory, for her holistic approach to WEE in two main areas in agriculture in west bank that included support to producers’ groups, as well as capacity building to access the market and connect them with large retailers.

Eaetemad Rafallah Abdallah, from Egypt, for disseminating the learning from training aimed at enhancing women's income via handicraft and supporting the quality improvement of Bedouin handicraft and the valorization of natural resources such as natural dyes to improve women’s economic empowerment.

Aida Zubčević, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, for bringing together women in business and rural women to tackle discriminatory practice and empower women to claim their economic rights, for challenging traditional norms and creating strong partnership with female parliamentarians  and creating a “Strategy for the development of women entrepreneurship”.

Salhi Amina, from Morocco, for her direct sensitisation work to women berry workers on their rights and for her advocacy at national and local level for a better implementation of labour laws and a better access for women workers to the national social security system.

Fatima Zohra Harhour, from Morocco, for her advocacy work to raise women’s awareness and improve their access to social security labour rights, and for her contribution to identifying girls dropping out of school as a major cause for women’s lack of economic empowerment for raising awareness on this issue with girls, parents and school staff.

Zohra Tahan, from Morocco, for her advocacy work to raise women’s awareness and improve their access to social security labour rights, and for being the voice of women workers during public events and before berry processing companies.


Magaly Licolli, from the United States, for supporting Oxfam in compiling compelling stories making a case for improving conditions of women in poultry processing plants in Arkansas and for leveraging the power of coalitions to maximise impact.

Sonia Lopez Quiroz, from Bolivia, for rising to establish a fish farming business, training other producers on essential business skills and encouraging the formation of a fish farmers’ association made up of 31 partners which she led until recently to become legal representative of a company linked to the association.

Ester Salinas, from Paraguay, for her role in managing a regional farmers’ associations secretariat for youth, which advocates for improvement to improve market facilities and for a municipal policy supportive of farming households.

Juana Mercedes, from Dominican Republic, for her long-standing engagement in favour of women farmers and for their right to land, recognised by the Government which awarded her the medal of merit.

Martha Lilia Calleros Colonii, from Mexico, for dedicating more than 40 years of her professional life to indigenous women’s economic empowerment and for leading a network of  33 social enterprises and approximately 3,000 mostly indigenous women artisans from 12 states of the Mexican Republic.

Josefina Ruiz Díaz Baeza, from Paraguay, for her leading role within an farmers and indigenous women’s organisation, and her role as part of a producers’ group which provides community schools for adults.

Simène Joseph, from Haiti, for her contribution to developing the fruit value chains and her engagement in support of the youth that made her recognised as one of the 12 executives and producers Personalities of the Year 2016 in the agriculture sector in Haiti.


Country staff

Dahlia Ahmed, from Iraq, for her personal commitment, for ensuring a central place for WEE within Oxfam’s humanitarian programmes and for her innovative solutions to further engage IDP women in economic activities that featured in major publications.

Md. Badi Akhter, from Bangladesh, for his campaign work to end violence against women and designing a flagship programme centred around WEE that attracted great external attention.

Shamema Akther Shamme, from Bangladesh, for her work linking WEE and violence against women, for building capacity of partners on WEE, for developing innovative strategies to reduce care work and for her use of mass media to popularise discussions on care work.

Bushra Ahmad, from Pakistan, for her capacity to listen to young women, to get others to listen and to influence.

Jolly Nur Haque, from Bangladesh, for her role as a driving force behind a participatory way of working with youth, and for her energy and enthusiasm in enabling young women to be on equal position in decision-making processes in a society where such decisions are traditionally taken by men.

Aliya Mudmarn, from Thailand, for supporting women in opening a co-working space, playing the role of a safe zone for discussing, learning new techniques, and showcasing their products, and for presenting Oxfam’s work in external fora.

Leah Mugehera, from Kenya, for coordinating the Kilimanjaro Initiative for women’s land rights across Oxfam and partnering with other organizations within the Kilimanjaro Consortium and Oxfam country offices from East, West, and Southern Africa.

Swikriti Sharma, from Nepal, for her critical support to 3 women-led cooperatives including the development of participatory learning centres, improvements to women's access to finance and joint land ownership campaigns.

Le Thi Sam, from Vietnam, for supporting ethnic minority women in accessing agricultural extension training, enhancing their access to natural resource through a greater involvement in forest management, and developing the black pig value chain.

Global and regional staff

Thalia Kidder, for her tirelessly work on the issue of Heavy and Unequal Care Work, raising the profile of that issue to become central to discussions on WEE both internally and externally, securing funding and developing strong partnerships.

Thies Reemer, for leading the development of the WEMAN programme and disseminating approaches to addressing gender inequalities across the Confederation.

Vincent Trousseau, for ensuring a quality and high visibility of Oxfam’s work on WEE on external facing platforms.

Simone Lombardini, for leading on developing an approach to measuring women's empowerment, including its economic component, by seeking input from within and outside of Oxfam to constantly innovate and breaking 'silos' between teams or thematic areas.

For more information on these awards, contact Vincent Trousseau, Digital Comms Lead – WEE in Agriculture Knowledge Hub or visit wee.oxfam.org/nominate2017.

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