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Session 14: Inclusion of Marginalized Voices and Protecting Human Rights


Best Practice for Inclusion of Marginalized Voices and Protecting Human Rights


Overlapping and interconnected global crises are magnifying inequalities and fueling displacement, gender-based violence and intersectional discrimination. The Sustainable Development Goals call on practitioners to end discrimination and exclusion that undermine people’s ability to claim their rights. Many of the barriers people face in accessing resources, services and opportunities are the result of discriminatory laws and social norms that exclude particular groups of people.

But exclusion and inequality are not inevitable. This session’s panelists will share promising practices for greater inclusion of marginalized voices, leading to more just institutions, communities and societies.


Jennifer Denomy, is a Senior Advisor, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion at Alinea International. For over 15 years, Jennifer has been designing and delivering programs that promote gender equality and empowerment for women and youth. She has extensive experience in gender mainstreaming and gender transformative approaches and has developed tools and frameworks for integrating gender-responsive approaches into economic development programs. Publications include "Enterprise development: starting and building businesses," a chapter from the recently released book Women's Economic Empowerment: Transforming Systems Through Development Practice, and "Putting Technology into the Hands of Women," an impact study on women's empowerment project in Northern Ghana.


Diana Opollo is a Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Technical Advisor with the World University Service of Canada (WUSC). Her multidisciplinary background includes experience in academia, private sector and non-governmental organizations, working in humanitarian response and development, policy, research, and practice. She is a strong advocate for women's rights, particularly regarding gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and labour rights in the economic ecosystem working with organizations on creating accountable spaces and enabling workplace solutions for women. She has worked in and supported initiatives in approximately 35 countries across Africa, Asia, the Americas, and the Middle East, with a range of donors, including Global Affairs Canada, AusAID, Global Fund, Gavi, UK FCDO, USAID, and the Mastercard Foundation.

Shehryar Sarwar is Deputy Director for Human Rights and Inclusion (HRI) at Global Affairs Canada. The HRI team ensures that Canada's international assistance integrates a Human Rights Based Approach, as well as providing expert advice, training, and developing guidance using an intersectional lens, as envisaged in the Feminist International Assistance Policy. This team also leads on the inclusion of 2SLGBTQI+ persons and persons with disabilities, among other departmental priorities. Prior to managing this team, Shehryar worked as a Governance specialist, and was previously posted to the Canadian embassy in Jordan as head of the bilateral development assistance program.

Brianna Parent-Long is an uninvited settler who grew on the traditional lands of the Mi'kmaw Peoples, specifically that of Pabineau, Eel River Bar, and Listuguj First Nations. She is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University, Canada, and the Feminist Programme Coordinator at VIDEA. As a development practitioner, Brianna's work experience and research interests include decolonial praxis, feminist programming, climate justice and international relations. She currently serves on the Board of the Canadian Association of International Development Professionals (CAIDP) and on Digna's Advisory Committee.

Sally Yacoub, Independent Gender and Financial Inclusion Consultant, is a passionate, multicultural international expert in gender equality and women's economic empowerment with over 19 years of experience. She has provided technical and strategic advice on gender equality, diversity, equity, and inclusion to USAID, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Deloitte, Médecins Sans Frontières, and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, among others. Sally's work has focused on conducting gender assessments and designing and delivering strategies, research, and project interventions to promote gender equality and the inclusion of under-represented groups. As a technical advisor for Alinea International's Technical Assistance Partnership (TAP) initiative, Sally is working collaboratively with Tunisia's Ministry of Women, Family, Children, and Seniors to support the launch and development of a National Programme for Women's Entrepreneurship and Gender-Sensitive Investment. This partnership focuses on fostering capacities and is centered on gender-centric services design and delivery that will benefit entrepreneurs to become pioneers in their field.  She is also supporting the Higher Planning Commission (HCP) in Morocco in designing and delivering a toolkit on gender analysis and mainstreaming gender in research, and in supporting ongoing research on Moroccan women's participation in the labor market.