Rita Raj founded ARROW in 1993 with Rashidah Abdullah and remained a director until 1996. Before ARROW, Rita worked for 10 years with the Malaysian Federation of Family Planning Associations.
Rita joined the Asian and Pacific Development Centre (APDC) in 1988 and teamed up with Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) to coordinate WAO’s path breaking national domestic violence research, which helped influence legislation in Malaysia. She was a co-coordinator for the seven-country feminist research study of the International Research on Reproductive Rights and Action Group (IRRRAG) project and also supported International Women’s Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) Asia Pacific.
Rita went on to study traditional Chinese medicine at the New England School of Acupuncture in Massachusetts, United States and became a licensed acupuncturist, fulfilling a life-long dream to become a healer. She continued her work in women’s health through her involvement with the Boston Women’s Health Collective, UNFPA and Rutgers University Center for Global Women’s Leadership. Throughout her life, Rita inspired many with her deep commitment to the inequities and injustices many women face, which she translated into action to improve women’s health and rights around the world. She passed away on 23 November 2006 in Boston, Massachusetts and is dearly missed.