Member, Advisory Board

Mrs Maryam Uwais (nee Isa Wali) obtained an LLB (Hons) in 1980 and was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 1981. She obtained an LLM in 1985. She began her career as a State Counsel in the Ministry of Justice, Kano State, moved thereafter to the Nigerian Law Reform Commission, the Central Bank of Nigeria, and finally set up the Firm of Wali-Uwais & Co in Abuja, Nigeria in 1998. Maryam has worked as a Consultant for UNICEF, the World Bank, OSIWA and DFID, in projects relating to children & women’s rights, entrepreneurship, education and justice sector reform.

She is also a member of and has served on the Boards of several organisations and civil society groups, including the Nigerian National Human Rights Commission (also as Special Rapporteur on Child Rights, thereat), Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR), Member of The African Union Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (for five years), Musawah (Nigeria Chapter for Equality and Justice in the Muslim family), the Justice Research Institute, Leapafrica, Fellow of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative, the Presidential Advisory Committee, the Almajiri Committee of Kano State and the Northern Governors Committee on Healing Reconciliation and Security. She was appointed Vice Chair of the National Advisory Committee of the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme and in recognition of her passion for the girl child, is currently Member of the Advisory Board of the Education for Girls In New Enterprises (ENGINE). Maryam was also member of the core Strategy Team of the #BringBackOurGirls Movement, amongst others.

She founded the Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative (IWEI) in Dec 2009, a non-governmental organization that targets enhancing the conditions of women and children in the spheres of education, health and empowerment, in Kano State of Nigeria. Being a Fellow of the Aspen Institute Leadership Network, Maryam was nominated for the McNulty Prize at the Aspen Institute, Colorado, USA in July 2014, arising from the activities of IWEI. She was also decorated with the National Award of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) in November 2011.

Maryam is widely travelled and has written several papers/articles relating to economic, social and cultural rights, child justice administration, children and women’s rights (synergising principles of Shari’a law with international human rights treaties), interfaith dialogue and Justice Sector Reform.