- Age: 31
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The progress of a people shall be judged by how they treat the most vulnerable members. Let us create a world that is caring, equal, fair, and just to every person.
- Liz Guantai
Ms. Guantai is a lawyer and development specialist with vast and diverse expertise in Gender, Human Rights and International Trade. She has a Master of Laws from the University of Cape Town and is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya. Liz has worked with several organizations, notably INERELA+ Kenya in combating Gender Based Violence, promoting women social-economic rights, access to justice and women economic empowerment, notably in rural and grassroot areas. Liz is an alumnus of the African Presidential Leadership Program (APLP) and a former UN Women Global Champion for Women Economic Empowerment. She is currently working with the UN O/SESG-GL on the realization of women peace and security and women participation in regional and cross-border trade in the Great Lakes Region.
What ignited your pursuit for gender equality?
In 2014, I took up an internship at a GBV Recovery Center in Nairobi. I worked closely with the psychologist to facilitate rescue, treatment, and psycho-social support for survivors. It was devastating to see the impact of GBV on physical and mental health. This sparked my interest in gender equality.
Please share your biggest wins as an advocate for gender equality.
In September 2019, I submitted a Masters Dissertation to the University of Cape Town focusing on a topic addressing a neglected form of gender based violence against women - marital rape, which I argued the case for its criminalization in Kenya. In May 2020, I led a digital menstrual health campaign for INERELA+ Kenya, to raise awareness on menstrual hygiene support for girls from disadvantaged backgrounds during the Covid-19 pandemic. Together with efforts from other stakeholders, our advocacy bore fruits as the Ministry of Health launched Kenya's first Menstrual Hygiene Policy during the same month.
Outside of your gender equality advocacy work, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy reading, writing, watching documentaries and board games.
- English (Advanced/Native)
- Swahili (Advanced/Native)
- French (Beginner)
Past Awards, Certifications, or Fellowships:
- July 2016: Awarded Overall Winner of 2016 African Leadership Essay contest in Daresalam, Tanzania.
- January 2019: Participated in the international training Program, ‘Sustainable Development and Human Rights Law,’ February to May 2019 at the University of Antwerp, under VLIR-UOS scholarship.
- July 2019: Participated in the 5-week African Presidential Leadership Program in Cairo, Egypt