About us

Mission

We mobilize financial, political and technical resources to give grants and offer close accompaniment to feminist groups and engaged feminist scholars in the MENA region. We work to ensure they have the necessary resources to sustain and develop their activism, identify and determine their priorities independently, produce homegrown knowledge by and for their movements and advocate for the rights of all women and LGBTQ+ individuals and groups in their countries.

Independent feminist groups in the MENA region are at the forefront of the fight for justice and equality for all women and LGBTQ+ individuals and organisations. These vibrant and active groups are often under-resourced and sidelined by various forces and ideologies. They deal with enormous social and political backlash in their countries often at the risk of their own safety and security.

Our values

Diversity and Inclusion
Solidarity
Holistic Approach
Sustainability
Visibility
Respect
Co-creation
Radical Trust

History

The founder of the Doria Fund for Women, Mozn Hassan, had established an independent feminist organisation in Egypt called Nazra for Feminist Studies. Nazra and Mozn received the Right Livelihood Award and the decision was made to allocate the totality of this award for the creation of the Doria Feminist Fund.

The Doria Feminist Fund is the culmination of a journey of struggle, learning and recognition.

Founder

Mozn Hassan

Mozn Hassan is an Egyptian feminist activist and founder of ‘Nazra for Feminist Studies’.  She has received many awards, amongst them the Global Fund for Women’s inaugural Charlotte Bunch Human Rights Award in 2013. Hassan and Nazra were jointly awarded one of the Right Livelihood Awards, often called the "Alternative Nobel Peace Prize", in 2016 "for asserting the equality and rights of women in circumstances where they are subject to ongoing violence, abuse and discrimination”. In 20209, Hassan received the Hrant Dink Award for peace , rights and equality. 

In her work through Nazra, Hassan has been involved in a range of different activities and campaigns to address gender-based inequalities and forms of injustices while also strengthening feminist mobilization and women’s participation in politics.  Nazra has played a particularly important role in documenting human rights abuses and sexual violence during and after the revolution of 2011, and has been supporting and advocating for the survivors of sexual assault. 

Board

The Doria Feminist Fund is governed by a Board of Directors who give their time, expertise and network on a voluntary basis. Day to day work is assumed by a small group of feminist consultants and advisors. Doria also relies on a core group of feminist organisations and scholars from the region to provide the much valued coaching and mentoring.

Fahima Hashim

Founder and former director of Salmmah Women Centre

Fahima Hashim a feminist activist for over 25 years, experienced in action research and feminist training, in the areas of women and peace, Violence Against Women and feminist movement building. Fahima is devoting her life to promote radical change for women/young women and their place in society.

Board member of Nazra for Studies and Research working with women in the MENA Region, and an advisory Board member for Doria Feminist Fund (first feminist fund for women in the MENA region).

She served as the Director for Salmmah Women’s Resource Centre which was forced closed by the Sudan government in June 2014.

Lina Abou-Habib

Lina Abou-Habib is the Interim Director of the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at the American University of Beirut.  She also teaches undergraduate and graduate gender courses at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the American University of Beirut.  She serves as the Chair of Collective for Research and Training for Development – Action and as a Board Member for Gender at Work as well as the MENA strategic advisor for the Global Fund for Women.  She is also a member of the editorial Board of the Gender and Development journal published by Oxfam.

Lina Abou-Habib was previously the Executive Director of Women’s Learning Partnership  and before that, the director of CRTD.A. She has worked extensively with the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and with several international and regional organisations in designing and managing programmes in the Middle East and North Africa region on issues related to gender and citizenship, economy, trade and gender and leadership. She has considerable experience in qualitative research, gender analysis, and training/facilitation.  She was a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Applied Humanities, Institute of Public Policy (Auckland University of Technology).  As a global gender consultant, Abou-Habib worked in most countries of the MENA region, in West Africa and the Caucuses.

Sussan Tahmasebi

Sussan Tahmasebi has been working to strengthen civil society and advocate women’s rights in Iran and in the MENA region for 20 years. Currently she serves as the Executive Director of FEMENA, an organization that supports women human rights defenders, their organizations and movements with a particular focus on transitioning contexts or contexts of limited or constrained civil society space in the MENA and Asia regions. Prior to this role, Tahmasebi was the Director of MENA/Asia region at the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) (2011-2017), an organization focused on promoting peace and security, which she co-founded. Between 1999-2010 Tahmasebi was based in Iran where she co-founded the Iran Civil Society Training and Research Center, focused on building the capacity of Iranian civil society and conducting social research. Tahmasebi is also a founding member the One Million Signatures Campaign, a grassroots effort working to end gender-biased laws in Iran and continues to maintain strong ties to the Iranian civil society and women’s movement. Tahmasebi’s expertise include movement building in contexts of shrinking civic space, reform of women’s rights in Muslim societies, civil society capacity building and women’s peace and security in MENA and Asia region, among other issues.

In 2010 and 2011 Tahmasebi was honored for her work in Iran by Human Rights Watch with the Alison Des Forges Award for extraordinary activism, HRW’s highest honor. In 2011 she was named by Newsweek as one of 150 women who “Shake the World.” In 2016 she was awarded the Power to Inspire award by the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta Georgia, where her work as an advocate of women’s rights in Iran is featured. In 2016, Tahmasebi was honored by the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) as a feminist activist who will make you hopeful for a future without fundamentalisms.

Tahmasebi is Iranian and American by birth and is fluent in both English and Farsi. She resides in Washington DC.

Follower her on Twitter: @sussantweets