This past November and December, I had the pleasure of working with an incredible colleague of mine, Bushra Ebadi and the Women in International Security Canada (WIIS-Canada) to create a video series for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence: a global campaign born out of Rutgers University 25 years ago.

Watch the videos in order, below.


Today marks the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence across the world. At InGender, we commemorate this day acknowledging all of the women who have suffered from violence; yet still rise, live, and thrive. Maya Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise” written in 1978 has served as a call for women to find strength within themselves to overcome oppression, violence, and intolerance. We will rise.


Promoting women’s economic empowerment has long been the focus of international organizations, such as the United Nations, and local organizations across the world. Sana Afouaiz, Founder and CEO of Womenpreneur Initiative is not only adding to this global effort, but using innovation, technology and leadership to spearhead a new mentorship program that benefits female entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa.

For Day Five of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence occurring across the world today, we virtually sat-down with Sana to discuss her initiative, and why she thinks economic empowerment is key to combatting GBV.

You can find more information about her new mentorship program here.


The battle against HIV/AIDS began over 40 years ago and it remains a global, vigilant fight today. Since the first World AIDS Day in 1988, an estimated 35 million people have died from HIV/AIDS and it still affects millions of lives today. We must not forget its existence.

That’s why activists like Sindy Zemura-Woodward, a Zimbabwean and Canadian national, work tirelessly to fight the disease through education and healthcare reform. Sindy’s organization – Southern Africa Embrace Foundation – is just one of thousands of grassroots organizations collaborating with local communities to battle one of the worst illnesses of our time.

Where there is progress, there is hope.

For more information visit sae-foundation.org.


An estimated 10 million people worldwide are stateless. What drives this issue? Catherine Harrington, the Campaign Manager for the Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights with the Women Refugee Commission believes that in fact, gender inequality is partly to blame.

There are over 60 countries that hold discriminatory nationality laws that specifically prohibit women from conferring their nationality to their children. According to the Campaign, this results in “serious human rights violations and suffering for individuals and their families,” including statelessness.

To get involved visit http://equalnationalityrights.org.

Educate yourself and then take action.


On the final day of 16 Days Against Gender Based Violence, we commemorate Human Rights Day by remembering the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, Oprah Winfrey and Mahatma Gandhi.

A staunch human rights activist, Eleanor in particular was key to raising the political will needed in order to pass the Human Rights Declaration in 1948. Stating during her speech to the United Nations General Assembly:

“This Declaration is based upon the spiritual fact that man must have freedom in which to develop his full stature and through common effort to raise the level of human dignity. We have much to do to fully achieve and to assure the rights set forth in this Declaration. But having them put before us with the moral backing of 58 nations will be a great step forward.”

To find out more, visit http://www.un.org/en/events/humanrightsday/

Freedom, equality and respect for all is something we should strive for.

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