Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee assists in formulating programme policy directions and evaluating the projects undertaken by IWRAW Asia Pacific.

Its members are substantive and technical experts on CEDAW from the Asia Pacific region and some also represent programme partners according to geographical sub-regions in Asia and Pacific.


Savitri Goonesekere, Sri Lanka

Savitri Goonesekere is Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and a former CEDAW Committee member from 1999 to 2002. She was formerly Professor of Law and Vice Chancellor, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and a member of the Expert Committee (treaty body) monitoring CEDAW from 1999 to 2002. Being a member of several regional, national and international bodies on women’s issues, she has held fellowships in universities in the US and the UK. Professor Goonesekere has contributed to advocacy and law reform initiatives in Sri Lanka and has acted as a consultant for several international agencies such as UNICEF, ILO, WHO and UNIFEM working on law and human rights projects, particularly in the Asian region. She was also a Member of the Editorial Advisory Committee, UN Secretary General’s Study on Violence Against Children (2005 to 2006) and Chairperson of the External Forum on Gender of the Asian Development Bank (2002). She was a member of the Board of Trustees, United Nations Trust Fund for Victims of Torture (2005-2011). She has published widely on family law, women and children’s rights, human rights, and law and development issues. She was a winner of the Fukuoka Asian Culture International Award (Academic) in 2008.

Ruth Manorama, India

President of the National Alliance of Women (NAWO), India and the General Secretary to Women’s Voice in Karnataka, India. She is also the National Convenor to the National Federation of Dalit Women and the National Campaign Co-Convenor for International Lobby and Advocacy for Dalit Human Rights.

Shireen Huq, Bangladesh

Ms Huq is a women’s rights activist working on gender, human rights and development. She is a founder member of Naripokkho, a leading women’s rights organisation in Bangladesh where she has worked on a voluntary basis since its founding in 1983. Currently, she is a member of Naripokkho’s Executive Committee and Coordinator of the Women’s Health Rights Advocacy Partnership project, focusing on maternal mortality and morbidity reduction in the south-western coastal districts of Bangladesh through claiming accountability of service providers in public hospitals and health facilities.

Andrew Byrnes, Australia

Andrew Byrnes is Professor of Law at the University of New South Wales and Chair of the Australian Human Rights Centre. He formerly taught at the Australian National University, and the Universities of Hong Kong and Sydney. He writes on international law (in particular human rights law), and has written on CEDAW and the human rights of women, national human rights institutions, and the implementation of human rights in domestic law, among other topics. He was involved in the drafting of anti-discrimination legislation, and has advised equality commissioners, in Australia and Hong Kong, and was closely involved in the drafting of the CEDAW-OP and of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (acting as an international legal adviser to the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions). He was a member of the Asian Development Bank’s External Forum on Gender and Development from 2000 to 2009. He has acted as a consultant on gender and other human rights issues to the OHCHR, the UN Division for the Advancement of Women, the ILO, UNESCAP, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and other bodies. He was President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law from 2009-2013. He has served as external legal adviser to the Australian Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights from 2012 until 2013.

Nalini Singh, Fiji

Nalini Singh is from Fiji. She is a graduate of the University of the South Pacific and has also studied at the Australian National University. Presently she is the Executive Director of the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM/, Suva, Fiji. Her previous work experience include Programme Manager for 7 years at the Asian Pacific Resource and Research Center for Women (ARROW /, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Programme Officer for 5 years at the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD/, Chiang Mai, Thailand and Programme Assistant for 2 years at the UNDP Pacific Regional Human Rights Education Resource Team (RRRT/, Suva, Fiji. As a Social Development Specialist, Nalini has over 17 years’ experience in design, implementation, management, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes with a focus on women’s human rights including sexual and reproductive health and rights in Asia Pacific. She is skilled in community-based development interventions carried out in partnership with local and national civil society groups. Nalini has experience in multi-level and multi-sectoral policy advocacy, coalition and partnership building, as well as networking. She also has broad experience in engaging with youth and marginalized communities. Nalini has long-term experience in supporting institutional and organizational strengthening, policy analysis and M&E.

İpek İlkkaracan, Turkey

İPEK İLKKARACAN is Professor of Economics at Istanbul Technical University, Faculty of Management, Research Associate at the Levy Economics Institute
 in New York and an associate editor of the Feminist Economics journal by Routledge. Ilkkaracan holds a B.A. in political science
 from Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania and an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research, NYC. She has numerous published articles in refereed journals and books on macroeconomics of unemployment and wages, labor market inequalities, time use, the care economy, and sustainable growth; and is the author of an edited volume on work-life balance policies. Ilkkaracan is as an elected board member of the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE) and Associate
 Director of the ITU Women’s Studies Center. She served on the Board of the Middle Eastern Economics Association in 2011-14 and as the country expert on Turkey in the European Network of Experts on Gender Equality (ENEGE) in 2012-2015. Ilkkaracan is also a founding member of the Gender, Macroeconomics and International Economics GEM-Europe network; Women for Women’s Human Rights and the Women’s Labor and Employment Initiative (KEIG) Platform in Turkey.