Basic Info

Yasmeen Hasan
Contributor Status:
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Initial Contribution Date:

Career Info

Primary Industry:
Non-Profits / Philanthropy
Personal Career Headline:
Global Executive Director, Equality Now

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Career Snapshot:

Yasmeen became the Global Executive Director of Equality Nowin 2011 after serving as Deputy Executive Director and Director of Programs for three years. Previously, she was with the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women where she worked on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Secretary-General’s study on violence against women. Yasmeen clerked on the D.C. Court of Appeals (1994-1995) and practiced corporate law at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York and California (1995-2003). In 1999, Yasmeen edited Equality Now’s first report on discriminatory laws. She has served on the Council on Foreign Relations’ Advisory Board on Child Marriage, provided expert guidance to the U.N. Trust to End Violence Against Women, and advocates for women’s rights through appearances in numerous media outlets, including CNN, Al Jazeera, the Huffington Post, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Yasmeen holds a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School where, among other subjects, she studied Islamic law and women’s rights. She also holds a B.A., magna cum laude, in Political Science from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, USA.

For Yasmeen, the law makes a critical difference; it is a statement of your worth as a citizen and influences the direction your life will take. Growing up in Pakistan, her defining moment came at age 10 when her country’s laws were ‘Islamacized’ treating women as second class citizens. Advocating for women’s rights became a major part of Yasmeen’s education and career, ultimately leading her to author the first study of domestic violence in Pakistan which became the nation’s submission to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. When she is not advocating for women’s and girls’ rights, Yasmeen enjoys reading, traveling, theater, and dance. Yasmeen’s sheroes are: Asma Jehangir, who has worked tirelessly for women’s rights in Pakistan and beyond; Fatima Memissi, whose writings on Muslim women have inspired Yasmeen to continue to fight for change in very difficult contexts; and Gloria Steinem, who taught her important lessons on grassroots organizing and active listening.

What Else To Know

My Goal of the Day:

Move the dial for women and girls in ways big and small, and spend quality time with each of my kids.

My Thought of the Day:

I may be uncertain where the world is going, but I have to be certain where I am going.

My Action of the Day:

Smile often

My Deed of the Day:

Take a few minutes to speak to the man who hangs around in the Borough Hall subway station – he seems to appreciate talking to someone.

My Tip of the Day:

Be hopeful in all you do or set out to do.

My Pic of the Day:
Tell Us More:

What do you love most about Your City?

I have lived in NYC since 1995 (with a 3 year hiatus in California). From the time I first moved here, NYC has felt like home in a way no other place has felt like home.  I love the vibe of the city – the people, the energy, the diversity – and I love the fact that everyone can be themselves here.  I knew I wanted my kids to be raised here.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Vanilla French toast at Jane.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Answering emails and reading the New York Times and news from around the world that relates to women’s rights.

10:00 AM – Working – often on a conference call with our offices in London, Nairobi and Beirut.

12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

Over the week, I seldom have time to go out for lunch, but over the weekend I enjoy taking my boys to Sripapai or Chao Thai in Queens, New York – they love good Thai food!

7:00 PM –  Making dinner (or ordering dinner) for my boys.

11:00 PM – Watching a favorite show. Right now it’s Patriot Act with Hassan Minaj (and waiting for the new season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel). I generally feel that comedy is a good way to end the day.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

I drink coffee and diet coke, maybe 2-3 combined.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

The FreshDirect app. I don’t use Instagram, but don’t tell anyone!

What should everyone try at least once?

Disrupting the status quo to move the dial on an issue you care about, the risk is worth it.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

I don’t enjoy getting lost at all – but I can spend hours walking on the beach!

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