Saudatu S. Mahdi MFR is a 1978 graduate of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, and a postgraduate diploma from the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) graduating with distinction. She served as Advisor for Nigeria on UN CEDAW Committee and a nominee for its membership in 2006. She is a Fellow of Nigeria’s Institute for Corporate Administration, a recipient of national and international awards, including the American Ms Magazine 2004 Woman of the Year Award, Ralph U. Stone Memorial Scholarship CEDPA award for acclaimed Change Agents. In 2011 she was awarded the National Honour of MFR by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Working as Secretary General of the Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative, (WRAPA) a rights based national non-profit advocating for equity and equality of opportunities for women and girls in Nigeria. Under her leadership, WRAPA has offered conclusive litigation and counselling support to over 15,000 women across Nigeria, gaining a reputation for direct positive impact on the lives of women and girls in difficult circumstances. WRAPA activities include sensitization, dialogue, education support and economic empowerment. In 2014, WRAPA was one of 7 recipients of 2014 MacArthur Foundation Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.
She has served as Council member of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission, and also served as Deputy Secretary of the Northern States Governors’ Forum Committee on Reconciliation; Healing & Security. She is also a founding member of the citizen driven Bring Back Our Girls campaign advocating the rescue and return of Nigeria’s 219 Chibok Girls. She is currently engaged with the Federal Government entity for coordinating all interventions on the recovery of Northeast of Nigeria; working as Special Assistant (Development) with the Chairman Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative as well as the Victims Support Fund (VSF).
Saudatu has contributed to Nigeria’s national dialogue on the subject of identity and diversity in papers and presentations. She promotes a position on the legitimacy of diversity in the negotiations for peaceful co-existence; which when flipped could present a positive trigger for national development.