Marina Mahathir – Keynote Speaker

United Nations Person of the Year for Malaysia in 2010, newspaper columnist, blogger and TV producer, women's rights campaigner

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Specialist Subjects

  • Women & Islam
  • Public Health
  • Social Issues


  • English


Marina Mahathir is a Malaysian socio-political activist and writer. She began her career in advocacy in the HIV/AIDS sector and was a member of numerous international and regional committees on HIV/AIDS. She served as the President of the Malaysian AIDS Council for 12 years from 1993-2005.

After leaving her position, Marina went on to focus on issues related to Islam and gender. Currently, she is a member of the International Advisory Group of Musawah, the global movement for justice and equality in the Muslim family. Previously a member of the Board of Sisters in Islam, Marina continues her efforts through fundraising to advocate for justice and equality for Muslim women.

Marina writes and speaks regularly on current issues particularly where it relates to gender, human rights and religion. She has authored four books, In Liberal Doses (1997), Telling It Straight (2012) and 50 Days: Rantings by MM (2009). Her latest compilation of her columns, Dancing on Thin Ice (2015), was published in December 2015.

In 2010, Marina was named the UN Person of the Year by the United Nations in Malaysia. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day in 2011, she was one of only two Malaysian women named to’s list of 100 Most Inspiring People Delivering for Girls and Women. In March 2016, Marina was conferred the “Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur” award by the French government.

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