"Handful of Ash" Accelerating Investment to End Female Genital Mutilation


An event to mark the International Zero Tolerance Day for FM and the 10-year anniversary of the WDR on Gender and Development

Sponsored by the Legal Vice Presidency, the Gender Group, the Empowering Women by Balancing the Law initiative and the GFLJD FGM/C Legal Working Group with the support of the Five Foundation, the Asian Development Bank, and Women Voices Now.


09:00 Welcoming Words and Presentation of the 6th Edition of the FGM
Legal Compendium

  • Sandie Okoro
    Senior Vice President and General Counsel
    World Bank

  • Hana Brixi
    Global Director, Gender
    World Bank

  • Isabella Micali Drossos
    Senior Counsel
    World Bank

9:20 Panel discussion on Accelerating Investments and Commitments
to End FGM by 2030

  • Hafez M.H. Ghanem
    Vice President, Eastern and Southern Africa
    World Bank

  • Keiko Miwa
    Regional Director for Human Development in the Middle East and North Africa Region
    World Bank

  • Christina Pak
    Principal Counsel
    Asian Development Bank

  • Nimco Ali
    Co-founder of the Five Foundation
    Global Partnership to End FGM

  • Harriet Akullu
    Child Protection Specialist

  • Moderated by: Diana J. Arango
    Senior Gender Specialist
    World Bank

10:40 Debate and Screening of Handful of Ash by Nabaz Ahmed and
Karan Kardozi

  • Shang Karim
    Women's Rights Advocate and Journalist

  • Moderated by: Lou M.C. Granier
    International Consultant, Gender Specialist

Sandie Okoro

Senior Vice President and Group General Counsel, World Bank

A British national and the first black woman to hold this role, Sandie is the principal advisor and spokesperson on all legal matters for the world’s leading development finance institution. She also heads the Compliance Vice Presidency that is responsible for developing and overseeing the World Bank data privacy framework based on the World Bank Group Policy on Personal Data Privacy.  Read more

Hana Brixi

Global Director for Gender, World Bank

As Global Director for Gender, Hana Brixi leads a global effort to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. She sets the overall direction for the World Bank Group’s Gender knowledge agenda, drives Bank-wide efforts for results in closing gender gaps, and fosters partnerships with public and private sector stakeholders toward innovations at scale. 

In her career, she has contributed to advances in human development, public finance, and governance. As Manager of the Human Capital Project, she led a global effort to protect and invest in people with an emphasis on girls and women empowerment. Hana has published articles in professional journals and written several books on economic development, including Trust, Voice and Incentives on service delivery and Government at Risk on fiscal management. 

Isabella Micali Drossos

Senior Counsel
Legal Vice Presidency
World Bank

Isabella Micali Drossos is a French and Brazilian lawyer. She joined the Bank in 1999 and has worked since then as an operational lawyer in Africa, Latin America and the Pacific Region. She has a passion for issues related to gender-based violence (in particular Female Genital Mutilation and Domestic Violence) and collective happiness and well-being in development. She holds degrees in law and in economics from the University of Paris, an LLM from the London School of Economics and a PhD in international public law from the University Pantheon-Sorbonne.

Hafez Ghanem

Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa, World Bank 

Hafez Ghanem, an Egyptian and French national, is the Regional Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa. A development expert with over 30 years of experience, Dr. Ghanem leads relations with 26 countries, and oversees over 280 projects totaling more than $49 billion.  

Dr. Ghanem began his career at the World Bank in 1983 as a Young Professional. Over the span of 24 years (1983-2007), he worked on Bank operations and initiatives in over 20 countries in Africa, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, and Southeast Asia. 

He has many publications in professional journals and was a member of the core team that produced the World Bank’s 1995 World Development Report.

Keiko Miwa

Regional Director for Human Development covering the Middle East and North Africa region.

Prior to this position, she was the Director for the Education Global Practice of the World Bank. Keiko has worked on various education projects and analytical work in Africa, East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Central Asia and South Asia Regions. She served as Manager for Education in South Asia region as well as Country Manager for Lao PDR. Keiko has spent half of her career working in country offices, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Lao PDR. Her professional interest includes education in fragile and conflict-affected states. Keiko holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Administration Studies from the State University of New York at Albany.

Ms. Harriet Akullu

Child Protection Specialist with UNICEF in New York.

For close to 20 years, Ms Akullu’s work has centered on advancing social development and social change by supporting government entities and non-governmental institutions in creating and advancing social work and public policies in the areas of child protection, gender justice, women’s rights, HIV/AIDS, adolescent development, local governance, peace and security. 

Ms Akullu is currently managing and technically advising on implementation of programmes in 21 member states of the United Nations across Africa and the Middle East to build stronger protection systems for the prevention of and response to child protection concerns including the harmful practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). She has previously, held national positions in Uganda at various organisations including UNICEF, UNIFEM, ActionAid and ACORD. 

Ms. Akullu holds a master’s degree in Development Studies from Uganda Martyrs University, and a degree in Social Work and Social Administration from Makerere University

Christina Pak

specializes in international development finance, law and policy reform, dispute resolution and ESG standards and drives thought leadership on sustainable development issues. She is currently a Principal Counsel of the Asian Development Bank and leads the Office of General Counsel's Law and Policy Reform Program which designs and implements legal and judicial reform technical assistance projects across the Asia and the Pacific region. Christina oversees a diverse portfolio in the areas of environmental protection and climate change, gender equality, private sector development, public-private partnerships, and digital economy. In particular, Christina leads ADB’s regional technical assistance on the Promotion of Gender-Responsive Judicial Systems and is on the steering committee of ADB’s Gender Equality Thematic Group. She also serves as ADB’s Accountability Mechanism Policy Counsel advising the Board of Directors, the Office of the Compliance Review Panel, and the Office of the Special Project Facilitator. 

Nimco Ali

Co-Founder of the Five Foundation, The Global Partnership to End FGM 

Nimco Ali is an FGM survivor, strategist and author. Born in Somaliland, she grew up in the UK. In 2019, she co-founded The Five Foundation, The Global Partnership to End FGM. She also co-founded Daughters of Eve in 2010. Nimco’s work has helped to position FGM as a central issue in ending violence against women and girls. Since late 2020 she is also the independent advisor on violence against women and girls for the UK Home Office. 

During 2019, Nimco was awarded an OBE for her groundbreaking activism. This adds to her long list of achievements to date. In 2014, Nimco was awarded Red Magazine’s Woman of the Year award and placed at No 6 on the Woman’s Hour Power List. Most recently she was named by The Sunday Times as one of Debrett’s 500 most influential people in Britain, well as one of the Evening Standard’s 1000 Most Powerful and BBC’s 100 Women.

Shanga Karim

Women’s Rights Advocate

Shanga Karim is a Vancouver local coordinator for the Shoe project. She is Participating in a Global Writing Project of book “Geographies of the Heart Book” Stories from Newcomers to Canada, by writing her chapter, which will be published soon in collaboration with a project at the University of the Fraser Valley. She is currently working on her first book in a program by British Columbia Arts Council.

Diana Jimena Arango

Senior Gender Specialist, World Bank

Diana J. Arango is the Sr. Gender-Based Violence and Development Specialist in the Gender Cross-Cutting Solutions Area at the World Bank Group. She has more than 10 years of experience working on development issues including gender-based violence, specifically within the context of humanitarian settings. Before joining the World Bank Group, she was a Research Scientist at George Washington University's Global Women's Institute leading research on violence against women and girls in conflict settings.

Lou M.C Granier

International Consultant and Gender Specialist

Lou M. C. Granier is a French International Consultant in Development specialized in Gender. She holds a master's degree in Development Management from the London School of Economics, and a joint degree from Queen Mary University of London in Economics and Politics. She then specialized in Gender programming and GBV at the George Washington University. She is specifically dedicated to work toward the eradication of FGM/C and has been working with the World Bank, NGOs, and the National Committee to Combat Harmful Practices in Guinea Bissau while developing operational work in Mali and in Guinea. She is also a member of the Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development’s FGM/C Legal Working Group.#EndFGM #SDG5.3 


Event Type: Webinar

Date: Tuesday February 22, 2022

Time: 9:00 - 12:00 PM ET

Venue/Location: Virtual

Working Group: FGM

Contact: globalforumljd@worldbank.org