Human Rights Lawyer, Centre for Women's Rights Advocacy
Milanoi is a human rights lawyer with over nine years’ experience in women’s rights, children’s rights and disability rights. She has worked with non-profit organisations, advocating for the rights of women and children to live a life free from violence. She has made presentations calling on ending violence against women and girls with disabilities at the United Nations Commission on Status of Women and United Nations Conference of State Parties on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Milanoi has worked as a consultant for Disability Rights International, the Kenya Association for the Intellectually Handicapped, Handicap International, Acacia UK, Women Challenged to Challenge, Lesotho National Federation for the Disabled and CREA. She is a founding member of the Kenyan Network Advocating for the Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities, whose aim is to strengthen advocacy, movement building and raise awareness on the rights of women and girls with disabilities. She has also worked with the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya (FIDA-K), Coalition on Violence Against Women-Kenya (COVAW), and Women Enabled International (WEI) in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the Gender Based Violence prevention working group that includes individuals and organisations in sub-Saharan Africa and African Women in Law and Development (AWID).
Milanoi received her LL.M., with a focus on Human Rights and Comparative Disability Law and Policy from Syracuse University in 2016. She received her LLB from Moi University in 2008.
I have wanted to challenge inequalities and social injustices from an early age. I come from the Maasai community in Kenya where female genital mutilation and early marriages are still practiced. Women and girls are meant to be shy, timid and not outgoing and outspoken as I am. I saw this growing up and it always felt wrong for me. What worries me more is the fact that the inequities and social injustices like female genital mutilation, early marriage, violence against women are engrained in young children from an early age because of what we see and are taught growing up. I want to give back to my community through mentoring young girls and boys and other community members to know and demand their rights. This is how we can change an entire generation through ensuring they get the right information, mentors and outlook in life from an early age. This led me to work in women’s rights immediately after my undergraduate studies, since then I have been challenging inequalities and demanding a life free from violence for all vulnerable children and women.
‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.’ Margret Mead.
I want to broaden and sharpen my skills and expertise in women and girls’ rights in advocacy, litigation and research to end inequalities by creating lasting solutions. Too often I see gender based violence legislation and policies fail in implementation because of lack of involvement of the people they affect. I want to work with and build the capacity of grassroots organisations, with a focus and inclusion of women and girls with disabilities, to ensure that this doesn’t happen. I want to work together with them to create platforms to engage with, and input into law and policy, processes that concern us as women and girls. As a founding member of the Kenyan Network Advocating for the Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities I would like to learn more on sustainable networks. I also want to be part of a network of change makers globally to exchange ideas, work together in providing lasting solutions to ending inequalities and social injustices at national, regional and international level.
‘I am not free while any woman is unfree when her shackles are different from my own.’ Audre Lorde.