Mrs Shamsi Kazimbaya is a Rwandese woman, married and mother of two girls, she holds a masters degree in gender and development with more than 10 years extensive experience in coordinating the implementation of policies and programs for the promotion of women’s rights and gender equality and consistent success in mainstreaming gender in various programs in partnerships with the government and other development partners. Mrs Shamsi Kazimbaya has contributed in sharing experience regionally and internationally on strategies of gender promotion and mainstreaming, women’s rights, GBV prevention and response. As a gender activist Shamsi is a member of various women’s and/or feminists organizations at national, regional and international levels. Shamsi has worked with the government and government institutions such as the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission for a couple of years before deciding to fully engage in the field of gender and women’s empowerment from 2006. The first seven years she was leading a women’s regional organisation called Society for Women and Aids in Africa that was aiming at providing care and support to people affected by HIV specifically targeting women and children. She then worked with Rwanda Men’s Resource Center for three years coordinating the MenCare+ project, a global fatherhood campaign aiming at engaging men as caregiving partners in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Maternal Newborn and Child Health.
Since November 2015 Shamsi K. joined Jhpiego Rwanda as Gender Advisor for the Maternal and child survival program. Since November 2015, Shamsi joined Jhpiego – an affiliate of John Hopkins University, in the position of Gender Advisor for the Maternal and Child Survivor Program (MCSP) that aims to reduce child and maternal mortality through increased coverage and utilization of high-impact low cost reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) interventions and innovative new approaches and to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Health (MOH) to manage and scale up high-impact RMNCH interventions. Furthermore USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program in Rwanda seeks to strengthen health systems, services and uptake of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH). All what I do for gender equality, women’s and girls’ empowerment is my passion.