ARROW for Change – Intersections: The Politicisation of Religion and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
Country Profile on Universal Access to Sexual and Reproductive Rights: Bangladesh
senior programme officer
senior programme officer
assistant programme officer
assistant administrative officer
Siva is currently the Executive Director of ARROW. Before joining ARROW, she explored different career choices in her life, which included teaching at a university, running a magazine across three countries and working for the United Nations. These different opportunities helped her discover her passion for writing and learning and form her ideals of working in partnerships and respecting diversity.
She has co-written and edited books on sustainable development and urbanization as part of her work with the Urban Governance Initiative (TUGI), a regional project of UNDP. She was also a committee member of the Women’s Candidacy Initiative (WCI), which ran candidates on a women’s rights issues platform.
Siva co-authored ARROW’s ICPD+15 and ICPD+20 Asia-Pacific monitoring reports and has written numerous articles and presented papers on women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. She has been able to expand the work of ARROW to examine more closely the inter-linkages of sexual and reproductive health and rights with critical development issues such as poverty, food security, climate change and migration. Under Siva’s leadership, the organization’s working partnerships have expanded to 17 countries in the region as well as regional and global networks and organisations.
She occasionally writes for local newspapers on issues that she thinks are of crucial importance in her country and views this as her contribution to the society in which she lives.
Nani has been with ARROW since 2004. In the past she has worked with the Asian-Pacific Development Centre, an inter-governmental organisation. She studied Mass Communications and holds a Diploma in Public Relations from the University Technology Mara (UiTM). She is passionate about women's rights and believes that all women can be happy, healthy and successful in every area of their lives.
Kin is a Senior Programme Officer at ARROW for Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning. She started working in the SRHR sector at the Federation of Reproductive Health Associations Malaysia (FRHAM) after completing her first degree in Population Studies. While working in FRHAM, she was offered a scholarship from the East West Centre to pursue her masters degree in Public Health at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, specialising in Health Services Administration & Planning. She then moved to the training & education sector, working in private colleges and universities in Kuala Lumpur, undertaking the development and management of training and education-related programmes. Her work with SRHR continued when she joined IPPF-ESEAOR in 2006 as the Evaluation Officer. It was in IPPF that she found her niche in M & E as she truly enjoys her work in planning & analysis especially being able to demonstrate achievements of IPPF-ESEAOR and its member associations. Her last appointment was in the area of planning, development, monitoring & evaluation at a local NGO specialising in poverty alleviation projects. Kin has extensive experience in strengthening processes related to planning, M & E and reporting; analysis and reporting of global statistics and projects; application and use of MIS; and providing technical assistance and capacity building on planning, monitoring & evaluation.
Malyn joined ARROW in 2007 as Managing Editor of the flagship, peer-reviewed bulletin ARROW for Change (AFC), and was the Programme Manager for Information and Communications from 2012-2015. She is now working remotely for ARROW as the Senior Programme Officer for Publications, Communications and Advocacy, Managing Editor the AFC and chief liaison for regional advocacy activities.
She has spearheaded the production of cutting-edge publications, including on affirmative sexuality, religious fundamentalisms, young women and abortion, and climate change and SRHR. She has led the implementation of ARROW’s information and communications strategy, and intersectional and intermovement work, particularly around issues of food sovereignty, food security and nutrition, and of migration. She also managed a 15-country project in Asia on building capacities of national partners.
Before joining ARROW, Malyn served as Publications Managing Editor, and then manager of the Governance, Citizenship and Democracy Programme at Isis International. She also worked as coordinator at the Institute for Social Studies and Action (ISSA) and the theia initiative, both in the Philippines. Malyn has a degree in English Studies, finishing Magna Cum Laude at the University of the Philippines, and is an accredited teacher.
Uma’s current roles are is to assist in managing the resource centre, ARROW SRHR Knowledge Sharing Centre (Ask-US!) by giving support in the areas of information services, acquisition, cataloguing and classification, and contact database management. Her other roles are in the area of marketing and promotions of ARROW publications as well as assist in the administration and logistics of the project “Strengthening the Networking, Knowledge Management and Advocacy Capacities of an Asia-Pacific Network for SRHR” which is funded by the European Union (EU). She also acts as a liaison between ARROW and its and partners by providing informational support to ARROW’s projects and publications.
Uma is the longest serving staff member in ARROW having started work in 1994. Prior to joining ARROW, she had eleven years of administrative work experience, four of which were with NGOs. She has attended several courses sponsored by ARROW in Library Management, Cataloguing and Classifications at the MARA Institute of Technology and University Tun Abdul Razak.
Mangala, has 14 years of diverse range of experience in the fields of environmental conservation, community development, humanitarian and SRHR. Currently with ARROW, she manages a 15-country project on achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Asia Pacific region through evidence generation, partner’s capacity building and advocacy at national, regional and global levels.
She was previously attached to the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) EASEO Region, managing the advocacy and communication of the Regional Office and its 26 member countries. She discovered her penchant and passion in the developmental field during her times with WWF-Malaysia, UNDP Malaysia and the ASEAN Humanitarian Task Force in Burma.
Mangala was the Senior Programme Officer with ARROW since April 2015 to April 2017, working with the programme area on information and communication for change.
Sai Jyothirmai Racherla (Sai) comes with training in Nutrition and Population Sciences, and 18 years of experience working on issues of right to health, maternal health and rights, gender, and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). She is an activist, a trainer, a researcher and advocate of women’s rights.
At ARROW, she has been involved in the advocacy and monitoring of the Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development, ICPD Programme of Action, and successfully coordinated the Global South monitoring of the 20 years of implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action in five regions of Asia and the Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Caribbean, Middle East and Northern Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa in 2013. This monitoring and advocacy initiative was carried out in 49 countries across the Global South using a right based SRHR indicator framework. She has been active in Post-2015 processes leading up to the Agenda 2030 at the UN, and has been selected for all the Inter-Agency Expert Group Meetings on SDG indicators thus far on behalf of civil society.
She has co-authored the reclaiming and redefining rights – ICPD+15 Status of Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Asia, and coordinated the related series of publications on reproductive autonomy, maternal mortality and morbidity, sexuality and rights, poverty food security SRHR, analysing SRHR under CEDAW and pathways to universal access to reproductive health in Asia.
Her other area of work currently focuses on young people SRHR accountability, monitoring and advocacy.
Nisha is a Programme Officer at ARROW, working with youth-led organizations in South Asia. She has diverse work experience in writing and research, both of which she is passionate about. She graduated from Lancaster University in the UK with a Masters in Gender Studies and English Literature. Having completed her thesis by entwining literature (women's lived stories) and gender studies, her proclivity and passion for women's rights and gender equality was seeded. Having previously worked with Women's Aid Organisation (WAO) was a prolific stepping stone for Nisha into understanding the aspect of rights, policies and law as the cornerstone of women's rights and gender equality. While at WAO, she was involved in a small project with Durex and the Federation of Family Planning Associations (FHRAM) that was aimed at creating sexual health and awareness among the Malaysian youth. Broaching the issue through a feminist lens, addressing consent, gender roles, and sexual and reproductive rights helped prepared her for her current role at ARROW.
Samreen Shahbaz, from Pakistan, is a Programme Officer at ARROW. Previously, Samreen has worked with Shirkat Gah Women's Resource Centre as the National Coordinator for Communications, SRHR. She is also the founder of Menstrual Matters, an online campaign to promote menstrual hygiene management and to break the stigma around menstruation through public discussions. She serves as a member on the Board of Directors of Naz Male Health Alliance, Pakistan, a local NGO working for the sexual health of MSM and trans community. Samreen is an Emerging Leaders of Pakistan fellow (South Asia Centre, Atlantic Council) and a Youth Champions Initiative fellow (David and Lucile Packard Foundation).
Biplabi’s involvement and work on women and young people’s Sexual and Reproductive Rights (SRR) are inspired by the lived realities of women and girls in Asia. Prior to ARROW, her work in Nepal focused on capacity strengthening of women and young people at the local and national level on HIV related issues.
At ARROW, as a programme officer since 2009 and senior programme officer since 2015, she has coordinated multi-country partnership projects such as Women’s Health and Rights Advocacy Partnership (WHRAP) in South Asia and Right Here Right Now (RHRN) that are focused on improving women and young people’s SRR. She was one of the lead members of RHRN who designed and facilitated processes that led to the establishment of advocacy platforms of youth-led and youth serving organisations and development of a Theory of Change (ToC) for RHRN in four countries in Asia including Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal and Pakistan.
Biplabi holds a master degree in Gender and Peace Building from University for Peace in Costa Rica with a full scholarship from Asian-Peacebuilders Scholarship Programme.
Dhivya from Malaysia, is a Programme Officer at ARROW. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Science from Monash University where she majored in Pharmacology and Physiology. She is excited about integrating her studied knowledge in reproductive health and her passion for women's rights.
Azra is a researcher and activist with training in sociology and development as well as evaluation techniques, policy and gender analysis having worked at the national and regional levels. She has technical experience in SRHR, intersectionality, poverty, livelihoods, gender equality and empowerment and strong skills in social research, monitoring and evaluation and the use of a range of evidence to communicate and advocate for social change. Currently, at ARROW, she is responsible for the portfolio of work focusing on evidence generation for national, regional and international advocacy on the influence of religion on SRHR. Previously, she worked for the United Nations in Sri Lanka as the Gender Specialist at the United Nations Resident Coordinator's Office, and with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a Senior Information Analyst. She also has experience working in national civil society organizations, research institutions and think tanks in Sri Lanka.
Azra was the Senior Programme Officer with ARROW working on Interfaith Advocacy for SRHR, from March 2014 to April 2017.
Pooja, is a lawyer by training and holds Masters’ degree in Human Rights Law from National Law School from India University, Bangalore, India. She has been working and writing on issues of gender and sexuality in India for more than a decade. Her professional experience has focused primarily on analysis of law and policies related to gender and sexuality – it’s impact and implementation leading to recommendations to change/reform law and policy and State accountability and intersections of gender and sexuality in conflict.
Prior to joining ARROW in April 2016, Pooja was coordinating the advocacy and research portfolio in CREA, New Delhi and has also worked in Partners for Law in Development and Lawyers Collective Women’s Rights Initiative in New Delhi, India. Her research and writing interests include the intersection of law and analyzing law and judgements from a feminist perspective. She is particularly interested in understanding the links between different laws and policies which impact on women’s lives seamlessly although appearing very different from each other.
Pooja was the Senior Programme Officer, Women’s Health and Rights Advocacy Partnership (WHRAP) with ARROW from March 2016 to April 2017.
Hwei Mian is working on climate change and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women. She has been involved in women’s health since her undergraduate days. Prior to joining ARROW, she was the Head of Programme Services at the Federation of Reproductive Health Associations, Malaysia (FRHAM). She has also worked with the International Council on Management of Population Programmes (ICOMP), Universiti Malaya, and Universiti Putra Malaysia on projects supported by UNFPA, UNAIDS, and the Ford Foundation on SRH, and HIV and AIDS in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Uganda. She also coordinated the Small Grants Programme for the Asia Pacific Alliance (APA) to Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand. Her areas of expertise include SRHR, young people’s SRHR, comprehensive sexuality education, maternal health, HIV and AIDS, public health, research, training/talk and project management.
She has written articles on women’s SRH and nutrition, as well as publication on interlinkages of population and development. She holds a Masters in Community Health (women’s health), and a Degree in Human Development (nutrition). She also holds a Post-graduate Diploma in Christian Ministry from a theological school in Singapore and has worked in a Methodist church in Malaysia.
Mei Poh joined ARROW with over 15 years of financial management experience in multifaceted organisations as a Finance and Administration Manager. She has developed a strong business and organisational acumen which has gone beyond financial literacy. She has been trained to understand the real meaning of the numbers and to visualise the decisions and strategies that the numbers are a result of, thus able to create a mental picture of the total organisation. Mei Poh participates in a community project associated with her church entitled HOPE – ‘helping other people’ which focuses on food distribution to the poor, in support of their monthly basic food necessity and social bonding.
Pare first joined ARROW as a part time staff in preparation for the regional meeting “Beyond ICPD & the MDGs: NGOs Strategizing for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Asia-Pacific”. She then officially joined ARROW in July 2012, as an Administrative Officer. Prior to ARROW, Pare worked in the service industry for 13 years and in a publishing house for six years. She is also a qualified therapist, specializing in autism.
Azura joined ARROW in December 2007 and is currently working as ARROW’s Assistant Administrative Officer. Her responsibilities include providing general administrative support to ARROW’s administration and management team. She brings to ARROW her vast experience in working for NGOs in Malaysia. She graduated from Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya, Indonesia in 1997 and received her Degree in Public Administration.
Azmilia 'Mia' Kamil graduated from University Technology Mara (UiTM) and majored in finance. She just celebrated her 10th anniversary as an Accountant. Her working experiences were from various type of industries such as advertising, property, manufacturing where she has been involved with all types of financial reporting exercises, striving to meet due dates. In other words, she has an eye for due dates. Apart from work, she loves reading, outdoors activities and traveling. Before joining ARROW, Mia participated in a project under UNICEF and currently on her spare time, she volunteers in a project associated with RJK – “Rumah Jalinan Kasih”, which aids underprivileged children.