Board Members

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Our Governing Structure

The SIHA governing structure comprises of experienced persons forming the Board Advisory, Board and Program Advisors who oversee the organization’s operation, while keeping abreast of matters pertaining to strengthening the capacities of women’s rights organizations and addressing women’s subordination and violence against women and girls in the Horn of Africa.

Board Members

Omayma Elmardi

Ms. Omayma Amin Elmardi is the Director at the National Sudanese Women Association (NSWA) a member organisation of SIHA Network. She holds  a Bachelors of Science from Cairo University – Khartoum  branch, a Post-graduate Diploma in Development Studies and a Master of Science in Development Planning from the Development Studies and Research Institute (DSRI) University of Khartoum. Omayma currently serves as the Chairperson of the SIHA Board of Directors.

Lillian Byarugaba Adriko

Lilian Byarugaba Adriko is the CEO of FIDA-Uganda and is a very well known woman advocate and rights defender in the country playing a significant role in improving the status of women by promoting their socio-economic rights and justice and advancing gender equality within Uganda.

Keltun Qasim

Kaltun Qasim is the Director of Women’s Human Rights Education and Environment in Somaliland. Her organization works in different rural and urban centres in Somaliland and has been a member of SIHA for more than 10 years.

Lona James Elia Luduro

Ms. Lona James Elia Luduro was born in Yei, South Sudan in 1964. She received her education in Southern Sudan, Kenya, and the United Kingdom before returning to South Sudan to contribute to the country’s development following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005.

Recognized as one of the pioneering women involved in the IGAD Peace Talks between the Government of Sudan and the South Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) since 1998, Ms. Elia has accumulated extensive experience collaborating with various National and International Organizations. These include ACROSS, UNICEF, NPA, Oxfam GB, UNDP, USAID, and the World Bank, where she focused on gender-inclusive peacebuilding, lobbying, and advocacy programs in South Sudan.

During her tenure as the Peace Building and Conflict Management Programme Coordinator with Oxfam GB, she was nominated as the Local Partner for Women Waging Peace by the Kennedy School of Government and Hunt Alternatives Global Women Peace Movement.

Ms. Elia has held significant roles, including Chairperson for Citizens for Peace and Justice (2014), Member of the Women Technical Committee to the Women Revitalized Peace Negotiations (2018), and Board Member of the Ford Foundation – Skills for Southern Sudan and Sudanese Women Empowerment for Peace (SuWEP).

She is also the Founder of Voice for Change (VFC), a Women-led Civil Society Organization based in Juba.

In 2003, Ms. Elia was honored as an Ambassador for Peace by the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, recognizing her contributions to the Women’s Peace Movement and her commitment to working across religious and tribal lines.

Currently, she serves as the President of the South Sudanese Women Christian Alliance (PACWA) and the Regional Coordinator for East Africa. Additionally, Ms. Elia is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the Regional Institute for Peace and Security Studies, University of Juba in South Sudan.

Rigbe Gebrehewariat Hagos

Rigbe is a passionate women rights activist from Ethiopia, trained as a Lawyer and Social Worker, who has dedicated her career to advocating for people with disabilities, especially women. She works to spread awareness about people with disabilities and what they are able to achieve. She is the Co-founder and treasurer of Ethiopian Lawyers with Disabilities Association (ELDA), Co-founder and board chair of Setawit and a member of the United Nations Women Civil Society Advisory Group She is also a 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow. Rigbe sits on the Board of Directors of the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA) – a member of SIHA Network. She currently serves on the SIHA Board of Directors.

Fadwo Hassan

Fadwo Hassan

Fadwo Hassan Jimale is a Somali woman rights activist with experience spanning 10 years in gender-mainstreaming and social protection of women and children in Somalia. I have Ten (10) years’ experience in excellence of general protection and development of gender mainstreaming. Her experience in GBV survivor work in Somalia has necessitated her participation in women’s movement-building work particularly with the women and Child Cluster in Somalia. She has experience in GBV Case Management, Counselling, and GBVEmergency response and Preparedness. Fadwo has represented SIHA in a number of national and regional spaces contributing to SIHA’s mandate of advocating for the acknowledgment of women rights in view of the lived realities of women and girls in the region.

Board Advisory

Kaltun Hassan

Ms. Kaltun is a Gender Expert and Women Rights Activist from Somaliland. She has served in a number of positions within civil society organizations advocating for, and working in women’s rights, gender equality, and peace-building. She serves on the Board of Directors of Women Advocacy and Progress organization (WAAPO). Kaltun was recently re-elected as the only woman on the Somaliland Electoral Commission.

Saba Gebremedhin

Saba is currently the Executive Director of the Network of Ethiopian Women’s Associations (NEWA), a member organization of SIHA Network. Saba is a Lawyer in the Ethiopian Courts of Law by training and profession having served as a Special Prosecutor. She is also one of the founders of the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA).  In her tenure, she has served as a Consultant at the IGAD Gender Unit and the African Union  Women, Gender and Development Directorate (WGDD).

Peace Twine Kyamureku

Peace Twine Kyamureku is the Executive Director of the Ruth Fund Uganda. She is a secondary school teacher by profession, holding a Master of Arts Degree from Makerere University and has trained in Gender, Human Rights and Civil Society Studies .

Between 1982-1994, she worked with Uganda National Examinations Board( UNEB), in the Research department. In October 1994 she joined  National Association of Women Organisations in Uganda (NAWOU)as Deputy Secretary General.  In April 2005 she was promoted to head the umbrella women’s organization. In the 17 years she acquired knowledge, skills and more confidence working civil society for women empowerment and building a strong women’s movement.  She contributed to increased membership and relevance of NAWOU.

 In June 2012, she took early retirement to supervise administrative changes at Excel Millennium High School.  She also took time to write. She wrote  two essays-(He Will Kill Me and Wife of the enemy) published in Crossroads: Women coming of Age in Today’s Uganda, edited by Christopher Conte, 2015. She also published Contradictions in Human Rights and Social Attitudes :Case Studies of Abortion in Uganda, Ipas Initiatives Publication, University of North Carolina, 2000; Development in Practice Journal, (2014)Christie, Maria Elisa, Peace T.Kyamureku, A.N.Kaaya and A.Devenport-Farmers, Peanuts, and Aflatoxins in Uganda: A Gender Approach.

From October 2013- December 2014, VSO Jitolle recruited Peace Kyamureku as a Volunteer. Her placement at UN Women Tanzania as a Technical Advisor for Women Fund Tanzania (WFT) rekindled her passion for working with grass root communities . It was out of this experience that she, with other activists that in 2014, formed  Rural Women and Youth Fund Uganda,( Ruth Fund) a human/ women  rights national, Not-for Profit  organization. Peace is the current Executive Director of Ruth Fund Uganda

 She is a Director of Excel Millennium High School ,a Mixed, Day and Boarding Secondary school and  sits on the  Boards of national and regional organizations ( Ntulume Village Women Organisation (Nviwoda), Female Women Writers ( FEMRITE), Strategic Initiative for Women in the  Horn of Africa (SIHA). A team player, committed worker, grandmother and a patriotic Ugandan.

She currently serves on the Advisory to the SIHA Board.

Asmahan Abdeselam Hassen

Ms. Asmahan is one of the founders of SIHA, currently serving as Advisor to the SIHA Board. She is currently Chairperson of  Nagaad Network in Somaliland. She has also served as Chairperson of the Somaliland Women’s Research and Action Group (SOWRAG). Asmahan is actively involved in the Somaliland women rights arena as a women human rights defender. Her tenure spans 23 years. She is a graduate of Arts and Humanities from the University of Khartoum.

Program Advisors

Guleid Ahmed Jama

Guleid Ahmed Jama

Guleid is an active human rights defender and an Attorney at law the Xaqdoon Law Firm​, based​ in Somaliland. He is the ​C​o-founder and former ​C​hairperson of Human Rights Center (HRC), a human rights advocacy organization ​also based in Somaliland. ​​Guleid currently serv​es​ as a Program Advisor.

Kadra Omar

Kadra Omar

Kadra is a Social Worker from Djibouti currently working with the Ministry of the Promotion of Women & Family Welfare & Social Affairs- Djibouti. She is also a member of the Djiboutian Women’s Union. Kadra currently serves on the Program Advisory.

Abdifatah Hassan Ali

Abdifatah Hassan Ali

Abdifatah is a Somali human rights defender with extensive experience in advocacy within the civil society arena. He previously worked with Witness Somalia, and as Area Coordinator of SIHA Network in Somalia. He is the Founder of the Digital Shelter – a local initiative founded in March 2018 by activists who are passionate about the intersection between technology and human rights in Somalia with the aim of promoting digital safety, digital rights and inclusion and internet freedom in the growing digital civic space of Somalia. He holds a Masters Degree in Human rights.  Currently works for the UN as a Human rights officer in Somalia 


Rose Baryamutuma

Rose is a programme monitoring and evaluation expert with over 15 years of experience providing specialized services for program design, organization capacity assessments, facilitating training and M&E. She has worked with both government and non-government institutions to develop program documents, key frameworks (log frames, logic models and theories of change), monitoring/evaluation plans including development of indicators, capacity assessment tools, and training modules. She has also provided technical support to institutions to develop and cost strategic plans. Rose has broad research experience/evaluation in the areas of HIV and AIDS, Sexual and Reproductive Health. As GBV Focal Person she provides technical support to the GBV National TWG on general program and M&E specifically. Some of the institutions worked for include the Uganda Ministry of Health, The Uganda Blood Transfusion Services, John Snow International on behalf of the Ministry of Health for Sierra Leone, Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA and the Institute for Social Transformation (IST) among others.

Aluel Atem

Aluel Atem is a seasoned development economist, blogger, and African Feminist Activist hailing from South Sudan. With over eight years of dedicated experience, her primary focus has been on gender and conflict transformation.

Her expertise extends to training various stakeholders, including UN Peacekeepers, activists, community and traditional leaders, youth, women, local government officials, and religious leaders. Aluel imparts valuable knowledge in conflict management, feminism, gender dynamics, leadership, and sexual gender-based violence prevention and response skills. She has conducted training sessions in multiple countries across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

Currently serving as a Senior Program Officer at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Aluel holds the role of USIP’s In-country (Kenya) lead for the Border Security Training Program (BSTP).

In addition to her role at USIP, Aluel is a co-founder of two women’s rights initiatives: Ma’ Mara Sakit Village and Crown the Woman-South Sudan, both based in South Sudan. She also contributes her expertise as a part-time Country Technical Lead-South Sudan for VOICE Amplified. Previously, she served as the South Sudan Women’s Coalition

Representative at the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanisms Board (CTSAMVM) from 2018 to 2021.


Dr. Lyn Ossome

Dr. Lyn Ossome is the Director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR), Makerere University. She received her PhD in Political Studies from Wits University. Her specializations and taught courses are in the fields of feminist political economy and feminist political theory, with particular research interests in land and agrarian studies, gendered labour, queer feminist histories and the political economy of gendered violence. She currently serves on the Program Advisory