Dr. Rita Nketiah is a researcher in the Women’s Rights Division and LGBT Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. She focuses on child marriage in Africa and related issues. Rita has an extensive background in feminist organizing, research, program evaluation, community-based activism and philanthropy in Africa. She previously worked for the African Women's Development Fund as the Knowledge Management Specialist, and has consulted for several international development agencies, including UNICEF (HQNY), COC Nederlands, and the Association for Women’s Rights in Development. Rita currently sits on the interim governing board for Initiative Sankofa d'Afrique de l'Ouest (ISDAO), an activist-led fund dedicated to strengthening and supporting a West African movement for gender diversity and sexual rights.
Through her work, she has supported the development of youth-centred strategic programming in girl-child education across Ghana, produced analysis on UNICEF’s gender-based violence programming, trained youth researchers on implementing feminist-oriented SRHR advocacy research, and documented the state of LGBTI communities in West Africa.
Her other research interests include diaspora homeland engagement, African migration, and African feminist movement-building. She holds a PhD in Geography from York University (Canada) where she examined the return migration and transnationalism of 1.5 and second-generation Ghanaian-Canadian young adults.