Saudatu Mahdi, WRAPA
Saudatu is a 1978 graduate of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, and a postgraduate diploma from the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) graduating with distinction. She is the Secretary-General of the Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative, (WRAPA) a rights-based national non-profit advocating for equity and equality of opportunities for women and girls in Nigeria. Under her leadership, WRAPA has offered legal aid and counselling support to over 15,000 women across Nigeria, positively impacting the lives of abused women and girls. WRAPA activities include sensitization, dialogue, education support, economic empowerment and shelter for abused women.
In 2011 she was awarded the National Honour of MFR by the Federal Government of Nigeria in recognition of her contributions to the promotion and defence of women’s rights. She has served on the Council of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission. Saudatu has also served as Deputy Secretary of the Northern States Governors’ Forum Committee on Reconciliation; Healing & Security, an intervention on the crisis in North-East Nigeria. At the international level, she has served as Nigeria’s Advisor for the United Nations CEDAW Committee. She is also a founding member of the citizen-driven Bring Back Our Girls campaign advocating the rescue and return of Nigeria’s 219 Chibok Girls.
Saudatu has contributed to Nigeria’s national dialogue on the subject of identity and diversity in papers and presentations. She promotes a position on the legitimacy of diversity in negotiations for peaceful co-existence; and as a positive trigger for national development. From 2018 -2020 she has contributed to the Voice financial inclusion for women narrative. Through varied forms of media, she has highlighted the nexus between women’s access to resources, their inclusion in the formal economy as well as the benefits of their empowerment on their families, communities and the wider economy.