Ilana Landsberg-Lewis

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Ilana Landsberg-Lewis "worked alongside her father, Stephen Lewis, to found the Stephen Lewis Foundation and has been its Executive Director since its inception in 2003.

"Ilana is a labour and human rights lawyer and a passionate advocate for the rights of women. She spent eight years at the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in New York, where she worked as the Agency’s CEDAW Advisor, to strengthen the U.N.'s implementation of the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). During this time, Ilana travelled the world assisting grassroots women’s groups in using and applying human rights conventions and standards in their battles against female genital mutilation, violence and all forms of discrimination. She went on to co-create a programme to bring local activist women directly into the chambers of the U.N. to address the Committee for CEDAW, a tactic that proved so successful that it has been integrated into the official proceedings of that body. Ilana was also instrumental in bringing into existence and managing UNIFEM’s Trust Fund on Violence against Women, which funds grassroots women’s groups in developing countries working on everything from FGM to the relationship between gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS.

"Ilana started the Stephen Lewis Foundation from her kitchen table in 2003. In just six years, the organization has grown to include over 20 full-time staff and 50 volunteers. To date, the Foundation has funded more than 300 projects in 15 sub-Saharan African countries.

"Ilana is a recipient of the YWCA Toronto 2009 Women of Distinction Award for International Development." [1]

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  1. Ilana Landsberg-Lewis, Stephen Lewis Foundation, accessed June 11, 2009.