Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International Executive Director

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Winnie Byanyima is Executive Director of Oxfam International. She is a leader on women’s rights, democratic governance and peace building. She served eleven years in the Ugandan Parliament, and has served at the African Union Commission and as Director of Gender and Development at the United Nations Development Program. She co-founded the 60-member Global Gender and Climate Alliance and chaired a UN task force on gender aspects of the Millennium Development Goals, and on climate change.

Events

G20 Leaders’ Summit (15-16 November 2014). As world leaders take stock of the health of the world’s financial system, Winnie Byanyima will remind them to consider the plight of the world’s poorest.

World Bank Advisory Council on Gender and Development (12 October 2014). Winnie Byanyima is a member of the Council, the main external consultative body helping the World Bank promote gender equality around the world.

UN Climate Summit 2014 (23 September 2014). Winnie Byanyima attended UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s summit to call for strong political leadership and ambitious government regulations to catalyze action on climate change.

USAID Frontiers in Development Forum (18-19 September 2014). An invitation-only audience of 600 prominent leaders in foreign assistance and development participated. Winnie Byanyima participated in the plenary debate on Extreme Poverty and the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Latest News

Oxfam’s new report Food, Fossil Fuels and Filthy Finance on a ‘Toxic Triangle’ putting profit for the few ahead of a sustainable future for all.

Congratulations to education champions Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai on the Nobel Peace Prize.

Ending poverty through sustainable development and leaving no one behind.

A call to governments, corporations and the UN on climate change: It’s an issue of justice.

Full biography

Born in Uganda, Ms. Byanyima was elected for three terms and served eleven years in the Ugandan Parliament. She led Uganda's first parliamentary women’s caucus, championing ground-breaking gender equality provisions in the county's 1995 post-conflict constitution. A world recognized expert on women's rights, she founded the still-thriving civil society organization Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE). She has served at the African Union Commission and as Director of Gender and Development at the United Nations Development Program

Ms. Byanyima is a signatory to her country’s 1985 peace agreement and has helped to broker and support women’s participation in peace processes in Rwanda, South Africa, Burundi, Sudan and other countries emerging from conflict.

She co-founded a 60-member Global Gender and Climate Alliance of civil society, bilateral and multilateral organizations and chaired a UN-wide task force on gender aspects of the Millennium Development Goals, and on climate change. She has served on numerous global boards and commissions including the African Capacity Building Foundation and the International Centre for Research on Women. 

She holds a M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering in Energy Conservation and the Environment (University of Cranfield), and a B.Sc. in Aeronautical Engineering (University of Manchester).

She began a five-year term leading Oxfam International on May 1 2013. 

“Oxfam is part of challenging and changing times. We must seize every opportunity to support poor people to claim their rights, and to finally escape poverty, hunger and injustice. I believe the world needs a strong civil society now more than ever before."

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