Mashuda Khatun Shefali (International Judge of Asian Girls’ Rights Award 2015)


Mashuda Khatun Shefali is the Executive Director of Nari Uddug Kendra (NUK), which translates to the Centre for Women’s Initiative. NUK works to promote gender equality, human rights and the personal and political empowerment of women and girls in Bangladesh.

Before founding NUK, she worked in the development sector for the Bangladesh Ministry of Women’s Affairs as well as for several citizen sector organizations, women’s groups and donors. This period concluded with a position in the Canadian International Development Agency, where she managed development funds for a large number of local NGOs throughout the country. Shefali is currently the founder and Managing Director of the Kishorgonj Eye Hospitals and Agarashindur Community Hospital in Kishorgonj. Her latest project is the Bangladesh Women’s Fund, which conducts fundraising and grant-making for local women’s NGOs in order to invest in the rights and equality of women and girls. Her areas of expertise include gender, human rights programming and labor rights.

Mashuda has a Masters in General History and International Relations from the Jahangir Nagar University. She has completed a Certificate course on “Women, Men and Development” from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK. She has also completed “Gender Matters in Development” from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, in the United Kingdom, advocacy training from the Advocacy Training Institute in Washington, D.C., and diplomacy training from the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Nari Uddug Kendra (NUK)

Nari Uddug Kendra (NUK), established in 1991, a national non-government women’s development support organization mandated to promote gender equality, human rights and foster personal empowerment of women and girls in Bangladesh. NUK also operates Shelter for forced marriage victims, migrant workers and female students in Dhaka and Mymenshing for their safe living and continue higher education. NUK’s Poverty Alleviation and Integrated health & family development program maneuvers women’s economic & health empowerment. NUK undertakes research and advocacy initiatives on gender issues in development and is widely known as an advocate of gender equality in Bangladesh. NUK has become twenty four years now. Twenty four years of challenges faced with competence and excellence has widened NUK’s horizon with such precision in all dimensions that no stumbling block, whatever may be its size, can any longer prevent it to reaching her vision.