For this episode, I reached out to two good friends who are wonderful data nerds and activists, Shirin Heidari and Marina Smelyanskaya, to talk about gender, inequality and data. When I invited Malu Marin, a longtime activist for the rights of migrant workers in Asia, she urged me to talk to her friend Jolovan Wham instead – “a very committed activist working directly with migrant workers”. Jolovan has come under more than his fair share of pressure for his advocacy for free speech – so especially grateful to him for his time, and to all three of this episode’s experts.
Jolovan Wham is a social worker who focuses on issues affecting migrant workers in Singapore. He is also a free speech and democracy activist.
Dr. Shirin Heidari is founding president of GENDRO, an association with the mission to advance gender-sensitive research and data analysis. She is also Senior Research Fellow at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and also serves as Senior Technical Consultant on Gender at WHO. In her various capacities, Dr. Heidari continuously advocates for a gender sensitive approach to research and scholarly communication. In 2012, she established the Gender Policy Committee of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE) and led the development of the Sex and Gender Equity in Research (SAGER) guidelines, which have been translated into several languages. She has also given a TEDx Talk on the importance of gender sensitive research and scholarly communication. She has more than 20 years of experience in health research, policy and advocacy, and is a vocal gender-equality and human rights advocate.
Marina Smelyanskaya is a Technical Officer with Stop TB Partnership’s Grants & Innovations Team. She works as a TB REACH focal point for projects targeting case finding among TB key populations and to promote a framework that ensures a focus on gender and empowerment of women in routine TB programs. Marina has 15 years of experience in planning, delivering and monitoring HIV and TB interventions. She has worked with governments and communities to improve delivery of services to those most affected by HIV and TB as a program implementer, donor, and advocate including with Open Society Foundations, Treatment Action Group, and UNDP.