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our team

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ilana landsberg-lewis

interim executive director

Ilana is a labour and human rights lawyer, and a passionate advocate for the rights of women and girls. She is the host of the Podcast: Wisdom at Work: Older Women, Elderwomen and Grandmothers on the Move (formerly: Grandmothers on the Move). Ilana spent ten years at the United Nations, eight of them with the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), where she worked as the Agency’s inaugural CEDAW Advisor. During this time she travelled extensively throughout Central America, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Eastern Europe, working with grassroots women’s groups to apply human rights conventions and standards at the national level in the struggle for gender equality. While in this position she partnered with IWRAW Asia-Pacific to implement a training programme that brought local grassroots women’s rights activists directly into the U.N. CEDAW Committee sessions, played a significant role in bringing into existence and managing UNIFEM’s Trust Fund on Violence against Women, and co-founded UNGLOBE (group advocating for he rights of LGBTQ+ U.N. employees), becoming its first President. In 2003, Ilana co-founded the Stephen Lewis Foundation, to work with mutuality with Africans struggling to turn the tide of AIDS. She and her co-founder, Stephen, forged a unique, anti-colonial vision of working as supportive partners with African activists and community-based organizations, minimizing red tape, and putting their expertise at the centre of the work. The Foundation moved from Ilana’s kitchen table to become a $10 million a year fund, supporting over 1800 initiatives with over 300 organizations in the 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa hardest hit by HIV and AIDS. Among her innovations was the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, which launched a vibrant worldwide network of activist older women, working directly to support African grandmothers at the heart of the response to HIV and AIDS in their families, communities and societies. Ilana has been deeply honoured and grateful to learn from indomitable grandmothers and older women activists the world over.

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samira alishanova

finance director

Samira has worked as a finance manager in the nonprofit sector for over 15 years. In the past, she worked with CHF International, a nonprofit organization that works closely with communities worldwide to bring about sustainable changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable.

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aayushi aggarwal

communications manager

Aayushi Aggarwal works as a communications manager at Gender at Work, and has previously been associated with UN Women and Forum-Asia. Aayushi holds a Masters in Human Rights and Democratization from the European Inter-University for Human Rights and Democratization; and a Masters in English Literature from Delhi University. At Utrecht University, Netherlands, Aayushi has conducted extensive research on LGBTI issues in Asia, and published on the contemporary socio-cultural and legal practises, pertaining to LGBTI community in India, considering India’s relations to International law and mandates. At the Delhi Commission for Women, Aayushi was a part of the team that worked in the three most endemic jurisdictions for gendered crimes in Delhi, and collected data for a quantitative analysis of crime response.

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ritu gupta

programme manager

Ritu is an experienced project management trainer and has worked in the management consulting industry for over 9 years. She has a strong understanding of digital platforms and the ICT domain and her last assignment was with IBM India in the role of a project management analyst. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Six Sigma Green Belt (on process improvement) practitioner. She has completed her MA in Gender and Development from the University of Sussex and also holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management from XLRI, India. She has researched and written on the issues of child marriage, gender identities, marriage, Indian middle-class and material culture. Previous to joining Gender at Work, Ritu worked as research associate at IDS for a UN Women funded project. She also contributed to the project on Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development (CREID).

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bedotroyee bhattacharjee

communications and program associate

Bedotroyee works as a Communications and Program associate with Gender at work. Her work includes research, communication & documentation, and managing projects through programmatic, strategic, administrative, facilitation support and inputs. She has worked across projects around gender-based research and feminist organizational capacity development. Bedotroyee has a PhD in English Literature. An avid consumer of stories in diverse media, Bedotroyee sees research as an extension of her sense of wonder and curiosity. Her research looks at the power of stories and their ability to change the world. She is fluent in three languages, Bangla, Hindi and English, and can understand basic Urdu, Sanskrit and Indian Sign Language. Education, mental health and intersectionality are areas that deeply inspire her. When she disconnects from the internet (yes, she does), she enjoys painting, admiring art in all forms, listening to stories and experiences and cherishing in her sense of wonder.

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kausumi saha

research and communications associate

Kausumi has an MA in Sociology from the Delhi School of Economics, and is currently pursuing a second Master's degree in Psychology. She has previously contributed in different capacities to several non profits, including researching and writing the Gender Violence in India Report by Prajnya Trust for two years in a row. She has also worked and written on themes such as SRHR, disability rights, prisoners' rights, LAR&R, media and pop culture, etc. Her primary research interests lie in the intersections of youth subcultures, media, and identity formation. In her spare time, Kausumi enjoys reading crime fiction, bothering her cat(s), daydreaming, and sipping on cups of kadak chai.