Soha Abdelaty was the Operations Coordinator for RESURJ. Prior to becoming a RESURJ secretariat member in August 2015, she was the associate director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) from January 2007, where her portfolio included the strategic leadership of the organization’s research teams. This entailed providing oversight, support and assistance to the various program teams, including by conducting and supervising research within each team, overseeing the development of work plans and editing and approving reports and other policy and advocacy documents. In some of these cases, Soha took the lead in designing the organization’s intervention on the various programmatic issues. In the eight years she spent at EIPR, Soha played a key role in strengthening Egypt’s only health and human rights program, including by supervising work on discrimination based on health status, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. She was also part of the team that oversaw EIPR’s transition in 2011 into a national organization and the expansion of its programmatic work to cover all human rights and justice issues.
At the global advocacy level, Soha also represented the EIPR at the June 2008 UNGASS meeting in New York. Between 2007 and 2011, Soha worked with the Sexual Rights Initiative – a coalition of organizations from Canada, Poland, India, Egypt, Argentina and Africa, that work together to advance human rights related to sexuality at the United Nations, and in particular, at the Human Rights Council. Such issues included maternal mortality and morbidity, violence against women and sex trafficking. In 2010, her global advocacy work also included editing EIPR’s parallel report to the CEDAW and leading an advocacy mission to Geneva during the government’s review session. In 2011, Soha was part of a small group of experts who were asked to comment on and assist in shaping a draft General Comment on Reproductive Health and Rights by the Committee on Economic and Social Rights.
Soha played a key role in representing civil society organizations working on sexual and reproductive health and rights at global forums, particularly in the ICPD @20 and the Post-2015 processes. Soha was at the founding meeting for RESURJ – a global alliance of feminists under 40 years of age, working for Sexual and Reproductive Justice through national, regional and international advocacy and movement building strategies in countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. RESURJ played an instrumental role in ensuring protection for women and adolescents sexual and reproductive rights in both process. Soha was also a facilitator at the Bali Global Youth Forum in December 2012.
Soha served as an advisory board member for a Ford Foundation and Population Council joint project on “Enhancing Research and Programs on Sexuality and Sexual Health for Adolescents” in 2011 in Egypt. She was also a Board of Directors member for Action Canada for Population and Development from 2011 until 2014.
Prior to joining the EIPR, Soha worked at Amnesty International in London, where she held the post of researcher on Iraq, continuing the same post-conflict research she had started first through her Masters of Law degree at the University of Nottingham and then as Iraq Project Officer at the University’s Human Rights Law Centre. With a background in media and international relations, Soha also spent a number of years working as a diplomatic correspondent at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Organization: Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights