Dr. Payoshni Mitra

Dr. Payoshni Mitra is a former badminton player and coach turned gender and sport scholar, a prominent athlete rights advocate, and a leading campaigner in the abolition of sex testing policies in women’s sport. She has more than a decade-long experience of working closely with women athletes across Asia and Africa to enable them to address human rights violations in sports. Her advocacy work on inclusion and non-discrimination in sport has influenced important social, institutional, and structural changes on an international scale.


With her research and advocacy work, Dr Mitra has been able to help athletes win legal cases on complex gender issues on more than one occasion. She was instrumental in assisting Indian athlete Dutee Chand to regain her rights to compete in athletics and was one of the ten-member team who testified for South African Olympian Caster Semenya at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.


She is a Director and Trustee at the Geneva-based Center for Sport & Human Rights and of an international Women’s Fund called Women Win. Formerly, she was appointed as the first-ever CEO of the Global Observatory for Gender Equality & Sport.


Dr. Mitra is the go-to person on inclusion issues for international sport organizations , intergovernmental organizations and national governments. She has been consulted by the International Olympic CommitteeFIFAUnited Nations Human Rights Council (OHCHR), Council of Europe – Enlarged Partial Agreement in Sport and national governments of the United Kingdom, India, Burundi, Chile to name a few. She has also co-authored reports on sport & sex-testing for Human Rights Watch and for COE-EPAS.

Dr. Mitra’s work has been featured in many international print & electronic media. She was felicitated as a Global Activist in Den Hague last year as part of the Movies that Matter Festival funded by the Dutch Government. The documentary film Category :Woman, which features Dr Mitras work was nominated for an activist award in the same festival.