Nahid Toubia, Dr.
Sudanese surgeon and women’s health and rights activist

Nahid Toubia is a renowned clinician, researcher and activist on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Middle East and Africa. She was an expert adviser to Dr. Nafis Sadiq of UNFPA in preparation for the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), and together with Professor Lynn Freedman organized workshops on reproductive rights at the Conference. She is a leading voice in the African movement to abolish the practice of female genital mutilation and continues to advance women’s and young people’s rights to sexual and reproductive health in some of the most challenging countries in the world. At the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, she presented the commitments of the Sudanese civil society to the ICPD agenda, reversing the past legacy of that country. 

In the past, she was responsible for the abortion portfolio at the Population Council, an adjunct Professor at Columbia University, Director of RAINBO: Health & Rights for African Women and a visiting lecturer at Harvard University. She served on the Board of Human Rights Watch and as the Vice-Chair of the Women’s Rights Project of Human Rights Watch. She is currently Director of the Institute for Reproductive Health and Rights in Khartoum, Sudan. 

After attending medical school in Egypt, she completed her surgical training in the United Kingdom, gaining a master of philosophy and a doctoral degree in Public Health & Policy from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1981, and the first female surgeon in Sudan.