To create positive change in the world,
we need to understand it first. 

So nice to
meet you,

Founder of Right to Rise, Ph.D. in Human Rights Law, independent consultant, researcher, lecturer, mother, human.

My purpose is to ensure that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents. Let me tell you a bit about myself:

For as long as I can remember, I've had strong beliefs in justice and gender equality. Since childhood, I've felt compelled to understand human behavior and what affects social change. The topics of FGM/C and gender violence, in particular, stood out to me, as they touch my identity as a woman.

The combination of those traits and interests led me to pursue a career as a human rights lawyer and, now, an FGM/C and gender-related violence specialist. Over the past ten years, I have worked with the United Nations, the European Union, consultancy firms, universities and many international and local NGOs to raise awareness, drive action, and developing solutions to improve the lives of girls and women worldwide.

I have surrounded myself with talented and passionate individuals that enrich my work with their perspectives and inspire me to reach further. Thanks to constant interaction with people from all walks of life, I've developed the skill to connect with almost anyone, from goal-oriented CEOs to enthusiastic activists, to shy children.

My work stands out for its consistency, high quality, and thoroughness. I am known to engage at all levels to better understand processes, connect with stakeholders, and ensure a more efficient unfolding of events. 

I seek to use creative thinking to develop actionable plans and multidisciplinary solutions that can truly make a difference in people's lives. 

Right to Rise is a member of the Netherlands Network for Human Rights Research, a member of the Netherlands Jurists Committee for Human Rights, a member of the African Studies Centre and a member of the Dutch Association for Women and Law - Clara Wichmann.

Some of My Greatest
• Developed the overall programme strategy and Theory of Change for the Africa-Led Movement (ALM) to end FGM/C.

• Conducted field research and monitored projects in over 25 African countries.
• Initiated webinar series on the impact of COVID-19 on FGM/C with 500+ participants.

• Authored a background paper for a high-level UN expert meeting on FGM/C in Addis Ababa.
• Successfully defended Ph.D. thesis at Tilburg University.

• Obtained two LLM degrees (Public International Law and Human Rights & Research Master in Law), both with
cum laude honors.
PhD Research
“Empty Promises?”
My Ph.D. thesis entitled “Empty Promises? —Compliance with the Human Rights Framework in relation to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in Senegal” focuses on FGM/C from a human rights law perspective.

Despite the multiple legal and human rights frameworks addressing FGM/C, the practice remains widespread in many countries. This raises the question about the impact and effectiveness of the different governmental actions and policies on the ground.                          

For my interdisciplinary research —involving law, political science, and anthropology— I spent five months in Senegal interviewing various experts on FGM/C, government officials, representatives of international organizations, NGO’s and activists.

Download a summary of my Ph.D. research in English and French

The size of your dreams must always exceed
your current capacity to achieve them.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Elected President of Liberia and first female leader of an African nation.